> > Globalization

Toggle ContentToggle Content .:: Home :: Poems :: Workshop Forums :: Register :: Features ::.
Toggle Content MediaWiki Search

Toggle Content Menu

Toggle Content Paid Membership
Buy a paid membership and get more out of GotPoetry!

Advertise on the GotPoetry Advertising Network.



From Poetry Wiki

Jump to: navigation, search

Globalisation or globalization is an umbrella term for a complex series of economic, social, technological, cultural and political changes seen as increasing interdependence, integration and interaction between people and companies in disparate locations. As a term 'globalization' has been used as early as 1944 but economists began applying it around 1981. Theodore Levitt is usually credited with its coining through the article he wrote in 1983 for the Harvard Business Review entitled "Globalization of Markets". The more encompassing phenomenon has been perceived in the context of sociological study on a worldwide scale.

The term "globalization" is used to refer to these collective changes as a process, or else as the cause of turbulent change. The distinct uses include:

A typical - but restrictive - definition can be taken from the International Monetary Fund, which stresses the growing economic interdependence of countries worldwide through increasing volume and variety of cross-border transactions in goods and services, free international capital flows, and more rapid and widespread diffusion of technology. That definition is more narrowly related to economic globalization, and most others appear to agree that globalization is a more extensive civilization concept with diverse economic, political, cultural, and technological aspects that may be closely intertwined.



Main articles: History of globalization, and [[{{{2}}}]], and [[{{{3}}}]], and [[{{{4}}}]], and [[{{{5}}}]]

Since the word has both technical and political meanings, different groups will have differing histories of "globalization". In general use within the field of economics and political economy, globalization is world-wide expansion of the division of labor. It can also refer more specifically to an increasing volume of trade between nations based on stable institutions that allow firms in different nations to exchange goods and services with minimal friction.

The term "liberalization" came to mean the acceptance of the Neoclassical economic model which is based on the unimpeded flow of goods and services between economic jurisdictions. This led to specialization of nations in exports, and the pressure to end protective tariffs and other barriers to trade. The period of the gold standard and liberalization in the 19th century is often called "The First Era of Globalization". Based on the Pax Britannica and the exchange of goods in currencies pegged to specie, this era grew along with industrialization. The theoretical basis was David Ricardo's work on comparative advantage and Say's Law of General equilibrium. In essence, it was argued that nations would trade effectively, and that any temporary disruptions in supply or demand would correct themselves automatically. The institution of the gold standard came in steps in major industrialized nations between approximately 1850 and 1880, though exactly when various nations were truly on the gold standard is contentiously debated.

The "First Era of Globalization" is said to have broken down in stages beginning with the first World War, and then collapsing with the crisis of the gold standard in the late 1920s and early 1930s. Countries that engaged in that era of globalization, including the European core, some of the European periphery and various European offshoots in the Americas and Oceania, prospered. Inequality between those states fell, as goods, capital and labour flowed remarkably freely between nations.

Globalization in the era since World War II has been driven by trade negotiation rounds, originally under the auspices of GATT, which led to a series of agreements to remove restrictions on free trade. The Uruguay round (1984 to 1995) led to a treaty to create the World Trade Organization (WTO), to mediate trade disputes. Other bi- and trilateral trade agreements, including sections of Europe's Maastricht Treaty and the North American Free Trade Agreement have also been signed in pursuit of the goal of reducing tariffs and barriers to trade.

Nature and existence of globalization

There is much academic discussion about whether globalization is a real phenomenon or only an analytical artifact (a myth). Although the term is widespread, many authors argue that the characteristics attributed to globalization have already been seen at other moments in history. Also, many note that such features, including the increase in international trade and the greater role of multinational corporations, are not as deeply established as they may appear.

Some authors prefer the term internationalization rather than globalization. In internationalization, the role of the state and the importance of nations are greater, while globalization is said to culminate in the elimination of nation states. They argue that since the borders of nation-states are far from being dissolved, that globalization is not happening, and probably will not happen considering that in world history internationalization has yet to lead to full globalization. Others point out that globalization is an unfolding process, and examples of transnational strucutures (such as the European Union and NAFTA) are signs that a centuries old process of global integration is heating up.

