The debate of globalization still rages with critics and proponents alike failing to reach a consensus on its benefits and detriments. This follows the prevailing differences pictured by people in their attempt to provide the real meaning of globalization.
Is it the coming together of political, economical, or cultural organization around the world, or is it the power behind the ontogeny of economy, success, or democratic liberation? It is worth noting that these, among other questions relating to globalization, will attract conflicting responses, majority of which will depend on people as well as place.
For instance, the answer from a person in Cairo will differ from one in Washington, which will also differ from the one in Johannesburg. In fact, the response will also differ with people from the same place.
Therefore, to come up with a standard definition of globalization may prove hard and hence the debate. Of paramount importance is the fact that, the answers will as well vary based on how various people in various places perceive globalization. There are those who will base their answers on culture, politics, while others will base them on economy. Nevertheless, the pertinent question remains, what is globalization.
Values come in handy when specifying the implication of globalization. For instance, when one pictures globalization as ‘McDonaldization’ or simply ‘Americanization’ of the world, it stands out as a process, steered by the American culture whereby, all other cultures follow suit. In addition and based on culture, globalization can stand as the intermingling of variety cultures in their pursuit of, not only learning, but also sharing with each other.
According to Rothenberg, “Globalization is the acceleration and intensification of interaction and integration among the people, companies, and governments of different nations” (2) This definition stands out as the most unbiased because it takes into account all the areas, which initially were separately used to define globalization. It considers the human welfare like security and health. It also carries with it the issue of environment, not sparing culture, which is a combination of religions, ideas, and politics.
Economy and the success of different societies around the globe stand out within this definition. However, this is not the final definition. As time goes on, different values will arise as expected, a situation that will alter the meaning. As a result, it leaves a room for such a circumstance and hence the most favored definition. However, it is important to consider some issues that surround globalization instead of majoring on its definition.
The precise emergence globalization is not well known. While some learners claim that it came in the course of the current epoch, others say that it bears a deep-rooted origin. Among the people who regard globalization as having a deep-rooted history is Gander Frank, the economist, who developed the dependency theory. Frank posits, “A form of globalization has been in existence since the rise of trade links between summer and the Indus Valley Civilization in the third millennium BC” (29).
Consequently, this implies that globalization of economy and culture has been in existence for a long time going back to the third millennium. For instance, during the Hellenistic era, commercial centers established at this period targeted the entire Greek culture. As a result, trade spread covering a large area beginning all the way from India to Spain.
This is the period when trade spread at a rate greater than ever realized before. It is the period, when the thought of cosmopolitan was used for the first time referring to a ‘world city’, which implied the coming together of a variety of Greek cultures. This scenario is perceived to be the first form of globalization, but not the only one.
The trade network composed of the Han Dynasty, the Roman Empire, and the Parthian Empire also stands as an early form of globalization. According to Adela, “The increasing articulation of commercial links between these powers inspired the development of the Silk Road, which started in western China, reached the boundaries of the Parthian empire, and continued onwards towards Rome” (Para. 2).
The Islamic Golden age cannot escape mentioning. It stands as another form of globalization in which a significant world economy was established. The establishment of global crops, knowledge, trade, as well as technology marked this period. As a result, crops like sugarcane and cotton dominated the Muslim world. In addition, the learning of the Arabic and the Hajj resulted to a global Muslim culture.
However, as all these happened, they could not be viewed as bearing the issue of globalization. According to the then peoples’ understanding, these were just but normal happenings expected in a growing culture, economy, and politics, to mention but a few. The events that unfolded as from the dawn of 21st century brought to light the issue of globalization.
People could not learn the subject of globalization the easy way until the outbreak of the World War I and II in the twentieth century. These wars were the root cause of the many global issues established as a result. In this century, the subject of human rights was discussed at large following the repercussions of the wars whereby, people were severely mistreated since there lacked a body or a policy that could protect them.
This is the century when a global announcement of human rights was made in 1948, to take care of people in case of another war outbreak. In addition, the issue of establishing world services emerged as a result.
