The Globalization The Concept

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The Introduction:

 The word "globalization" simply means anything becoming global. It can further be defined as the process involved in any local phenomenon transforming into a global one. There is a progression either sequential or abrupt of a movement from the local space to the global space.

 The Meaning:

The integration of any aspect of the local human life like the economy into the global life like the global economy may safely be called the globalization.

 The Description:

From a purely geographical  perspective , the process or the phenomenon  of the globalization can broadly be divided in the following two types:

  1. The Physical.
  2. The Non Physical/Human

 1.The Physical Globalization:

This involves the movement of the physical entity from one space point to the other space point on the globe. In other words, it is a spatial spread, over the earth, of such physical entity as the continent, etc. It can take place on , above or beneath the surface of the earth . It has been continuing for aeons .

For example, the single mass of the continent called Pangaea broke into numerous parts which in turn became global in movement and started moving towards different global space points.

 2.The Non Physical/Human Globalization:

This simply means the globalization of any human phenomenon like the social, economic, political, etc.

2.The Force:

A. The External:

The External force may cause the globalization to be accepted by any political area such as a nation- State. For example, in case of the economic globalization , the international pressure put by more developing countries through numerous international nstruments like the International Monetary Fund , the World Bank , the Asian Development Bank and other various forms of international assistance. This factor forces a country to restructure its economy and jump into the international mainstream of the globalization.

B. The Internal:

The Internal force may make a political area to agree to the globalization. In the case of the economic globalisation, this force includes the deteriorating internal economic situation and a balance of payment (BOP) crisis on account of the huge international trade deficit.

For example, India initiated the economic reforms in 1991 leading to its becoming an active part of the globalization. Some economists opine that the external pressure from the GATT and the WTO was responsible for it. A second group contends that it was not the GATT or the WTO pressure, but the desire to increase the consumer welfare and reduce the inefficiency of home producers that actually had made India embrace the globalization.

However, to my mind the harsh truth is that India had an unfavourable balance of payment (BOP) situation in 1991 as reflected in the then Chandrashekhar government having mortgaged 47 tonnes of gold to the Bank of England and 20 tonnes of gold to the Union Bank of Switzerland to get $ 600 million in view of the then Indian forex reserves having been sufficient only for just 3 weeks of payment, that in reality encouraged, convinced, persuaded and forced India to accept the globalization so as to earn the sufficient foreign exchange through an increased access to the world markets in return for opening to the foreigners the Indian market.

The fact of the BOP crisis having caused India to embrace the globalization was duly mentioned in the October, 2003, second edition of my book 'Geography, Economics and Economic Geography'.

 3.The Dimensions:

The globalization shows numerous spatial/temporal dimensions/aspects/faces like the economic, political , social, cultural and ethical.

The economic dimension is seen in the increased international trade amongst the countries.

The social dimension is reflected in the increased people to people contact due to the lowered border barrier and the increased Internet access.

The political dimension is witnessed in the increased cooperation amongst the countries which was absent earlier due to a difference in the political ideologies. For example, the globalisation has forced the communist China to interact in a more friendly manner with the capitalist USA .

The cultural/ethical dimension is visible in the MNCs showing a much greater respect for the local cultural/ethical practices in the foreign markets so as to maintain and increase their share in these foreign markets.

It has both a positive and a negative dimension in terms of its benefits and harms to the world citizens.

The world trade bodies like the WTO and the EU best represent the process of the globalization and its dimensions. The economic journalist Swaminathan S Anklesaria Aiyar is of the firm view that 8 rounds of the global tariff cuts under the WTO and the GATT has caused the emergence of the fastest economic growth in the human history.

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