The world increasingly is confronted by problems that can not be solved by individual nation-states acting alone. Examples include cross-boundary air and water pollution, over-fisihing of the oceans and other degredations of the natural environment, regulation of outer-space, global warming, international terrorist networks, global trade and finance, and so on. Solutions to these problems necessitate new forms of cooperation and the creation of new global institutions. Since the end of WWII, following the advent of the UN and the Bretton Woods institutions, there has been an explosion in the reach and power of transnational coporations and the rapid growth of global civil society.[1] Increasingly citizens across the world are organizing as part of a growing transnational movement, confusingly labelled by the mass media after the 1999 protest against the WTO in Seattle as anti-globalization (see below). This growing mobilization of citizens can also be understood as a movement of movements, as it links existing social movements (such as labor, feminism, environmetnalism, human rights, and anti-poverty efforts) under the slogan "another world is possible." These are all further examples of the erosion of the nation-state and the emergence of new transnational global actors in the form of new institution of governance, corporations, and civil society.

Following these trends, many scholars have argued that we are in transition to a planetary phase of civilization; the exact form and character of the global society is contested and will be determined by the choices we make in the critical decades ahead. For example, the Global scenario group[2] has outlined alternative visions of the global future, with "market forces" or economic globalization being just one option, contrasted with "policy reform," "fortress world," "breakdown," "eco-communalism" and a "new sustainability paradigm."[3]

Some maintain that globalization is an imagined geography; that is, a political tool of ruling neo-liberalists, who are attempting to use certain images and discourses of world politics to justify their political agendas. Writers of books such as No Logo claim that by presenting a picture of a globalized world, the Bretton Woods institutions can demand that countries open up their economies to liberalization under Structural Adjustment Programmes that encourage governments to fund privatization programmes, ahead of welfare and public services.[4]


Globalization/internationalisation has become identified with a number of trends, most of which may have developed since World War II. These include greater international movement of commodities, money, information, and people; and the development of technology, organizations, legal systems, and infrastructures to allow this movement. The actual existence of some of these trends is debated.

It is often argued that even terrorism has undergone globalization, with attacks in foreign countries that have no direct relation with the own country.[5][6]

Barriers to international trade have been considerably lowered since World War II through international agreements such as the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). Particular initiatives carried out as a result of GATT and the WTO, for which GATT is the foundation, have included:

  • Promotion of free trade
  • Intellectual property restrictions
    • Harmonization of intellectual property laws across nations (generally speaking, with more restrictions)
    • Supranational recognition of intellectual property restrictions (e.g. patents granted by China would be recognized in the US)


Main articles: Anti-globalization, and [[{{{2}}}]], and [[{{{3}}}]], and [[{{{4}}}]], and [[{{{5}}}]]

Critics of the economic aspects of globalization contend that it is not, as its proponents tend to imply, an inexorable process that flows naturally from the economic needs of everyone. The critics typically emphasize that globalization is a process that is mediated according to elite imperatives, and typically raise the possibility of alternative global institutions and policies, which they believe address the moral claims of poor and working classes throughout the globe, as well as environmental concerns in a more equitable way.[7]

In terms of the controversial global migration issue, disputes revolve around both its causes, whether and to what extent it is voluntary or involuntary, necessary or unnecessary; and its effects, whether beneficial, or socially and environmentally costly. Proponents tend to see migration simply as a process whereby white and blue collar workers may go from one country to another to provide their services, while critics tend to emphasize negative causes such as economic, political, and environmental insecurity, and cite as one notable effect, the link between migration and the enormous growth of urban slums in developing countries. According to "The Challenge of Slums," a 2003 UN-Habitat report, "the cyclical nature of capitalism, increased demand for skilled versus unskilled labour, and the negative effects of globalization — in particular, global economic booms and busts that ratchet up inequality and distribute new wealth unevenly — contribute to the enormous growth of slums."[8]

Various aspects of globalization are seen as harmful by public-interest activists as well as strong state nationalists. This movement has no unified name. "Anti-globalization" is the media's preferred term; it can lead to some confusion, as activists typically oppose certain aspects or forms of globalization, not globalization per se. Activists themselves, for example Noam Chomsky, have said that this name is meaningless as the aim of the movement is to globalize justice. Indeed, the global justice movement is a common name. Many activists also unite under the slogan "another world is possible", which has given rise to names such as altermondialisme in French.

