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The Nature of Globalization Fachhochschule Coburg, 2005. Main strands of the globalization process. Increasing and deepening interconnectedness of societies in different parts of the world Almost unimpeded flows of financial capital, news and cultural images across the world
G means the increasing transnationalization of the world economy that has come about the second half of the 20th century as a result of advances in technology and the adoption of an individualistic market ethic.
Transnational (global) economy has replaced national economies in a ´borderless´ world, free of national constraints.
A post-1945 process, the result of the new technologies in transport and telecommunications that made capital and markets far more mobile than before
Faciliated by an enabling ideology – aggressive individualism – which stressed private enterprise at the expense of state protection and provision
Technology, particularly telecommunications and computers
National borders are meaningless for financial markets and trade. Wriston: ‘Markets are no longer geographical locations, but data on a screen transmitted from everywhere in the world.’
Technological and economic aspects of globalization are primary and determinant of the political and the cultural.
Globalization has certain economic, political and social imperatives
In the economic domain:
It demands that labour costs be low, that management styles be mean and lean and that state expenditure be reduced to encourage enterprise and national competitiveness.
the changes to the economy, the polity and culture are seen as beneficial to all in the world
Globalization is an irresistible process
The very idea of a national economy becomes meaningless, as are notions of a national corporation, national capital, national products, and national technology. (Reich,1999)
G ‘is not a condition or phenomenon; it is a process’.
‘If imperialism is the latest stage of capitalism, globalism is the latest stage of imperialism’.
G has its origins in the beginnings of capitalism in Western Europe, it has gained speed and momentum during the post-war period
Two different levels
at the basic level – the logic of capitalism – its inherent tendency to expand, to intensify and to involve all aspects of life.
at the secondary level – the current financial, production and consumption arrangements of the world system become DF for a globalized world-system.
are, at best, negative and, at worst, destructive, both in the short term and the long term.
G is set to continue in the foreseeable future with increasing undesirable consequences for most of the world’s population in terms of exploitation, poverty, environmental destruction and social breakdown.
G is a long, multifaceted process, with diverse, at times conflicting, effects, with an assured future but whose future form is not possible to predict.
G as a concept refers both to the compression of the world and the intensification of consciousness of the world as a whole. (Robertson, 1992)
Some trace the process of world interconnectedness back to ancient times.
G gained momentum from the 1960s onwards because of technological changes, the political decisions concerning free trade and capital flows and the colapse of the Soviet Union.
DF behind G are diverse: they include technology, capitalist production, political forces, and ideology. They are of equal power.
Though ‘the world is undergoing a process of ever-increasing interconnectedness and interdependence’(Axford,1995), it does not mean that local influences disappear from people’s lives.
People are seen as active ‘reflexive’ agents that respond thinkingly to the globalizing influences that come their way.
G does not mean westernization. There is a dialectic relationship between the global and the local.
‘The world economy is being systematically globalized, but by a process which is neither homogenizing nor symmetrical.
G is neither good nor bad. It spreads technology, economic growth and democracy; it also spreads crime, AIDS and environmental destruction.
G will probably intensify in the future. It will continue to be both a unifying and a fragmenting process; a homogenizing and a liberating force.
This approach is essentially a reaction against the views of the first group of writers – a rejection of the view of a borderless world where markets operate on a transnational basis and where nation-states become obsolete.
They accept the increasing internationalization of the economy but they reject the claim that it has been transnationalized already.
1. They argue that extreme views are based on statistics with short-time horizons.
3. the free migration of labour has not happened
4. governments have always been subject to constraints by both internal and external forces – it does not mean total paralysis of state power.
5. g in its extreme form has been used as an ideological tool to convey the message that governments and people should accept the neoliberal approach to the economy and the welfare state.