Globalization is the process of interaction and integration among the people, different companies and governments of the World, with a process that is directly driven by international trades and different forms of investments, and the process is aided by the recent developments of information technology. Globalization, as a process has direct effects on environment, culture, and politics and most importantly the economic development and prosperity of a country. The physical well being of mankind through out the world is also a very important concern for globalization too.
Globalization is not a new phenomenon. For thousands of years the process has been in action. In early days people used to trade with each other in lands of great distance, such as the very famous Silk Route that was through Central Asia and connected China and Europe in the Middle Ages. Similarly, for a long time the people and corporations are investing in different enterprises in other countries. In other words we can say that many of the features of the current trend of globalization are quite similar to those that prevailed before the start of the World War I.
The policy and technological developments of the past few decades have increased the aspect of globalization more than ever and the cross border trade, investments along with migrations became so large that the researchers believe that the World has entered into a new phase of economical development. Here we can give an example. In the year 1997, the amount of foreign investment in the World was $468 billion and it changed to $827 billion in the year 1999.
The Current wave of globalization is driven by the politics that have opened economies both domestically and internationally. Especially in the last twenty years many governments have adopted a free-market economics which vastly increased both the production potential of the country and along with creating new opportunities for international trade and investments. Governments also have negotiated with dramatic reductions in barriers of commerce and established different international agreements to promote trade in different aspects. The corporations have built foreign factories and also made marketing arrangements with different foreign partners. So, in the point it can be said that a definite feature of globalization is an international industrial and financial business structure. The most important driver of globalization is technology. The huge strides in information technology have dramatically transformed the economic life. It has given the economic actors from all over the world several valuable tools that made the economics faster and more informed analyses of different economic trends of the World, along with easy transfer of assets and collaboration with far-flung partners.
The direct effect of globalization is the emergence of worldwide production markets and ultimately a broader access to a range of foreign products for both consumers and companies. The movement of goods inside and outside the international borders is another very important aspect of Globalization. Statistically speaking, the international trades in manufacturing goods have increased around 100 times since 1955. The trade of China with Africa increased seven times in the phase 2000-07.
Globalization is the root cause of the emergence of worldwide financial markets and it enabled better access to external financing for the general borrowers. By the early part of 21st century more than US$1.5 trillion has been traded through national currencies only to support the expanded levels of trade and other different types of investments. The phenomenon of globalization has made people aware that the global common market is based on the freedom of exchange of goods and capital in all different senses. IN the aspect of job market the employees can compete directly in a global job market. In the past, the economic conditions of the workers are generally determined by the national economical conditions but now it is determined by the global economy only as a result of globalization. This is why the wages are less dependent on the national economy, and the income distribution structure has been changed in a huge way. Survival in the newly introduced global business market directly calls for far improved productivity and along with that the general competition increases too. With the diversification of the market the companies are forced to upgrade their products and use the technologies skillfully in order to face the increased competition.
The development of globalization has a wide impact on global political development, and in most of the cases the importance of the state and the country has been decreased. Different sub-state and supra-state institutions like the EU, the G8 and International Criminal Court etc the state power is continuously losing its power and sovereignty. Some researchers say that due to the trade imbalance of the United States the high trade imbalance has caused its relative decline as a Global power. Thus the Global power shifting is changing to the Asian countries. As per estimations, the Chinese economy can overtake the American economy by 2025.
The advancement in different aspects has brought about several questions about the ecology of the World. These challenges can be solved with international co-operation. Problems like climate change, cross boundary water pollution, the decline of forests and other aspects can be solved with international co-operations. In many developing countries numerous factories are built without following environmental regulations; and in the aspect globalization and free trade might increase the pollution and can directly impact the fresh water resources.
Globalization has a huge effect on the culture of different countries. The growth of cross cultural contacts and the advancement of new categories of consciousness along with the identities go to embody the general cultural diffusion and the ultimate desire of to directly increase the standard of living of a person. People are now enjoying foreign products and ideas, and adopting new technologies and practices in their everyday lives. In a nutshell we can say that globalization has enabled the people to participate in a world culture. Here the critics of Globalization talk about the consumerism and the general loss of the classical languages.
In other words we might say that globalization also affects the spread of multiculturalism, and it enables an individual for a better access to cultural diversity. In some theories the imported cultures are considered as something very dangerous as it might suppress the dominant local culture and spawn a new mixed culture. This can cause reduction in diversity or even in assimilation. There is another angle that has gained popularity. It believes that multiculturalism can ultimately form a monoculture that will have no distinctions, and every one belonging to the culture will be able to shift between different lifestyles without being firmly rooted to a single culture. Globalization has increased international travel and tourism, and as per the records of the WHO on any time there are 500,000 people travelling on planes through out the World. The records show that in 2008 more that 920 million international tourists have visited all over the World and the growth rate are around 2% compared to the previous year. Immigration has also increased with globalization and it has also triggered the increase in illegal immigration. The popular culture is available through out the world with the help of televisions and internet and social networking has become one of the most popular pastimes in recent times.
Globalization has influenced the use of languages across the world. Globalization has been able to join different cultures and made the something different from their original versions. But the dominant view is that as the American effect on globalization is the most dominant, the culture and languages are tend to change into Americanize, rather than globalize. The idea is recently being changed with the emergence of other popular cultures.
The culinary culture is an example of true globalization. Through out the world different types of foods are available. For example, Indian curry, Japanese noodles, Italian pasta etc all has become widely popular outside their original region of origin. MacDonald’s and American concern has over than 30,000 centers all over the Globe. Cross dressing has become popular too.
The internet has broken all the boundaries across the World by making the World into a small place where communication is easier than ever before. Actually it is associated with the process of cultural globalization along with other things like business transactions and in the way it allows cultural connection between people of different cultures.
There are more opportunities in richer countries and in the way the talents are going away to the richer countries, and it is causing brain drains. It is estimated that brain drain annually causes India to lose $ 10 billion every year, as the students go to other countries for job. This is a direct consequence of globalization. Also in the richer countries the total number of local people employee becoming less, and it is causing a worker disruption at the places. Ultimately it is creating a huge gap between the rich and poor of these countries.
Globalization has helped some of the most deadly diseases to spread in the human society. The Black Death which killed almost one third of the European population was started in Asia, and the European colonial rulers brought small pox that killed 90% of the American Maya, Inca and other tribes. AIDS/HIV is one of the diseases that are a recent example of the diseases. Due to the immigration around 500,000 people in USA are infected with the Chagas disease.
Finally we can say that globalization can be termed as a really controversial issue in recent times. The advocates of globalization stress on the fact that globalization has allowed the poor countries to grow in a fast rate and the people who are living in these countries can increase their standard of living with the help of globalization. Economically it is beneficial for all the countries of the world as it helps trade and commerce thoroughly. But the opponents of the globalizations say that with globalization the free market issue has only benefited the multinational corporations and all the local enterprises have been suffering from these aspects. Along with that the local cultures, the common people and most of all the well being of the society has been suffered. There are resistances to globalization in both a popular and governmental level. But still one can say that there are both good and bad impacts of globalization. It is important for the leaders of the world to decide what will be good for humanity and on the decision the people should take action so that the World advances with the safe being of all the different cultures in the world. And only in the way both the local cultures and globalization can co-exist side by side.