Globalization is defined as the integration of people, countries, ideas, and culture. Globalization has allowed a massive expansion of companies and economies. For example, a company that was initially only based in Canada can now open branches in other parts of the world. Globalization is not as black and white as the definition portrays; international laws and punishments guide it. Globalization has both advantages and disadvantages. Apparently, the benefits of globalization outweigh the disadvantages. One major advantage of a globalized world is that it enhances trade, thereby boosting the economies of nations. This essay discusses the driving factors of globalization. In addition, it explains the reasons why globalization occurs.
Drivers of Globalisation
Brown and Ainley (2009) argue that there are three key drivers of globalization; global integration, information and communication technology, and economic expansion. Global integration refers to the way people and countries in the world have formed deep relationships with each other. As Hobsbawm (2008) explains, there are several factors that have enhanced global integration. The first factor is science; science has encouraged global integration by encouraging intermarriages. Since time memorial, scientists have explained that children born out of mixed races and diverse ethnic groups are biologically stronger than those born from parents of the same race or ethnic group. Consequently, many people have traveled the world looking for love. They then end up settling in other areas of the world and raising their families there, thereby interacting with and affecting the cultures they adopt.
Additionally, global integration has been encouraged by terrorism and natural disasters. Kegley and Raymond (2005) explain that trouble and problems bring people together. Terrorists have attacked different parts of the world, while other parts have been crippled by natural disasters, such as drought and floods. Countries and individuals have sent donations to help in such situations, thereby enhancing global integration. For example, Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world. It has faced food shortages due to both drought and floods and people from different parts of the world, including governments often coming together to donate foodstuff when needed.
The second key driver of globalization is information and communication technology (ICT). Balestrini (2014) argues that ICT has helped bring together people from different parts of the world. When discussing ICT, one quickly thinks about social media and the Internet. The Internet has made the world an open space for everyone to participate. People from the furthest corners of the world communicate with each other with ease through social media. Additionally, videos and pictures can be sent with ease via the Internet. Sharing of information can be done with ease as well. For example, on Twitter, one just has to retweet a message, quote, or comment on the message for people to see. The value of the ‘hashtag’ cannot be overstated in the same platform. Hashtags work by showing millions of people the message that has carried that particular hashtag. This makes communication very easy.
Seeck and Rantanen (2015) add that ICT has brought people together because it has also opened up the minds of people. People tend to be more learned today than they were in the earlier civilizations due to the ease of access to information. For example, people can search for the cultures they are most likely going to interact with. In addition, intercultural communication, which has been boosted by ICT, has encouraged people to be more patient with new cultures. This is an important aspect because it enhances peace in such interactions, thereby driving globalization.
The last fundamental factor that enhances globalization is economic expansion. Countries are continually coming up with ways of expanding their economies. Economic blocs have been built to help many countries prosper. For example, the European Union and the African Union are trading blocs. International relations have also allowed countries to come up with policies that encourage globalization. Martens et al. (2015) explain that countries have come together to find ways of regulating the prices of commodities, especially products from countries that depend on exports for economic survival. In the same breath, these policies allow people to work in different countries. For instance, Saudi Arabia hires informal workers from Africa. Migrants from Africa have flooded the streets of the cities in the UAE because they cannot find jobs back home.
This interaction is good for both countries; hiring people from other countries increases the workforce in the country, and more people can pay taxes. Taxes are very crucial in the expansion of an economy. On the other hand, the countries that send their citizens to other countries for work also benefit because the individuals send money back home to their loved ones, thereby increasing foreign remittances. Additionally, many of those who work abroad go back to their country and settle after they have saved enough money. They start businesses that offer employment and boost their local economies.
Other scholars have come up with other drivers of globalization. For example, Vieira (2014) argues that apart from the three factors discussed above, politics have also played a big role in enhancing globalization. The scholar argues that politics allow countries to interact. Thus, other countries will abandon that is constantly in political hostility. In turn, it does not support globalization. Politics also controls international organizations that affect globalization.
For example, politics influence decisions made by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. These two organizations are crucial in globalization because they monitor and control world trade through the borrowing of money. Hobsbawm (2008) also adds that liberalized laws have to be put in place to monitor the relationships and trade between the different countries for globalization to succeed. Such laws would monitor and control how countries can trade, highlight the relationship between a country’s principles and cultures with those of trade, and explain the repercussions for countries that do not comply with the international trade laws.
