Types of Globalisation

Ever heard of the phrase "it's a small world"? Well when taking a look at the political, cultural, economic and technological trends of globalisation, you'll be able to figure out just how small and interconnected the world can be! Within this article, we will explore what globalisation looks like and how it can impact everything from how the global political system functions, to the kind of music you're probably sat listening to right now! 

Types of Globalisation Types of Globalisation

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Table of contents

    Types of Globalisation Earth from space StudySmarterFig. 1 - Earth from space

    To really understand the process and impacts of globalisation, we've got to divide this topic to examine the types of globalisation. These include:

    • Political globalisation

    • Cultural globalisation

    • Economic globalisation

    • Technological globalisation

    • Institutional globalisation

    Just to quickly recap, let's remind ourselves of the definition of globalisation:

    Globalisation

    Globalisation can be described as the process that has led to the relationship between individuals, companies and governments throughout the world becoming interconnected. The aim of globalisation is to increase the connection between the world, to increase its efficiency and productivity and ultimately make a better world for everyone.

    Types of globalisation overview

    As mentioned previously, globalisation includes an increased of interconnected through the world and we will be exploring how this is done through various methods such as; politically, culturally, economically and through technology and institutions. It will be through these examples where we will be exploring ways in which globalisation has taken place and any further efforts to increase globalisation.

    Political globalisation

    Concerns greater cooperation and join action taken by state governments collectively. States work together to tackle large intrastate issues such as climate change or international security. This type of globalisation usually takes place through intergovernmental organisations.

    Cultural globalisation

    Relates to the sharing ideas and values on a global scale. Modern agents of cultural globalisation include the use of the internet to share and swap information and cultural influences which influence our own day-to-day lives.

    Economic globalisation

    Encompasses the interconnected nature of economic systems such as via trading and exchange of resources. This can occur at a state level or amongst private economic actors such as transnational corporations.

    Technological globalisation

    The spread of technological advances across the globe. This is closely connected with economic globalisation, as often private economic actors are responsible of the distribution of technological goods worldwide.

    Institutional globalisation

    A process which mobilises international organisations to share political initiatives, ideas and values. Institutional globalisations often takes place between state governments using organisations such as the United Nations for instance. It is also possible for private economic to play a part in institutional globalisation.

    Examples of types of globalisation

    Let's contextualise what you already know about different types of globalisation using relevant examples.

    Political globalisation

    A major contributor to globalisation is international organisations. Through these institutions, countries are communicate and formulate policies together, this is a form of global governance.

    Global governance: an extensive process of decision making on a wide global scale

    Examples of political globalisation include organisations such the European Union and the United Nations. These types of institutions work together to defeat common dilemmas, such as issues related to climate change and security. Together they come up with policies and treaties to help combat problems and can even go further to create a type of department which focus completely on the particular issue.

    The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change headquartered in Bonn, Germany, came into force on the 21st March 1994 and has been ratified by nearly all countries of the world. The treaty was established to call for ongoing research, meetings and negotiations between different states to maintain the average temperature of the Earth, protect biodiversity and ensure the growth of the world was sustainable.

    This is a key example, as this branch of the United Nation focuses on tackling climate change. They conduct yearly conferences termed as 'Conferences of the Party', which take place annually at a host country. It is within these conferences, methods of tackling climate change are explored whilst also getting an update on progress.

    Features of political globalisation

    We can explore some common key features of these agents of political globalisation:

    1. International bodies: This can be seen with organisations like the World Monuments function. This international non-profit organisation work to together to preserve architecture and heritage around the globe.

    2. Free trade: We can see an increase of single market zones such the European Union, which helps reduce taxes and borders and forms a multi-state economy.

    3. Rise of multinational agreements: A key example is the Paris Agreement which was an agreements signed by over 100 countries to help combat the growing concern of climate change, so these multinational agreements are generally used to tackle common problems.

    4. The concept of global citizen: this is the concepts of individuals being globally aware in regards to: politics, economics, the environment as well as taking on their social responsibility on advocating for all societies1.

