Globalization-Why All the Fuss?

▪ 2001

      In 2000 the media were full of references to globalization of the economy, communications—even politics and military affairs. Large crowds turned out to protest meetings such as that of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Seattle, Wash., in 1999 or called attention to International Monetary Fund (IMF) policies in granting loans to struggling economies. What were these protests all about?

      Globalization is a phenomenon involving the integration of economies, cultures, governmental policies, and political movements around the world. Internationalization is nothing new. Many of the large empires and religious movements represented forms of globalization. Trade and investment between countries have promoted interdependence of the world's economies for centuries. What is now called globalization, however, represents an exponential acceleration of the integration process. As early as 1962 the Canadian visionary Marshall McLuhan wrote that the electronic age was turning all humanity into a “global tribe,” and the term global village is attributed to him.

      Nowadays, the larger corporations organize production on a worldwide scale. Each step in the value-added chain, from research and development to processing of raw materials, production of parts, assembly of components, and marketing of the final product, is carried out in the most advantageous geographic location, regardless of where corporate headquarters are located or where the final good is sold. The globalization of markets means increasingly that similar goods are sold around the world for similar prices. The highly integrated financial and commodity markets see price movements in one part of the world instantaneously reflected in other major markets.

      The BBC, CNN, MTV, and the Internet have accelerated the integration of global culture. Teenagers around the world watch the same videos, listen to the same music, and wear the same clothes. At the same time, television audiences in virtually all countries watch the same major events, listen to the same financial forecasts, and see the same three-minute glimpses of ecological disasters.

      As globalization proceeds, the economic welfare of individuals is increasingly impacted by global market forces beyond the control of nation states and international institutions outside the domestic political process. Institutions such as the WTO and the IMF have become the target of criticism and protests from all sides. Some believe that too many economic decisions have been delegated to these institutions; others believe they should be given greater responsibility for solving the world's social and environmental problems. Some complain that they are secretive and unresponsive to civil society, while others worry about the loss of national sovereignty when citizen groups influence decision making in these institutions directly rather than indirectly through national governments.

      Clearly, the reality of globalization has outstripped the ability of the world population to understand its implications and the ability of governments to cope with its consequences. At the same time, the ceding of economic power to global actors and international institutions has outstripped the development of appropriate global political structures. As a result, probably many more years of public confusion and unfocused protests can be expected as the stable new global world order takes shape.

Geza Feketekuty

* * *

Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Manifesto of the Sixteen — Created 1916 Authors Jean Grave Peter Kropotkin Signatories See below …   Wikipedia

  • literature — /lit euhr euh cheuhr, choor , li treuh /, n. 1. writings in which expression and form, in connection with ideas of permanent and universal interest, are characteristic or essential features, as poetry, novels, history, biography, and essays. 2.… …   Universalium

  • Economic Affairs — ▪ 2006 Introduction In 2005 rising U.S. deficits, tight monetary policies, and higher oil prices triggered by hurricane damage in the Gulf of Mexico were moderating influences on the world economy and on U.S. stock markets, but some other… …   Universalium

  • France — /frans, frahns/; Fr. /frddahonns/, n. 1. Anatole /ann nann tawl /, (Jacques Anatole Thibault), 1844 1924, French novelist and essayist: Nobel prize 1921. 2. a republic in W Europe. 58,470,421; 212,736 sq. mi. (550,985 sq. km). Cap.: Paris. 3.… …   Universalium

  • Law, Crime, and Law Enforcement — ▪ 2006 Introduction Trials of former heads of state, U.S. Supreme Court rulings on eminent domain and the death penalty, and high profile cases against former executives of large corporations were leading legal and criminal issues in 2005.… …   Universalium

  • Tuvalu — Tuvaluan, adj., n. /tooh veuh looh , tooh vah looh/, n. a parliamentary state consisting of a group of islands in the central Pacific, S of the equator: a former British colony; gained independence 1978. 7000; 10 sq. mi. (26 sq. km). Cap.:… …   Universalium

  • Czech Republic — a republic in central Europe: includes the regions of Bohemia, Moravia, and part of Silesia; formerly part of Czechoslovakia; independent since 1993. 10,318,958; 30,449 sq. mi. (78,864 sq. km). Cap.: Prague. * * * Czech Republic Introduction… …   Universalium

  • Multinational and Regional Organizations — ▪ 2009       In mid November 2008, leaders of the Group of 20 (G 20) major advanced and emerging economies met in Washington, D.C., to discuss the growing global financial crisis. At this summit and at a meeting of G 20 finance ministers held a… …   Universalium

  • September 11 attacks — September 11 attacks …   Wikipedia

  • performing arts — arts or skills that require public performance, as acting, singing, or dancing. [1945 50] * * * ▪ 2009 Introduction Music Classical.       The last vestiges of the Cold War seemed to thaw for a moment on Feb. 26, 2008, when the unfamiliar strains …   Universalium

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.