The process of globalisation
In this chapter:
Globalisation is a term used to describe the removal of borders for the international expansion of markets
The process of globalisation is not new; European countries colonised continents several hundred years ago
The rate of globalisation has been increased by new international standards, improved technologies and the lifting of trade restrictions
Globalisation can be divided into four different components: participants, markets, rules and equipment
It has not always been possible to wear American-branded clothing, eat foreign food at a local restaurant or see a movie made in England; all whilst living in Australia. It is the force of globalisation that has allowed such activities to become commonplace across the world.
What is globalisation?
Globalisation is a broad term which is often used to describe the way that the cultural, political, technological and economic domains of countries are rapidly expanding outside of their own nations and on to an international level. Advances in technology have meant that people, companies and nations are no longer restricted by national borders and geographical distance. The world is more closely connected and, as a result, it is often thought to be a 'smaller place'.
For much less than it has cost in the past, new communication technology has allowed people to instantly contact friends and family on the other side of the world through a variety of media, including text messages, telephones, facsimile machines, web cameras and instant messaging.
The process of globalisation
During the late 20th century, globalisation rapidly expanded to resemble the form which it is commonly known as today. Some suggest, however, that since the process of globalisation results in the world becoming increasingly integrated, then it must have existed since the beginning of man.
The process of globalisation is said to have existed at least several hundred years ago. Evidence to support this rests on the knowledge that, around that time, European countries began to expand and colonise the continents of Australia, Africa, North America and South America.
Towards the end of the 19th century, world trade and investment experienced rapid expansion. The world was further united when the Gregorian calendar was adopted. The International Date Line, Prime Meridian and world time zones were also established at that time. International standards were also devised in the areas of telegraphy and signalling.
The characteristics of globalisation
Globalisation can be divided into four different components: participants, markets, rules and equipment.
Trade negotiations were originally made solely between colonies or countries. In recent times, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) has enforced the rules and settled disputes over the global trading system. It oversees agreements which have international legal status and therefore has a degree of power over national governments. Large transnational companies also have an increasing amount of power as their financial capacity exceeds that of some nations.