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Globalization is an inevitable phenomenon in human history which is bringing the world closer together through the exchange of goods and products, information, knowledge and culture. Over the last few decades, the pace of this global integration has become much faster and dramatic because of unprecedented advancements in technology, communications, science, transport and industry.
While globalization is a catalyst for and a consequence of human progress, it is also a messy process that requires adjustment and creates significant challenges and problems. This rapid pace of change can be unsettling and most societies want to control or manage it, something which can only go wrong — if at all, globalization can only be managed and controlled by the international community i.e. together it is possible to not just face the challenges involved with globalization but also manage them.
Globalization can be described as a process by which the people of
the world are unified into a single society. This process is a
combination of economic, ecological, technological, sociocultural and
political forces.
      — Markus Gattol

Or in short: Globalization is the growing integration of economies and societies around the world.
Globalization has sparked one of the most highly charged debates of the past decade. When people criticize the effects of globalization, they generally refer to economic integration. Economic integration occurs when countries lower barriers such as import tariffs and open their economies up to investment and trade with the rest of the world. These critics complain that inequalities in the current global trading system hurt developing countries at the benefit of developed countries.
On the other side are the supporters of globalization who say that countries like China, India, Uganda and Vietnam, all of which have opened up itself to the world economy, have significantly reduced poverty.
Money can't buy happiness,but neither can poverty.(Leo Rosten (1908 - )
Critics argue that the process has exploited people in developing countries, caused massive disruptions and produced few benefits. But for all countries to be able to reap the benefits of globalization, the international community must continue working to reduce distortions in international trade (e.g. cutting agricultural subsidies and lifting trade barriers) that favor developed countries and to create a better (read fair and more efficient) system.

Countries who have benefited from Globalization

  • China: Reform led to the largest poverty reduction in history. The number of rural poor fell from 250 million in 1978 to 34 million in 1999.
  • India: Cut its poverty rate in half in the past two decades.
  • Uganda: Poverty fell 40% during the 1990s and school enrollments doubled.
  • Vietnam: Surveys of the country's poorest households show 98% of people improved their living conditions in the 1990s. The government conducted a household survey at the beginning of reforms and went back 6 years later to the same households and found impressive reductions in poverty. People had more food to eat and children were attending secondary school. Trade liberalization was one factor among many that contributed to Vietnam's success. The country cut poverty in half in a decade. Economic integration raised the prices for the products of poor farmers (e.g. rice, fish, cashews) and also created large numbers of factory jobs in footwear and garments, jobs that paid a lot more than existing opportunities in Vietnam.

Countries who have NOT benefited from Globalization

  • Many countries in Africa have failed to share in the gains of globalization. Their exports have remained confined to a narrow range of primary commodities.
  • Some experts suggest poor policies and infrastructure, weak institutions and corrupt governance have marginalized some countries.
  • Other experts believe that geographical and climatic disadvantage have locked some countries out of global growth. For example, land-locked countries may find it hard to compete in global manufacturing and service markets.
Other effects and changes caused by globalization are
  • enhancement in the information flow between geographically remote locations
  • the global common market has a freedom of exchange of goods and capital
  • there is a broad access to a range of goods for consumers and companies
  • worldwide production markets emerge
  • free circulation of people of different nations leads to social benefits
  • global environmental problems like cross-boundary pollution, overfishing on oceans, climate changes are solved by discussions
  • more transborder data flow using communication satellites, the Internet, wireless telephones etc.
  • international criminal courts and international justice movements are launched
  • the standards applied globally like patents, copyright laws and world trade agreements increase
  • corporate, national and subnational borrowers have better access to external finance
  • worldwide financial markets emerge
  • multiculturalism spreads as there is individual access to cultural diversity but at the same time this diversity decreases due to hybridization or assimilation
  • international travel and tourism increases
  • worldwide sporting events like the Olympic Games and the FIFA World Cup are held
  • enhancement in worldwide fads and pop culture
  • local consumer products are exported to other countries
  • immigration between countries increases
  • cross-cultural contacts grow and cultural diffusion takes place
  • there is an increase in the desire to use foreign ideas and products, adopt new practices and technologies and be a part of world culture
  • free trade zones are formed having less or no tariffs
  • due to development of containerization for ocean shipping, the transportation costs are reduced
  • subsidies for local businesses decrease
  • capital controls reduce or vanquish
  • there is supranational recognition of intellectual property restrictions i.e. patents authorized by one country are recognized in another

Pros and Cons

Globalization can be win-win for developing and developed countries alike. Populations are aging in the developed countries, but it is there where they have a lot of capital and technology. Developing countries have large and young populations and need to create massive numbers of jobs over the next few decades.
Globalization can benefit both, developed and developing countries if it supports the movement of capital and technology to developing countries and the movement of labor to the developed world. This will not be easy, of course, but the key to successful integration will lie with creating appropriate institutions and policies.
On the whole, we live in a much more integrated world as a result of technological advances in transportation and communications such as the Internet. For example, a natural disaster such as the Asian tsunami is quickly known all around the world and people from far away send help. So, integration has created more of a global community that did not exist in the past, we are about to become one people.