    Globalisation and state sovereignty

    When considering the different types of globalisation, it is important to ask the question, how does globalisation impact on state sovereignty?

    Political globalisation

    The UK leaving the EU showcased this, when Brexiters argues, that due to being part of the EU, parliamentary sovereignty was harmed as UK law had to fit in accordance with EU law. Although it can be argued, when fighting wider issues such as sustainability, finding and adopting solutions as a collective will be more beneficial for everyone.

    With military alliances like NATO, an institution which was created in the middle of the cold war. It can be argued that this also decreases sovereignty. As per the policy of NATO, if one member country is attacked, the rest can help them to defend. So as a result, with these policies some may say that states do not have complete sovereignty. The value behind the policies also need to be explored as during the cold war, the use of deterrents were arguably a reason why the war ended. We can therefore, see that there are negatives and positives to this type of political globalisation.

    Deterrent: a method that discourages a state from an action

    Cultural globalisation

    Transnational corporations have been a large contributor to the increase of a shared culture. We can see with brands like McDonald's, which have over 36,000 restaurants in over 100 countries, their bright yellow ‘M’ is easily recognisable.

    Types of Globalisation McDonald's Golden Arches StudySmarterFig. 2 - McDonald's Golden Arches

    The addition of world events like the FIFA World Cup and the Olympics alongside social media has also increased a shared culture around the world. Although it can be argued, this is solely for the reason of creating high profits and taking advantage of worldwide economic developments.

    Transnational corporations

    Transnational corporations (TNC) are companies, usually quite large, that operate in more than one country, for example, Apple and McDonald’s.

    The term "cultural exports' refers to when culture is shared beyond borders, a good example of this is the rise of K-pop. A type of music, which originated in South Korea, which is popular all over the world!

    The idea of cultural globalisation has also been heavily criticised. Some argue that it has caused the world to adopt ‘western’ and ‘American’ policies, and has created the nature to regularly spend and has only encouraged companies such as TNCs to exploit all different types of consumers. Furthermore, it can be argued that this harms a country's personal culture, as it is progressively being lost in newer generations and new cultures and principles that are adopted only benefits the west as they are most like them.

    Economic globalisation

    Like the other factors of globalisation, technology has had an enormous input on economic globalisations. It can be seen with transporting goods via air freight, purchasing on the internet and can even be seen with increasing easiness of sending and receiving money from abroad.

    After the second world war, the Bretton Woods conference brought an idea that would help prevent a major economic collapse that comes as a result of war, especially when they are world wars. In addition, the ideas introduced amid the cold war like the Marshall Plan and Keynesian economics helped increase trade and economic growth through the West. Overall, this has created a large interconnect global economic system, that has interlocked foreign markets and trade.

    It can be said that economics has also become a power move during conflicts. When there is an increase in globalisation and countries take on alliances, opposing sides can use methods of restrictions such as invoking sanctions on a country or specific individuals for the other side to admit defeat.

    The influence of economic globalisation

    Economic globalisation can have a significant influence beyond simply shaping the international economic system. It is important to highlight how it can be utilised to achieve specific political objectives.

    For instance, economic sanctions are a tool which is often utilised to try and effect political change. An example of the use of economic sanctions to influence political change can be seen below.

    The alleged human rights violations against the Uighur population in Xinjiang, China, saw western countries like the US, UK and the European Union impose strict sanctions on China in the hopes of obstructing them. This included freezing assets and the restriction of travel of officials from China's ruling Chinese Communist Party as even banning certain articles from Xinjiang itself.

    However, it is important to note the limitations of economic sanctions. As currently, the effect of these sanctions are yet to be prominent in influencing China to change their policies. This can be account for because China is such a large country, where the vast majority of products sold within the world originate, and most countries are heavily reliant on. It can be hard to enforce severe sanctions that could prevent the import of Chinese products, especially as it the roll over effect will land on the consumer.

