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Globalization is a way to be global, worldwide, international, intercontinental. While internationalization has inclined to refer to the process, today globalization has become identified with a number of trends, most of which have been particularly evident in the period since World War II. These include:

Many of these trends are seen as positive by supporters of various forms of globalization, and in many cases globalization has been actively promoted by governments and others. For example, there are economic arguments such as the theory of comparative advantage suggesting that free trade leads to a more efficient allocation of resources, with all those involved in the trade benefitting.

Barriers to international trade have been considerably lowered since World War II through international organizations such as the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. Particular initiatives carried out through the GATT and its successor organization, the World Trade Organisation have included:

  • Promotion of free trade
  • Intellectual Property Restrictions
    • Harmonization of intellectual property laws across nations (generally speaking, with more restrictions)
    • Supranational recognition of intellectual property restrictions (e.g. patents granted by China would be recognized in the US)

Various aspects of globalization are seen as harmful by the Anti-globalization movement, a loose conglomeration of various protest movements.

Globalization in question

There is much academic discussion about whether globalization is a real phenomenon or only a myth. Although the term is widespread, many authors argue that the characteristics of the phenomenon have already been seen at other moments in history. Also, many note that those features that make people believe we are in a globalization process, including the increase in international trade and the greater role of multinational corporations, are not as deeply established as they first appear. Thus, many authors prefer the use of the term internationalization rather then globalization. To put it simply, the main difference between them is that with internationalization, the role of the state and the importance of nations are greater. That is, globalization is deeper than internationalization. So, these authors see that the frontiers of countries, in a broad sense, are far from being dissolved, and therefore this radical globalization process is not yet happening, and probably won't happen, considering that in world history, internationalization never turned into globalization.

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