The World Bank saw its dawn in this century. Ambassadorial organizations like the League of Nations as well as the United Nations came to existence too. Global education also arose with the establishment of a global University in Tokyo, Japan. World Health Organizations, World Trade Organizations, among other global organizations were born in this century.
Moreover, a world economy emerged in the course of this period. Based on the aforementioned comprehensive definition of the term globalization, all these occurrences were incorporated therein, be it economy, culture, and politics. It therefore suffices to associate the origin of globalization with the 20th century.
Globalization has influenced the world to a large extend in different ways. The industrial, economic, financial, health, political, to mention but a few sectors, bear a significant influence of globalization. The outgrowth of global output markets as well as the broadened access of a variety of alien goods and services, not only for industries, but also for consumers, has led to the global growth of industries.
This arises from the increased flow-in and flow-out of materials and goods both within and beyond the national boundaries. Bhagwati exposits that ” International trade in manufactured goods increased more than 100 times (from $95 billion to $12 trillion) in the 50 years since 1955” (27). The growth referred to here is industrial growth that was realized because of globalization.
Therefore, it is deducible that globalization has seen the growth of industries in the world. The emergence of globalization leaves a mark in the financial sector. The efforts employed in curbing the worldwide wars revealed the possibility of paving ways for the establishment of some of other worldwide services. The financial services sector bears this mark of globalization.
Globalization has seen the dawn of global financial markets while at the same time broadening the proximity of financing services, both internal and external. For instance, the dawn of 21st century was marked by a significant increase in currency trade, with more than $1.5 trillion being merchandized daily to cater for the increased investment and trade levels. The economy sector has also been influenced by globalization.
Globalization yields a positive impact on economy. People have made efforts to come up with a common world market where they are at liberty to exchange both capital and products. It is worth noting that, these markets depict a pronounced interconnection such that a fall or a rise in one is enough to bring a corresponding effect to the others.
In addition, globalization has led to the production of goods and services at a cheaper cost. This on the other hand has paved way for the movement of employment opportunities to locations with less salary, minimal security of workers, as well as less health considerations. The impact of globalization in the field of health sector also stands out.
Global trade and global economy have led to the establishment of global health policies, which on the other hand remain favored by the rising technology and the medical trade. According to Ollila, “Global priorities, in this situation, are sometimes at odds with national priorities where increased health infrastructure and basic primary care are of more value to the public than privatized care for the wealthy” (6) Globalization has also influenced the area of politics.
In fact, some scholars have viewed globalization as the establishment of a global government, which portrays no more than a political foundation. United States offers the best illustration of this. Since it ranks highest among the world powers, it has grown politically because of globalization.
However, following the significant impact of globalization to the Chinese government, people have predicted that following China’s high rate of growth in technology, economy, wealth, and industry, it may soon alter the political arena. ” China will rival the United States for the position of leading world power” (Hurst 91).
Since this is a result of globalization, it suffices to say that; globalization bears a significant positive impact on politics. However, globalization carries with it some few negative impacts, for instance, environmental degradation.
The large amounts of CO2 emitted in the atmosphere following the advancement of industries because of globalization, have negatively affected the environment.
Countries like China are currently producing large capacities of these harmful gases and virtually all of its people inhale it. It is predicted that within the next few years, most of the tropical rain forests will be logged off, especially those of Papua New Guinea and Indonesia. In addition, the extensive interconnections among countries brought by globalization, have led to the famous financial crisis.
This follows from the experienced collapse of the mortgage market prominent in the U.S. This, on the other hand, has led to a momentous loss of jobs. Moreover, the increased job opportunities in the developed countries like the U.S have taken away talents of people, specifically from the African continent. This arises when the jobless people end up being utilized in doing jobs even if they do not match their talents.
Ultimately, they relinquish their talents completely. Globalization has also led to a rise in the spread of some lethal diseases. Robert points out that, “Starting in Asia, the Black Death killed at least one-third of Europe’s population in the 14th century” (262). This spread comes because of the accelerated interaction of people associated with globalization. The trades of illegal drugs like heroin and cocaine is on the rise, following the evident increased rate of entry and exit of goods in countries from all over the world.