    Globalisation of technology

    As mentioned before, the development of technology has heavily contributed to globalisation. It has helped ease issues of speed, cost and finance and this is especially helpful when working on a global scale.

    For example, when buying clothes, a consumer no longer to needs to set time to travel to a retail store and they can now order online, with products delivered to the consumer's doorstep.

    In addition, it has also helped spread information.

    A key example can be seen on January 6th 2021, when thousands of people marched to the US Capitol building, causing severe damage and riots. Videos were posted all over social media which included live streams on platforms such as YouTube and Facebook.

    The rise of individuals opposed to vaccines during the COVID-19 pandemic has also demonstrated and raised the question of the benefits of globalisation through technology.

    Globalisation through institutions

    We have mentioned the role of Transnational corporations within globalisation, but these are not the only institutions that contribute to globalisation. The role of non-state actors has become increasingly prominent within globalisation. After World War Two, the number of intergovernmental organisations steeply rose.

    For example, the United Nations, which was established in 1945 to promote and establish peace within the world, now has more than a single function with the World Health Organisation and the World Trade Organisation. In addition, the rise in non-governmental organisations like the International Committee of the Red Cross has also helped increase globalisation, especially in regards to poverty and human rights.

    Types of Globalisation Map of the United Nations Member States StudySmarterFig. 3 Map of the United Nations Member States

    Types of Globalisation - Key takeaways

    • Globalisation can be described as the process that has led to the relationship between individuals, companies and governments throughout the world becoming interconnected.
    • The aim of globalisation is to increase the connection between the world, to increase its efficiency and productivity and ultimately make a better world for everyone.
    • A major contributor to globalisation is international organisations. Through these institutions, countries are communicating and tend to agree on policies together, this is a form of global governance.
    • TNCs have been a large contributor to the increase of a shared culture and the addition of world events like the FIFA World Cup and the Olympics alongside social media has also increased a shared culture around the world.
    • The idea of cultural globalisation has also been heavily criticised. Some argue that it has caused the world to adopt ‘western’ and ‘American’ policies, and it can be argued that this harms a country's personal culture and principles and only benefits the west.
    • The development of technology has heavily contributed to globalisation. It has helped ease issues of speed, cost and finance and this is especially helpful when working on a global scale.
    • The role of non-state actors has become increasingly prominent within globalisation

      The rise in non-governmental organisations like the International Committee of the Red Cross has also helped increase globalisation, especially in regards to poverty and human rights.


    References

    1. Global Citizenship, United Nations
    2. Fig. 1 - Earth from space with stars (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Earth_from_Space_with_Stars_(6143809369).jpg) by DonkeyHotey (https://www.flickr.com/people/47422005@N04) licenced by CC-BY-2.0 (https://spdx.org/licenses/CC-BY-2.0.html)
    3. Fig. 2 McDonald's (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:McDonalds_(533704195).jpg) by Skhakirov (https://www.flickr.com/people/7615484@N03) licensed by CC-BY-SA-2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en)
    4. Fig. 3 - United Nations (member states) (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:United_Nations_(Member_States).svg) by M. Bitton (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User_talk:M.Bitton) licensed by CC-BY-SA-4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en)
    Frequently Asked Questions about Types of Globalisation

    What are the different types of globalisation?

    Political globalisation, cultural globalisation, economic globalisation, technological globalisation and institutional globalisation.

    What are the 5 main types of globalisation? 

    Political globalisation, cultural globalisation, economic globalisation, technological globalisation and institutional globalisation.

    What is political globalisation?

    Political globalisation can be seen within international organisation that communicate and tend to agree on policies together, this is a form of global governance.

    How many types of globalisation are there? 

    5 including: political globalisation, cultural globalisation, economic globalisation, technological globalisation and institutional globalisation 

    What are examples of political globalisation? 

    The United Nations and the European Union

    Test your knowledge with multiple choice flashcards

    What is an example of a TNC?

    What has helped cultural globalisation?

    What type of globalisation does NATO help?

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