There are a wide variety of kinds of "anti-globalization". In general, critics claim that the results of globalization have not been what was predicted when the attempt to increase free trade began, and that many institutions involved in the system of globalization have not taken the interests of poorer nations, the working class, and the environment into account.

Economic arguments by fair trade theorists claim that unrestricted free trade benefits those with more financial leverage (i.e. the rich) at the expense of the poor.

Many see globalization as the promotion of a corporatist agenda, which is intent on constricting the freedoms of individuals in the name of profit. They also claim that the increasing autonomy and strength of corporate entities increasingly shapes the political policy of nation-states.

Some "anti-globalization" groups argue that globalization is necessarily imperialistic, is one of the driving reasons behind the Iraq war and is forcing savings to flow into the United States rather than developing nations; it can therefore be said that "globalization" is another term for a form of Americanization, as it is believed by some observers that the United States could be one of the few countries (if not the only one) to truly profit from globalization.

Some argue that globalization imposes credit-based economics, resulting in unsustainable growth of debt and debt crises.

The financial crises in Southeast Asia that began in 1997 in the relatively small, debt-ridden economy of Thailand but quickly spread to Malaysia, Indonesia, South Korea and eventually were felt all around the world, demonstrated the new risks and volatility in rapidly changing globalized markets. The IMF's subsequent 'bailout' money came with conditions of political change (i.e. government spending limits) attached and came to be viewed by critics as undermining national sovereignty in neo-colonialist fashion. Anti-Globalization activists pointed to the meltdowns as proof of the high human cost of the indiscriminate global economy.

Many global institutions that have a strong international influence are not democratically ruled, nor are their leaders democratically elected. Therefore they are considered by some as supernational undemocratic powers.

The main opposition is to unfettered globalization (neoliberal; laissez-faire capitalism), guided by governments and what are claimed to be quasi-governments (such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank) that are supposedly not held responsible to the populations that they govern and instead respond mostly to the interests of corporations. Many conferences between trade and finance ministers of the core globalizing nations have been met with large, and occasionally violent, protests from opponents of "corporate globalism".

Some "anti-globalization" activists object to the fact that the current "globalization" globalizes money and corporations, but not people and unions. This can be seen in the strict immigration controls in nearly all countries, and the lack of labour rights in many countries in the developing world.

Another more conservative camp opposed to globalization is state-centric nationalists who fear globalization is displacing the role of nations in global politics and point to NGOs as encroaching upon the power of individual nations. Some advocates of this warrant for anti-globalization are Pat Buchanan and Jean-Marie Le Pen.

The movement is very broad, including church groups, national liberation factions, left-wing parties, environmentalists, peasant unionists, anti-racism groups, anarchists, those in support of relocalization and others. Most are reformist, (arguing for a more humane form of capitalism) while others are more revolutionary (arguing for what they believe is a more humane system than capitalism). Many have decried the lack of unity and direction in the movement, but some such as Noam Chomsky have claimed that this lack of centralization may in fact be a strength.

Protests by the global justice movement have forced high-level international meetings away from the major cities where they used to be held, into remote locations where protest is impractical.

Pro-globalization (globalism)

Supporters of democratic globalization are sometimes called pro-globalists. They consider that the first phase of globalization, which was market-oriented, should be completed by a phase of building global political institutions representing the will of world citizens. The difference with other globalists is that they do not define in advance any ideology to orient this will, which should be left to the free choice of those citizens via a democratic process.

Supporters of free trade point out that economic theories of comparative advantage suggest that free trade leads to a more efficient allocation of resources, with all countries involved in the trade benefiting. In general, this leads to lower prices, more employment and higher output.

Libertarians and other proponents of laissez-faire capitalism say higher degrees of political and economic freedom in the form of democracy and capitalism in the developed world are both ends in themselves and also produce higher levels of material wealth. They see globalization as the beneficial spread of liberty and capitalism.