The world’s economy cannot be well understood without incorporating the contribution of China and India. The two stands as the world’s swiftly budding economic forces, and as a result, they have significantly influenced the global economy. Desai posits, “There will be a much larger percentage of the world’s economic growth in Asia, particularly driven by China [and] India” (12).
It suffices to infer that through globalization, the two are able to bring a growth of the global economy. Though China and India are competitors, it is predicted that as their powers rise, they will turn to be collaborators. Further inferences concerning China and India indicate that there is a high possibility of the two to challenge the U.S, following their entry into the global economy.
Referring to China, Zhiqiang says that “…it has to phase-in the liberalization of such services as banking, insurance, telecommunications, external trade, internal trade and tourism as well as the national treatment for foreign enterprises” (56). These are among the many contributions that China is making in the global economic sector. In terms of exportations, China has become the largest in the world and as a result, it is thought to affect the world’s economy.
China bears a vast manufacturing industry compared to any other country. This boosts its reasons for participating in the international market. India, on the other hand, has significantly influenced the global economy owing to its rapid development in the export sector.
According to Isabelle, “The two countries have thus in common the fact that, in the past ten years, they developed their strongest specialization in sectors linked to information and communication technology” (140) In terms of communication, transportation and insurance among other services, the two countries have highly established services in relation to other countries. All these factors sufficiently tell the reason as to why the world’s economy recognizes the impact of globalization of both China and India.
These services are not as established in the other countries as they are in China and India and this is why the world economy relies much on the contributions of the two. Worth noting is the notion that, if the share of the two was excluded from the global economy, the world would be unable to sustain its people. This is a clear indication that both China and India posses a good chunk in the world’s economy because of globalization.
In conclusion, globalization viewed as the integration of economies, cultures, as well as societies, has been achieved following the worldwide political and communication connections. While people have set out to research on the origin of globalization, the results are debatable.
This arises because some claim that globalization bears a deep-rooted historical origin, while others associate it with the unfolding of the twentieth century, the period when many worldwide events happened, for instance, the world wars, WHO, UN, world universities, among others. Although, globalization has positively influenced the world, it in turn bears some negative impacts. It is good because it has brought the evident radical economic, industrial, health, as well as political growth.
However, it is bad because issues like environmental degradation, sweatshops, brain drain, food insecurity and spread of contagious diseases among others, have resulted from globalization. Fortunately, the merits of globalization outweigh its demerits. Of the contributions made to the global economy by the many countries, the one by both India and China remain the most significant.
This arises from the fact that the two are highly globalized in terms of industries, communication and insurance coupled with transportation services. The two have a good share in the world’s economy and if this share were eliminated from the world economy, the result would be no more than an unsolvable economic crisis. This is enough to prove that they significantly influence the global economy founded on globalization.
Adela, Lee. Ancient Silk Road Travelers, 2010. Web. 07 December 2010.
Bhagwati, Jagdish. In Defense of Globalization. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004. Print.
Desai, Vishakha. The Growing Economic Influence of China and India. London: Word Press, 2008. Print.
Frank, Gander. Reorient Global Economy in the Asian Age. U.C: Berkeley Press, 1998
Hurst, Charles. Social Inequality: Forms, Causes, and Consequences. USA: Oxford University Press, 1999.
Isabelle, Bensidoun. The Integration of China and India into the World Economy: a Comparison. New York: Word Press, 2006.
Ollila, Edward. Global health priorities: Globalization and Health. England: HVAC, 2005.
Robert, Gottfried. “Black Death in Dictionary of the Middle Ages.” The History of Human Populations 2.1 (1983): 257–67.
Rothenberg, Laurence. The Three Tensions of Globalization. New York: Maxwell Publishers, 2003. Print.
Zhiqiang, Hwang. “Globalization.” The European Journal of Comparative Economics 6.1 (2004): 131-155.