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Posted on June 8th, 2012, by

The term “globalization”ť is widely used nowadays and has various definitions. The simplest one is ”“ the great movement of people, goods, capital in case of economic integration of different countries (Chossudovsky, 11).

“Globalization is also defined as internationalism; however such usage is typically incorrect as “global”ť implies “one world”ť as a single unit, while “international”ť (between nations) recognizes that different peoples, cultures, languages, nations, borders, economies, and ecosystems exist”ť (Bhagwati, 42).

This exchange of services, goods and cultures is absolutely not a new process for different countries, but recently the rapid development of technologies contributed to fastening of this process. Globalization in reality is rather sophisticated process and thus there are a lot of challenges and difficulties along with opportunities and benefits for various countries. This process is not restricted to some certain countries, but this is important to note, that the process of globalization and the final results of it are closely related to the domestic policies, development of infrastructure and other factors, which are unique for each country.

The term “globalization”ť is already for almost three decades in use, but the height of its popularity was at the end of 1980s beginning of 1990s. Historically, this process is said to start from Portugal in the 16th century. Portugal proved to be the first country to enter the so-called Age of Discovery, spread their colonization over several Atlantic islands, Bartolomeu Dias and Vasco da Gama investigated the new water and new sea ways. This gave wide opportunities of global trade and cultural exchange for the country.

Other bright examples of early globalization are the famous Silk Road from China and the development of trade during the Islamic Golden Age. European trade was growing intensively during the 16th and 17th centuries. Namely in the 17th century this process touched business when the Dutch East India Company was created as the first multinational business organization (Chossudovsky, 34).

The 19th century brought another period, when international trade and investments were developed very quickly; this period is sometimes called “The First Era of Globalization”ť. The major push for this development was the connection between European countries and their colonies. The end of this era is historically marked by the gold standard crisis in 1920s-1930s.

After the World War II business and political leaders felt the need for renewal of globalization process. Aimed at supporting the new wave of globalization development and better control the results of the process some international institutions were created during the Bretton Woods conference; the biggest were the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (the World Bank) and the International Monetary Fund (Lechner, 113).

These steps contributed to reduction of trade costs or even removal of some restrictions on free trade (Lechner, 115).

In this section we can conclude, that the process of globalization, which actually started centuries ago, was first of all the result of high development of domestic resources of the leading countries during different historical periods, which widened their opportunities for development of international integration in various spheres of culture, economy and politics. As it was already mentioned, not all countries could benefit from the process of globalization, there were both advantages and disadvantages that it brought.

Speaking about social and economical costs of globalization it is necessary to mention, that “there are social and economic costs to globalization. Trade liberalization rewards competitive industries and penalises uncompetitive ones, and it requires participating countries to undertake economic restructuring and reform. While this will bring benefits in the long term, there are dislocation costs to grapple with in the immediate term, and the social costs for those affected are high”ť (Hahnel, 81).

Countries with rapid economical growth had certainly better chances for reducing their poverty, as it happened in India and China for example. Importing of the cheaper goods can also make them more accessible and give a push to local productivity. However there are countries with the life level much lower, which doesn’t allow them to get the same advantages of globalization as the richest ones.

There are not only economical, but also social sides of globalization, for example the health care was sufficiently improved due to economic advantages of globalization. One the other hand it brought the spread of human and animal diseases like HIV/AIDS, SARS, birds’ flue and so on between different countries.

Globalization contributed to integration of the efforts of many countries aimed at improving the situation with environment pollution through propaganda and application of less polluting technologies and of substitutes for countries with insufficient natural resources. This could certainly not solve completely the problem of harmful outcomes of the agricultural, mining and fishing industries for environment.

Foundation of the international organizations like World Bank and WTO, which can help a lot in managing the disputes between governments, has positive results of resolution of economic problems, not based purely on the economic power of a separate country, but on concrete unique rules; but it is still not possible to avoid the influence at the institutions of globalization of the stronger economic powers in comparison to the developing ones.

The main political positive outcomes of globalization can be traced in development of the modern communications, resulting in growth of democratic regimes in the whole world. However the fact is, that modern communications also brought knowledge about life in different countries, which was the major cause of migration waves to richer countries ”“ in their turn “richer countries have tightened the barriers against migrant workers, xenophobic fears have increased and people smugglers have exploited vulnerable people”ť (Scholte, 44).

This was only a kind of surface analysis of the advantages and disadvantages brought by the process of globalization to all countries around the world. This is evident ”“ there is a great number of problems, which could be discussed in relation to globalization influence and outcomes, all of them need many-sided and detailed approach.

Overall, in the paper we touched the notion of globalization, the time and the place where it roots from, the main events and circumstances of the historical development of various countries, which supported the progression of globalization, its negative and positive outcomes studied till the moment.

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