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.While being a complex and multifaceted array of phenomena, globalization can be broken down into separate aspects:


Economic definition

According to Dr. Ismail Shariff, globalization is the worldwide process of homogenizing prices, products, wages, rates of interest and profits [1]. Globalization relies on three forces for development: the role of human migration, international trade, and rapid movements of capital and integration of financial markets.



Globalization/internationalization has become identified with a number of trends, most of which may have developed or accelerated 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.[citation needed]


Positive and negative effects

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:

It is often argued that even terrorism has undergone globalization, with attacks in foreign countries that have no direct relation with the attackers' own country.[2][3]

Since World War II, barriers to international trade have been considerably lowered 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:


Historical precedents

See History of Globalization.

Although the term "globalization' was coined in the latter half of the twentieth century, and the term and its concepts did not permeate popular consciousness until the latter half of the 1980's; various social scientists have tried to demonstrate continuity between contemporary trends of globalization and earlier periods.[citation needed] Earlier forms of globalization existed during the Mongol Empire, when there was greater integration along the Silk Road.

The first steps towards Globalization as we know it nowadays were taken in Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries, when the Spanish Empire reached to all corners of the world. The effects on European industries were notable, e.g. the Silver Mining in Schwaz in Austria was partly abandoned, as silver was available from the Spanish colonies for lower prices. Globalization became a business phenomena in the 17th century when the first Multinational was founded in The Netherlands. During the Dutch Golden Age the Dutch East India Company was established as a private owned company. Because of the high risks involved with the international trade, ownership was divided with Shares. The Dutch East India Company was the first company in the world to issue shares, an important driver for globalization.

Liberalization in the 19th century is often called "The First Era of Globalization", a period characterised by rapid growth in international trade and investment, between the European imperial powers, their colonies, and, later, the United States.

The "First Era of Globalization" began to break down at the beginning with the first World War, and later collapsed during the gold standard crisis 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 American and Oceanic offshoots, prospered.[citation needed] Inequality between those states fell, as goods, capital and labour flowed freely between nations.

Globalization in the era since World War II has been driven by advances in technology which have reduced the costs of trade, and 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 (NAFTA) have also been signed in pursuit of the goal of reducing tariffs and barriers to trade.

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-fishing of the oceans and other degradations 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 corporations and the rapid growth of global civil society.[4]

The Global scenario group, an environmental research and forecasting organization, views globalization as part of the shift to a Planetary Phase of Civilization, characterized by global social organizations, economies, and communications. The GSG maintains that the future character of this global society is uncertain and contested.



Critics of the economic aspects of globalization contend that it is not, as its proponents tend to imply, an inexorable process which flows naturally from the economic needs of everyone. The critics typically emphasize that globalization is a process that is mediated according to corporate interests, 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.[5]

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."[6]

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.[7] 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 natural 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 [citation needed].

Some opponents of globalization see the phenomenon as the promotion of corporatist interests, 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 shapes the political policy of nation-states [citation needed].

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 [citation needed].

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

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 [citation needed]. 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 [citation needed]. Anti-Globalization activists pointed to the meltdowns as proof of the high human cost of the indiscriminate global economy [citation needed].

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[citation needed].

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 [citation needed].


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 [citation needed].

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:

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 [citation needed] 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 [citation needed] 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.

Supporters of globalization are highly critical of some current policies. In particular, the very high subsidies to and protective tariffs for agriculture in the developed world. For example, the US gives 3.4 billon dollars each year in subsidies to its cotton sector, including 25,000 growers, nearly twice the amount it gives in aid to the hundreds of millions of people in Sub-Saharan Africa. This drains the taxed money and increases the prices for the consumers in developed world; decreases competition and efficiency; prevents exports by more competitive agricultural and other sectors in the developed world due to retaliatory trade barriers; and undermines the very type of industry in which the developing countries do have comparative advantages.[17]


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.[18].

A.T. Kearney and Foreign Policy Magazine jointly publish another Globalization Index.



  1. Shariff,Ismail. GLOBAL ECONOMIC INTEGRATION: PROSPECTS AND PROBLEMS. From An International Journal of Development Economics. Development Review, Vol1, No.2 (2003): p. 163-178
  2. Keith Porter, "The Future of Terrorism"
  3. Asta Maskaliunaite, "Terrorism and Globalization: Recent Debates"
  4. see Florini, A. 2000. The Third Force. Tokyo: JCIE
  5. Fórum Social Mundial
  6. [1]
  7. [2]
  8. PovcalNet,
  9. Michel Chossudovsky, "Global Falsehoods"
  10. Guy Pfefferman, "The Eight Losers of Globalization"
  11. David Brooks, "Good News about Poverty"
  12. Freedom House
  13. [ BAILEY, R.(2005).
  14. BAILEY, R.(2005). The poor may not be getting richer but they are living longer.
  15. Oxford Leadership Academy.
  16. ScienceDirect
  17. Six Reasons to Kill Farm Subsidies and Trade Barriers
  18. KOF Index of Globalization

Books on Globalization


See also

Postmodernism series

Previous: Modernism

Postmodern philosophy
Postmodern architecture
Deconstructivist Architecture
Postmodern literature
Postmodernist film
Postmodern music
Critical theory
Minimalism in Art
Minimalism in Music

External links

Retrieved from "http://localhost../../art/7/p.html"

This text comes from Wikipedia the free encyclopedia. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. For a complete list of contributors for a given article, visit the corresponding entry on the English Wikipedia and click on "History" . For more details about the license of an image, visit the corresponding entry on the English Wikipedia and click on the picture.