Effects of Globalisation

Imagine that you need to get a particular textbook for your A-Level studies. You've visited all the local bookstores in your area and have even asked them to call their branches which are further afoot, but the book is unavailable. In times gone past, you would have had to put in an order at your neighbourhood bookstore and wait for it to come in. Now, you can go on Amazon, find a seller that has the same book available, order it and have it delivered to you within a matter of days. In this scenario, you have experienced one of the effects of globalisation. Read on to understand a bit more about its effects. 

Effects of Globalisation Effects of Globalisation

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Table of contents

    Effects of globalisation meaning

    Globalisation dominates today's world and is rooted in neoliberal ideologies and facilitated by trade liberalisation.

    Globalisation refers to the process of increasing economic, political and cultural integration on a global scale.

    It transcends international boundaries and has increased the interdependence of nations, which has created what has been termed a "global village".

    The effects of globalisation relate to the footprint that the manifestation of the process has had on countries. Increasing interconnectedness because of globalisation has, in many ways, been positive and has led to an improvement in the quality of life in many places. On the other hand, globalisation has also had negative outcomes which have been detrimental to society. The effects of globalisation are spatially uneven because it has been speculated that the richer, developed countries generally do not have a genuine interest in increasing global equity. Typically, they adopt only a select number of globalisation policies which affect them positively at the detriment of the poorer, less developed world. In the rest of this explanation, we examine some of both the positive and negative impacts of globalisation.

    Check out our explanation on Globalisation to learn more about this process.

    Positive effects of globalisation

    As previously stated, globalisation has resulted in benefits for the world. Read on to discover more information about these benefits.

    Effects of globalisation on society

    Globalisation has allowed for economic growth, poverty reduction and general development for some countries. It has been estimated that the proportion of people living in extreme poverty in the developing world has declined. There has also been the creation of jobs for unskilled labour in developing nations, which has allowed them to elevate themselves. Economic growth also results in governments putting greater investments into infrastructure and also increases the quality and availability of public services.

    People are able to more easily move around the world due to advancements in technology and thereby utilise their skills in other countries. There has also been the sharing of technology between nations with helps with advancements, particularly in the developing world. In addition, the movement of people increases cultural diversity in nations and makes us more tolerant and open about other cultures. Furthermore, globalisation has caused the emergence of new social movements. This includes groups dedicated to environmental conservation and women's rights, as well as a host of other causes. These movements are global in their scope.

    Effects of globalisation on politics

    In a globalised world, decisions that are taken are done so to the benefit of the wider global population. In addition, the availability of information makes political-type decisions more transparent. Globalisation also ensures that smaller developing countries can unite and work together for their better good. Furthermore, increased interdependency encourages there to be peace and can reduce the risk of invasions. Moreover, the rise of technology and the internet has given the oppressed a voice so that people around the globe know what's happening and can lobby for changes.

    Protests erupted all over Iran after the death of a 22-year-old woman, Mahsa Amini. Amini was arrested by the morality police in Tehran in September 2022 on the accusation of violating Iranian law by not wearing a head covering. It is alleged that she was beaten in the head with a baton by the police. The first set of protests occurred after Amini's funeral when women removed their head coverings in solidarity. Since then, there has been an explosion of protests throughout the country, with women demanding more freedom. These protests include people from all walks of life and age cohorts. People from other parts of the world have also staged their own demonstrations in solidarity with the Iranian people.

    Effects of globalisation Iran solidarity protest Berlin, Germany StudySmarterFig. 1 - Iran solidarity protest, October 2022- Berlin, Germany

    Negative effects of globalisation

    While globalisation can have many positive effects, there are also negative effects associated with globalisation. Let's take a look at them.

    Effects of globalisation on society

    While there have been many societal benefits of globalisation, there have also been negative impacts. Empirical data has shown that globalisation has exacerbated global inequalities, thereby making the rich become richer, and the poor become poorer. In practice, this has meant a concentration of global wealth and power into the hands of the wealthier nations. There has been the creation of long-term winners and losers generally, with the developed world being the winners and the developing world the losers.

    As cultures become more integrated, there is a loss of cultural identity often caused by the imposition of "western ideals" on other nations. The increasing importance of English as the dominant language in which global business is conducted has also resulted in the decreasing use of certain languages, which could ultimately lead to their extinction. The provision of cheap, skilled labour in the developing world puts a lot of persons in the developed world at risk of losing their jobs due to labour outsourcing. Moreover, the need for increased production has resulted in the exploitation of people in sweatshops as well as the use of child labour.

    Effects of globalisation on politics

    On the negative side, globalisation has resulted in a reduction in the sovereignty of nations as they have to heed some internationally made decisions. In addition, it limits states' intervention in aspects such as trade and forces them to follow certain fiscal policies which may not be totally beneficial in order to maintain competitiveness and investments in a globalised world. Furthermore, globalisation has been said to promote the non-democratic functioning of multilateral organisations in that bigger countries usually control decision-making to the detriment of the smaller ones.

    It is claimed that the World Trade Organization (WTO) favours richer countries, especially as it relates to trade disputes. These richer countries typically tend to win any disputes over smaller nations.

    Globalisation has also led to a rise in corruption and tax evasion in many parts of the world.

    Negative effects of globalisation on the environment

    Some of the most significant negative impacts of globalisation have been what the process has done to the environment. In the following sections, we shall examine some of these effects.