Critics argue that the anti-globalization movement uses anecdotal evidence to support their view and that worldwide statistics instead strongly support globalization:

  • The percentage of people in developing countries living below US$1 (adjusted for inflation and purchasing power) per day has halved in only twenty years,[9] although some critics argue that more detailed variables measuring poverty should instead be studied.[10]
  • Life expectancy has almost doubled in the developing world since WWII and is starting to close the gap to the developed world where the improvement has been smaller. Infant mortality has decreased in every developing region of the world.[11] Income inequality for the world as a whole is diminishing.[12]
  • The proportion of the world's population living in countries where per-capita food supplies are less than 2,200 calories (9,200 kilojoules) per day decreased from 56% in the mid-1960s to below 10% by the 1990s.
  • Between 1950 and 1999, global literacy increased from 52% to 81% of the world. Women made up much of the gap: Female literacy as a percentage of male literacy has increased from 59% in 1970 to 80% in 2000.
  • The percentage of children in the labor force has fallen from 24% in 1960 to 10% in 2000.
  • There are similar trends for electric power, cars, radios, and telephones per capita, as well as the proportion of the population with access to clean water.[14]

However, some of these improvements may not be due to globalization, or may be possible without the current form of globalization or its perceived negative consequences, to which the global justice movement objects.

Some pro-capitalists are also critical of the World Bank and the IMF, arguing that they are corrupt bureaucracies controlled and financed by states, not corporations. Many loans have been given to dictators who never carried out promised reforms, instead leaving the common people to pay the debts later. They thus see too little capitalism, not too much. They also note that some of the resistance to globalization comes from special interest groups with conflicting interests, like Western world unions.

Others, such as Senator Douglas Roche, O.C., simply view globalization as inevitable and advocate creating institutions such as a directly-elected United Nations Parliamentary Assembly to exercise oversight over unelected international bodies.

Other uses

"Globalization" can mean:

  • Globalism, if the concept is reduced to its economic aspects, can be said to contrast with economic nationalism and protectionism. It is related to laissez-faire capitalism and neoliberalism.
  • It shares a number of characteristics with internationalization and is often used interchangeably, although some prefer to use globalization to emphasize the erosion of the nation-state or national boundaries.
  • Making connections between places on a global scale. Today, more and more places around the world are connected to each other in ways that were previously unimaginable. In geography, this process is known as complex connectivity, where more and more places are being connected in more and more ways. Arjun Appadurai identified five types of global connectivity:
    • Ethnoscapes: movements of people, including tourists, immigrants, refugees, and business travellers.
    • Financescapes: global flows of money, often driven by interconnected currency markets, stock exchanges, and commodity markets.
    • Ideoscapes: the global spread of ideas and political ideologies. For example, Green Peace has become a worldwide environmental movement.
    • Mediascapes: the global distribution of media images that appear on our computer screens, in newspapers, television, and radio.
    • Technoscapes: the movement of technologies around the globe. For example, the Green Revolution in rice cultivation introduced western farming practices into many developing countries.
Although Appadurai's taxonomy is highly contestable, it does serve to show that globalization is much more than economics on a global scale.
  • In its cultural form, globalization has been a label used to identify attempts to erode the national cultures of Europe, and subsume them into a global culture whose members will be much easier to manipulate through mass media and controlled governments. In this context, massive legal or illegal immigration has been allowed, mainly in European countries.
  • The formation of a global village — closer contact between different parts of the world, with increasing possibilities of personal exchange, mutual understanding and friendship between "world citizens", and creation of a global civilization.
  • Economic globalization — there are four aspects to economic globalization, referring to four different flows across boundaries, namely flows of goods/services, i.e. 'free trade' (or at least freer trade), flows of people (migration), of capital, and of technology. A consequence of economic globalization is increasing relations among members of an industry in different parts of the world (globalization of an industry), with a corresponding erosion of national sovereignty in the economic sphere. The IMF defines globalization as “the growing economic interdependence of countries worldwide through increasing volume and variety of cross-border transactions in goods and services, freer international capital flows, and more rapid and widespread diffusion of technology” (IMF, World Economic Outlook, May, 1997). The World Bank defines globalization as the "Freedom and ability of individuals and firms to initiate voluntary economic transactions with residents of other countries".
  • In the field of management, globalization is a marketing or strategy term that refers to the emergence of international markets for consumer goods characterized by similar customer needs and tastes enabling, for example, selling the same cars or soaps or foods with similar ad campaigns to people in different cultures. This usage is contrasted with internationalization which describes the activities of multinational companies dealing across borders in either financial instruments, commodities, or products that are extensively tailored to local markets. Globalization also means cross-border management activities or development processes to adapt to the emergence of a globalized market or to seek and realize benefit from economies of scale or scope or from cross-border learning among different country-based organizations.
  • In the field of software, globalization is a technical term that combines the development processes of internationalization and localization.
  • Many, such as participants in the World Social Forum, use the term "corporate globalization" or "global corporatization" to highlight the impact of multinational corporations and the use of legal and financial means to circumvent local laws and standards, in order to leverage the labor and services of unequally-developed regions against each other.
  • The spread of capitalism from developed to developing nations.
  • "The concept of globalisation refers both to the compression of the world and the intensification of consciousness of the world as a whole" - Benedikt Kiesenhofer