So, are there significant downsides to globalization or is it just a matter of perception and left-party lobbying when they say things like that? Is globalization going to improve a lot of things for a lot of people or is it quite the opposite? And what about nature and everything aside humans?
As mostly, it depends on who you ask but one thing remains true... whoever we ask about globalization can just provide a biased statement, his very personal point of view on the matter, so let us have a common look at it:

Downside of Globalization

  • it is true that Europeans/Americans are losing jobs right now and that is posing a problem for them since the companies are outsourcing work to the Asian countries since the cost of labor is low and profits for companies are considerably higher if they do.
  • there is immense pressure on the employed Europeans/Americans who are always under the threat of the business being outsourced.
  • businesses are building up units in other countries equally well equipped as they have done at their own country, thus transferring the quality to other countries.
  • there are some experts who think that globalization, along with the positive aspects, is also leading to the incursion of negatives like communicable diseases and social degeneration.
  • There is also a threat of businesses ruling the world because there is a lot of power, which is invested in them due to globalization.
  • countries which are at the receiver's end are also giving up the reins in the ends of a foreign company which might again lead to some sophisticated form of colonization.
  • before we see improvements with regards to impacts on nature, we are probably going to see two more decades of increased pollution and hurtful behavior towards nature and wildlife.
  • the elderly and uneducated may never benefit from globalization simply because everything is getting more competitive — which is good from the point of view of a species (remember the Starship Enterprise example from above) but maybe bad for the individual.
  • changes are happening more quickly and if they do, they are more radical in nature — a society of ~7 billion people will naturally create more changes more quickly compared to a society which is just a fraction in size.
  • some say linguistic, cultural and traditional genocide is going to happen. At some point in the future there might be just one language/culture left. Globalization is not only modernizing but also westernizing and to an extent also sinicizing native cultures.

Positive Aspects about Globalization

  • goods and people are transported with more easiness and speed
  • the possibility of war between the developed countries decreases
  • free trade between countries increases
  • global mass media connects all the people in the world
  • as the cultural barriers reduce, the global village dream becomes more realistic
  • there is a propagation of democratic ideals
  • the interdependence of the nation-states increases
  • as the liquidity of capital increases, developed countries can invest in developing ones
  • the flexibility of businesses to operate across borders increases
  • the communication between individuals and businesses in the world increases
  • environmental protection in developed countries increases
  • more opportunities now that there is a global market for businesses and for individuals (think of knowledge/skills as a product)
  • there is more access to products of different countries, more choice
  • there is a steady cash flow into the developing world, which gradually decrease the currency gap and therefore strengthens purchasing power in the developing world which also translates in growing economies in developed countries
  • due to the presence of a worldwide market, there is an increase in the production sector and there are more options for businesses now
  • gradually there is a world power that is being created instead of compartmentalized power sectors. Politics is merging and decisions that are being taken, are actually beneficial for individuals all over the world
  • there is more influx of information between two countries, which do not have anything in common between them
  • there is cultural intermingling and everybody is now trying to know about the other's cultural preferences and in the process of doing so, we are actually coming across things that we like and in the course of time adopt it plus, things we like, we do not destroy/harm. So, this mere fact is somewhat assuring peace.
  • since we share financial interests, businesses and governments are trying to sort out ecological problems for each other — for the same reasons, aggression, maybe even war, does not come as an option anymore since it certainly backfires politically and economically.
  • socially we have become more open and tolerant towards each other and they who live in the other part of the world are not aliens as we always thought. There are examples, like now Indian girls work in call centers and work nights, which was a taboo even two years ago. We are celebrating Valentine's Day, scraping on Orkut, watching the Idol series, Fear factor, the Indian version Big Brother.
  • there is a lot of technological development that we have undergone over the years. There are fewer brain drains since Asians are working in their own country though for a foreign company but are earning foreign exchange for their country.
  • traveling has become a lot easier and cheaper, a trend that is going to continue because of free markets.
  • working abroad has become more common and easier, I would even say not doing it will soon become a huge drawback for employees. Nowadays what companies expect is not just a good record of accomplishments, good education and social skills but also cultural skills and understanding which comes with traveling and working abroad.
  • working habits changed a lot during the last decade — now teams are spread across the globe and thus need to use appropriate tools (MUC (Multi User Chat), mailing lists, etc.) to coordinate themselves. I figured having changed working habits is a benefit (at least to my lifestyle) since I can make use of collaboration tools that I am used to anyway but now every body else seems to have caught up, love it!
  • life is more colorful in general, like what and where do you eat next week? What do you wear, what kinds of things are you going to see? Two or so decades ago one might have had a pretty good idea about it, these days, could be anything everywhere. I like that!
Information from Website of MARKUS GATTOL @

A Global Education Declaration

A Declaration of the Value of Global Education
Presented at the 2013 Global Education Conference

Because we are citizens of our individual nations and also part of a larger human family;
Because it is important to learn about other cultures and to understand the similarities that unite us and the differences that define us;
Because global understanding, empathy, and compassion depend and are built on communication, shared experiences, and relationships;
Because we increasingly live in a "global village";
Because we increasingly work in geographically and culturally interconnected ways;
Because we are interconnected physically and our ecological and resource-use decisions impact others;
Because we share a world which appears to be increasingly fragile;
Because complex worldwide problems need collaborative, cooperative, and intelligent solutions;
Because wars, conflicts, abuse, slavery, misinformation, and other forms of oppression both exist and also exert powerful influences;
Because we live in a world that is increasingly "flat" and where Internet technologies have dramatically increased the global connectedness of individuals and cultures;
Because creation and sharing technologies of the Internet and the Web dramatically shift personal and community capacity;
Because the world increasingly is our classroom;
We affirm the universal and inherent worth of every child;
We affirm the deep importance of supporting learning opportunities for all people generally;
We affirm especially the importance of providing wholesome and healthy learning opportunities for all children;
We affirm the need to support the variety and uniqueness of learners, teachers, cultures, and circumstances;
We affirm the importance of independent intellectual inquiry and thought;
We affirm the value of connective technologies and their ability to provide broader learning and thinking experiences;
We affirm the individual, cultural, and worldwide benefits of students learning about, from, and with peoples from around the world;
We declare the critical importance of helping our students, teachers, administrators, parents, and all others to connect globally and to learn from each other; we express appreciation for those who provide opportunities for such global learning activities; and we devote ourselves to furthering the cause of global education.