An Historical Review
Chapter 9: Reflections on Globalization
9. Reﬂections on globalisation Globalisation – the buzzword of our age – is a hot topic of debate and controversy among academics, politicians and in the media, which started with the collapse of the Soviet system in 1989. Globalisation, in its economic aspects, refers to cross-border economic integration characterised by increases in ﬂows of goods, capital, and information, as well as labour mobility among countries. As an active global force it is multidimensional and wide ranging and by no means limited to the economic sphere. Apart from its connection with increased international trade and capital ﬂows, globalisation refers also to the increasing speed, ease and extent with which technologies, people, cultures and ideas now cross national borders. It is altering the lives of people across the globe and aﬀecting their culture and values, producing in its wake what some refer to as a ‘global culture’. In this chapter we deal only with the economic aspects. Globalisation is condemned by some as a destroyer of jobs and industrial communities in the developed countries and hailed by others as the biggest chance for poor countries to lift themselves out of poverty. Arguing whether globalisation is ‘good’ or ‘bad’ is now seen as irrelevant, although it is the value judgement that, no doubt, provides the ideological prism through which observers appraise the issue. Diﬀerent vantage points on globalisation, even by economists, account for diﬀerences in perception concerning the salient features of the phenomenon. Some writers say there is now a ‘consensus’...
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