Globalization is the process of interaction and integration of different parts of the world. Modern modes of communication, international travel, and cross-border trade have contributed to globalization, especially within the cultural, economic, and political spheres.
Even though the term “globalization” did not become popular until the 1980s, globalization has existed since ancient times. One example is the globalization of Greek culture through the expansion of Alexander the Great’s (356-323 B.C.) empire.
In the 19th century, industrialization accelerated globalization as more mechanical mills and factories were established. These institutions used raw materials from distant lands and sold goods in foreign countries, thereby integrating the world economy and making countries more dependent on each other.
In the 20th century, globalization gained momentum with the proliferation of air travel, the spreading of free trade, and the beginning of the Information Age. These three factors have instigated many of the fundamental changes observed today.
Information technology, particularly the internet, has globalized modern popular culture. In connecting people online, it has, for instance, standardized people’s attire and food preferences. As a result, it has become common for people to wear suits for formal occasions and jeans for informal events. Meanwhile, American fast-food chains (such as McDonald’s) are so ubiquitous that people today can find one wherever they go.
The international economy has also become increasingly globalized in recent years. As cross-border trade flourished alongside industrialization, the countries became more intertwined. The removal of trade barriers through free trade agreements only intensified this phenomenon. Additionally, economic globalization led to outsourcing, as companies based in the West relocated their factories and jobs to less developed countries to lower production costs. However, this increased economic interdependence meant that economic downturns (such as the 2007-2008 financial crisis) in one country impacted other countries.
The globalization of popular culture and the economy has also connected countries in the political sphere. The emergence of global concerns has necessitated individual governments to collaborate on a political level. Increasing international crime, for instance, led to the establishment of the International Criminal Court in 2002 to enforce international law. Pressing global issues like climate change have induced governments to discuss them at high-profile international conferences such as the Conference of the Parties (COP).
Seohyun Park Staff Reporter
1. What happened in the 19th century? How did industrialization accelerate globalization?
2. How has information technology globalized modern popular culture?
3. How has the international economy become increasingly globalized in recent years?
4. How has globalization connected countries in the political sphere?
1. What is globalization? What do you think are the causes of globalization?
2. Has globalization influenced the way you live? Explain.
3. What are some negative effects of globalization? Explain.
4. What are some other issues of global concern?