Reasons Why Globalisation is Occurring
MacDonald et al. (2015) argue that globalization occurs because it is beneficial to organizations and governments. This argument will be broken into two parts to make it more understandable. The first part is that globalization occurs because it benefits organizations. It is true that organizations have grown due to globalization. Not only have organizations expanded to other countries, but many that have gone global have also made big profits. Take, for example, McDonalds and Coca-Cola; the two companies were only operating in the US before the concept of globalization was introduced into the economy. However, they are all over the world today.
As mentioned, globalization also benefits a country because companies invest in the country, thereby boosting their economy. Using the same example of Coca-Cola and McDonalds, the two companies have provided a lot of employment opportunities in the countries, towns, and cities they operate. Hobsbawm (2008) explains that companies generally hire local people to run the business in order to make a profit. There could be some foreigners who represent the company’s headquarters, but a majority of the employees are usually natives. This helps the host country because it lowers unemployment, and the employed people pay taxes. Moreover, the rates of crime also go down the people are busy, thereby encouraging more investors to put up businesses in the country. It suffices to mention that the globalized companies also have to pay taxes, thereby benefiting the host country.
Globalization also occurs because of broken communication barriers (Hobsbawm, 2008). Communication is crucial in all aspects of life, including tourism and trade. Early civilizations used barter trade to get what they needed. Thus, if person A had a goat and wanted rice, then he would go to person B, who would then decide whether he or she wants a goat. If the answer was yes, then the two would exchange commodities. If the answer was no, then they would move on and find something they wanted and exchange whatever they had for it. In the same way, communication and globalization go hand in hand in today’s world.
People use communication in business to express what they want and what they do not want. In addition, communication is used to bargain. One common communication barrier that made the trade difficult was language. People had to communicate using actions and nonverbal cues in the days of barter trade because they would not understand each other. Today, people are encouraged to study international languages that will help them communicate wherever they are. English, Spanish, French, and Arabic are recognized as world languages. Thus, a person can choose to learn one, if not all, of them in order to facilitate movement from one part of the world to another.
In the same vein, globalization is occurring due to liberal international laws. As mentioned, laws have to be put in place for globalization to occur. Vieira (2014) argues that international laws allow countries to trade with each other with ease. A recent example is the xenophobic reactions in South Africa, which are forcing individuals and governments to boycott South African brands that are doing well in other countries. South Africa is one of the most developed countries in Africa. Not only does it have many citizens living and working abroad, but it has also allowed other people from different countries to reside and work in South Africa.
This level of interaction can be perceived as mutual. However, a handful of citizens in the country started killing and chasing people from other countries. Consequently, individuals are boycotting South African brands. It suffices to mention that the international laws are accompanied by some form of punishment for the countries involved. In the example of South Africa, the boycott is meant to act as a form of punishment.
Lastly, globalization is occurring due to the curiosity of man. It can be argued that the first instance of globalization was experienced during tourism. Movement from one country to another led to the scramble and partition of Africa. Right now, more people from other continents are settling in Africa. Further, tourism allows people to see other parts of the world they have never seen, thereby encouraging them to settle in other parts of the world. Once they settle, they invite their families and friends, who may also just decide to settle in the same place.
Business tourism, where people go to other areas of the world purely because of work, has also enhanced globalization. Hobsbawm (2008) adds that education can also be cited as one of the factors that speed up the occurrence of globalization. Students have moved from one country to another, looking for the best type of education. In the same breath, people are taught histories of other countries so that they can understand them better.
In conclusion, globalization has several driving factors. The first is a global integration, which has allowed people to move from one part of the world to another with ease. In the same vein, global integration has promoted peace in intercultural interactions, thereby making globalization a peaceful affair. The second driving factor is ICT. Technology has ensured that people keep in touch, despite the distance between them. Social media has made it easier to access, comment, and share information about other parts of the world. The last crucial driving factor of globalization is economic expansion. Countries are doing everything they can to expand their economies, including attracting investors from other countries. It suffices to mention that globalization occurs due to several reasons. One such reason is the breakdown of communication barriers that would have interfered with the process. Additionally, political goodwill and the existence of international laws that support globalization have also made the whole process of globalization feasible.
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