Globalization The Exploration of Political, Economic and Cultural Globalization
What is Globalization?
Is it the integration of economic, political, and cultural systems across the globe? Or is it Americanization and United States dominance of world affairs? Is globalization a force for economic growth, prosperity, and democratic freedom? Or is it a force for environmental devastation, exploitation of the developing world, and suppression of human rights?
Political Globalization "The world is shrinking - interdependencies run rampant - so much so that I now call it an ' intimate' world" - Ted Stalets
Since the end of the cold war and the dismantling of the Berlin wall, we have witnessed the emergence of something that could be called political globalization. The cold war can be regarded as the last great global clash between the nation states of the USSR and the USA. The end of this cold war marked the end of an era when the ultimate threat of war between states determined international relations. We have entered new territory - and are past the old paradigm of war between nations.September 11, 2001 demonstrated only too graphically that we live in an interdependent world, where a superpower like the US cannot maintain security merely through the protection of its borders, and where nation states like Lebanon can no longer control what happens within their borders. ﾊ Today nation states are still important, but they function in a world shaped less by military power than by complex political processes involving international institutions, multinational corporations, citizens' groups and, indeed, fundamentalists and terrorists--in short, global politics.To me the emergence of a global politic is a "no brainer". ﾊ Whether it might be lead from an organization like the United Nations is anybody's guess. ﾊ World law and world politics have both not kept up with world economics - which to me is the main driver of political globalization.
For more information: http://www.politicalglobalization.com/
Economic Globalization Trade Flows
International trade is the cross-border trade in goods and services. It is measured by the sum of imports and exports, divided by the GDP of a national economy. The growth of international trade is a straightforward indication of economic globalization. When US residents, for example, read labels on their clothes showing they are made in China, Malaysia or Mexico, or decide to purchase a car made in South Korea, their sense of global connectedness is immediate.
Investment is the conversion of money into some form of property from which an income or profit is expected to be derived. Foreign direct investments (FDI) are flows of money into a country that purchase a lasting stake in an enterprise for a foreign investor. These investments are direct in the sense that the investor purchases ownership rights in a specific company, rather than in a portfolio of stocks held by a broker, say. FDI does not include short-term investments, portfolio investments or currency flows.
Foreign Direct Investment is an indication of growing transnational ownership of production assets. It is a leading edge of economic globalization in the sense that increasing foreign ownership of productive may give direct influence over livelihoods and production. Foreign investment has often been an important avenue for the transfer of skills and technology. At the same time, foreign investment puts workers under foreign control, and leads to foreign appropriation of profits.
For information on global patterns of trade and trade flows: http://ucatlas.ucsc.edu/trade/trade_theme.php
Cultural Globalization is a phenomenon by which the experience of everyday life, as influenced by the diffusion of commodities and ideas, reflects a standardization of cultural expressions around the world. Propelled by the efficiency or appeal of wireless communications, electronic commerce , popular culture, and international travel, globalization has been seen as a trend toward homogeneity that will eventually make human experience everywhere essentially the same. Although homogenizing influences do indeed exist, they are far from creating anything akin to a single world culture. Culture is defined as patterns of human activity and the symbols that give these activities significance. Culture is what people eat, how they dress, beliefs they hold, and activities they practice. Globalization has joined different cultures and made it into something different.
One powerful source has blown down cultural boundaries around the entire world. What is this influential tool? It is the Internet and its endless margin of discovery. With the Internet people can easily access someone half way across the world. They could converse with someone living a completely different lifestyle yet still have something in common, the Internet. If language is a barrier then a website like Flickr, a photo sharing site, lets people from Singapore and Germany alike communicate without words. The Internet in essence makes the world a smaller place.
One classic culture aspect is food. Someone in America can be eating Japanese noodles for lunch while someone in Sydney Australia is eating classic Italian meatballs. India is known for their curry and exotic spices. Paris is known for its smelly cheeses. America is known for its burgers and fries.
McDonalds was once an American favorite with its cheery mascot, Ronald, red and yellow theme, and greasy fast food. Now it is a global enterprise with 31,000 locations worldwide with locations in Kuwait, Egypt, and Malta. This restaurant is just one example of food going big on the global scale.
Meditation has been a sacred practice for centuries in Indian culture. It calms the body and helps one connect to their inner being while shying away from their conditioned self. Before globalization Americans did not meditate or crunch their bodies into knots on a yoga mat. After globalization this is a common practice, it is even considered a chic way to keep your body in shape. Some people are even traveling to India to get the full experience themselves.