    Increased greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions

    Globalisation has resulted in the increased consumption of non-renewable energy sources, which in turn has increased GHG emissions. Goods are currently travelling to further places, causing an increase in fuel consumption and, thereby, GHG emissions for that travel. In fact, the International Transport Forum has predicted that carbon dioxide emissions from transportation will increase by 16% by the year 2050 (compared to 2015 levels)2. In addition, the increased demand for products has caused an increase in the number of factories which burn fossil fuels to produce these products, which also increases GHG emissions. Increased GHG results in global warming and, ultimately, climate change.

    Invasive species

    Increased transport of goods has caused non-local species to go to new locations in shipping containers. Once they get into the ecosystem of the new place, they become invasive species as there will be no predators to control their population. This can cause an imbalance in the ecosystem of the new environment.

    Effects of globalisation Japanese knotweed invasive species in the UK StudySmarterFig. 2 - Japanese knotweed is a major invasive plant in the UK which can suppress the growth of other plants.

    Habitat destruction

    The clearing of land for the building of bridges and roads for transportation as well as to accommodate more agricultural and industrial production to meet growing global demand due to globalisation has contributed to the global loss of many habitats. In addition, the increase in the number of ships at sea has increased the number of oil spills, which degrade marine habitats.

    Deforestation

    Closely related to habitat destruction is deforestation. More and more tracts of forests are being removed to meet increasing global needs. These areas are cleared for logging and for activities such as cattle farming, to name a few. Deforestation has many widespread environmental implications, including but not limited to contributing to global warming, increased flooding and increased land degradation.

    Policies to reduce negative effects of globalisation

    The following is a non-exhaustive list of policies that can be adopted by governments to reduce the negative impacts of globalisation.

    1. Countries should invest in better education and training for workers to adapt to globalisation and the advance of technology.
    2. Investments in new technologies can not only lower costs but also reduce greenhouse gas emissions- e.g. investments in solar or geothermal technology to provide energy.
    3. Developed nations can establish emergency funds for workers who have lost their jobs because of outsourcing as a result of globalisation. An example is the EU's European Globalisation Adjustment Fund.
    4. Implement and enforce strong anti-corruption policies which seek to not only reduce corruption but also find and prosecute offenders.
    5. Develop and implement policies that protect human rights through trade. This can be done by banning the importation and/or exportation of products that violate human rights. The EU, for example, prohibits the import of products manufactured using child labour.

    Effects of globalisation ball produced without child labour StudySmarterFig. 3 - ball imported into the Netherlands from China labelled as not using child labour

    Effects of Globalisation - Key takeaways

    • Globalisation has increased global interconnectedness.
    • Globalisation has been positive by improving the quality of life in many countries.
    • On the other hand, there have been negative impacts of globalisation, such as increased global inequality, increased corruption, loss of jobs and environmental degradation, to name a few.
    • To deal with the negative effects of globalisation, countries can adopt a series of policies aimed at reducing said impacts, including, but not limited to, investing in new technologies, implementing anti-corruption policies and implementing policies that protect human rights.

    References

    1. International Transport Forum (2021) Worldwide transport activity to double, emissions to rise further.
    2. Fig. 1: Iran solidarity protest, October 2022- Berlin, Germany (https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=124486480) by Amir Sarabadani (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Ladsgroup) Licensed by CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en)
    3. Fig. 2: Japanese knotweed is a major invasive plant in the UK which can suppress the growth of other plants (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Japanese_knotweed_(PL)_(31881337434).jpg) by David Short (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Rudolphous) Licensed by CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en)
    4. Fig. 3: ball imported into the Netherlands from China labelled as not using child labour (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:No_child_labour_used_on_this_ball_-_Made_in_China,_Molenlaankwartier,_Rotterdam_(2022)_02.jpg) by Donald Trung Quoc Don (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Donald_Trung) Licensed by CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en)
    Frequently Asked Questions about Effects of Globalisation

    How does globalisation affect developing countries? 

    Globalisation affects developing countries both positively and negatively. It reduces poverty, gives them access to technology, provides jobs, causes them to unite and work together, increases tolerance for other cultures. On the negative side, it turns them into globalisation "losers", increases corruption, erodes their cultural identity, reduces sovereignity and increases the destruction of the environment. 

    What are the effects of globalisation? 

    The effects of globalisation are both positive and negative. They oocur on society, in politics and on the environment. 

    Why are the effects of globalisation be spatially uneven? 

    The effects of globalisation are spatially uneven because the developed world takes advantage of the globalisation polices that allow them to advance while leaving the developing world behind. 

    What are the negative effects of globalisation? 

    The negative effects of globalisation include, greater inequality, increased corruption, reduction in sovereignty erosion of cultural identity and degradation of the environment. 

    What are the positive effects of globalisation? 

    The positive effects of globalisation include economic advancement and the reduction in poverty, creation of jobs, greater access to technology, cultural diversity and tolerance, emergence of new social movements and greater transparency. 

    What are the negative effects of globalisation to our environment? 

    The negative impacts of globalisation to our environment include increased greenhouse gas emissions, habitat destruction, deforestation and increase in invasive species.

    Test your knowledge with multiple choice flashcards

    TRUE or FALSE: Globalisation has resulted in only economic and cultural integration.

    Which of the following statements is FALSE?

    TRUE or FALSE: Globalisation has increased the reach of women's rights movements.

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