Measurement of globalization

To what extent a nation-state or culture is globalized in a particular year has until most recently been measured employing simple proxies like flows of trade, migration, or foreign direct investment. A more sophisticated approach to measuring globalization is the recent index calculated by the Swiss think tank KOF. The index measures the three main dimensions of globalization: economic, social, and political. In addition to three indices measuring these dimensions, an overall index of globalization and sub-indices referring to actual economic flows, economic restrictions, data on personal contact, data on information flows, and data on cultural proximity is calculated. Data are available on a yearly basis for 122 countries. According to the index, the world's most globalized country is the USA, followed by Sweden, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Luxembourg. The least globalized countries according to the KOF-index are Togo, Chad and the Central African Republic.[15]


  1. see Florini, A. 2000. The Third Force. Tokyo: JCIE
  2. Global Scenario Group
  3. Great Transition Initiative The Great Transition Initiative carries forward this work and unpacks the "new sustainability paradigm"
  4. Global Issues That Affect Everyone
  5. Keith Porter, "The Future of Terrorism"
  6. Asta Maskaliunaite, "Terrorism and Globalization: Recent Debates"
  7. Fórum Social Mundial
  8. [1]
  9. PovcalNet,
  10. Michel Chossudovsky, "Global Falsehoods"
  11. Guy Pfefferman, "The Eight Losers of Globalization"
  12. David Brooks, "Good News about Poverty"
  13. Freedom House
  14. ScienceDirect
  15. KOF Index of Globalization

See also


External links

CounterPunch Newsletteraf:Globalisering ar:عولمة bs:Globalizacija bg:Глобализация ca:Globalització cs:Globalizace da:Globalisering de:Globalisierung et:Globaliseerumine es:Globalización eo:Tutmondiĝo eu:Globalizazioa fa:جهانی‌سازی fr:Mondialisation économique fr:Mondialisation ga:Domhandas gl:Globalización id:Globalisasi it:Globalizzazione he:גלובליזציה ka:გლობალიზაცია lt:Globalizacija mk:Глобализација ms:Globalisasi nl:Globalisering ja:グローバリゼーション no:Globalisering nn:Globalisering pl:Globalizacja pt:Globalização ru:Глобализация simple:Globalization sl:Globalizacija sr:Глобализација fi:Globalisaatio sv:Globalisering tt:Globalizasía vi:Toàn cầu hóa tr:Küreselleşme uk:Глобалізація zh:全球化 ta:உலகமயமாதல்

Template:Link FA

Toggle Content Paid Sponsor

GotPoetry - News for poets. Place to write.

GotPoetry is the most popular network of performance poets and poetry readings on the internet today.

Editors: John, Mamta and a cast of tens of others.
Publisher: John Powers

Content © 1998-2008
GotPoetry LLC. All rights reserved

Engine released under GNU GPL, Code Credits, Privacy Policy, Legal Notices

Search: Web

Forums Search
Gallery Search
Advanced Search

Link to Full Archives
Link to all News Topics

Link for all submission options for this site.

Subscribe - Use an RSS reader to stay up to date with the latest news and posts from GotPoetry.

GotPoetry News RSS Feed

Subscribe with Yahoo!
Subscribe with Google

Other GotPoetry RSS Syndication -  You can syndicate other parts of our site using the following files:

Yesterday's Top News
Yesterday's Top Poems
New Photos
Featured Articles