Define globalisation:

  • Process which previously unconnected isolated nations have become interconnected

  • The result of which is that regions of the world and people who live there now influence one another

  • Multi-faceted includes economical, political and cultural aspects

Causes of globalisation:

  • Economic development, new transport tech makes moveming good cheaper and cost effective

  • Political factors have sped this advancement up; EU, UN, IGO and the end of the cold war

  • Socioculturally internet has transformed access to knowledge and interaction and satellite communication

The evidence for globalisation:


  • There is now a fully integrated global economy

    • There is a spread of capitalism around the world in the form of free markets. Even communist style communities are emerging in the free global market away from state controlled economy. For instance China and Vietnam now allow capitalist business. Because of structural adjustment programmes some countries are forced to put the market into state owned area’s like public water and energy.

    • There is a growth of Transnational corporations (TNC’s) like Unilever, Nestle, and Sony

    • Finance and money markets are becoming globalised, financial events which happen on the other side of the world affects us directly. For example, the credit crunch of 2008 spread from economy to economy.

    • We are becoming increasingly aware that how we change our lifestyle and our economic spending choices affect people globally and can cause unemployment debt and the loss of jobs for workers all over the world. For instance Vietnam relies on heavy Coffee exports with a majority employed in this industry, if the west stops drinking coffee and goes onto other life style means, then they loose out.

    • Transformation of how goods are sold and produced

    • Supply chains are much more complex with different components being produced in different parts of the world.

    • Growth of corporations and relative autonomy means they are dislocated from nation state.


  • With the spread of capitalism across the world writers think that liberal democracies will follow. There are more liberal democracies and less dictatorships.

  • Nation-states and local political structures are becoming less important than TNC’s and global political structures like the EU.

  • Having free and fair elections is often required before Aid can be given to a country.

  • There are more and more problems in the world which can increasingly not be dealt with alone as a nation-state like climate change, terrorism, the power of TNC’s and refugee’s.

  • International organisations like the UN and the EU are being allowed powers over individual nation-states because of the increased need for global decision making.

  • Social movements can now operate across several nations. These social ‘actors’ include Greenpeace, Red Cross and Amnesty international

  • Power has come to individuals in what to boycott or what to buy. Starbucks boycott


  • There has been a spread of American consumer culture; Mcdonalds, Coca Cola, fast-food and clothes are examples. But also there has been a spread of religion

  • We are more connection; mobiles, tablets, internet, phones, flights and other travel services.

  • 'Mcworld’ western cultural becomes dominant and destroys other cultures;

  • People are returning to local cultural aspects

  • Much more diversity

  • Interpersonal networks, facebook and bebo

  • Increasing sense of homogeneity (sense of similarity), as a result of artefacts crossing boarders. Like the sharing foods, Indian take always and Chinese.

The theories of globalisation:

McGrew (2000)says that there are 3 theoretical perspectives:

  • Neo-Liberals (positive globalists)

    • The global market is the result of a global spread of Free market Capitalism. Global free markets lead to economic growth, the eradication of poverty and a spread of democracy around the world. Countries which are embracing the free market are the countries which are developing now; like India and China. The wealth produced by the effects of a global free market; entrepreneurs; will trickle down to the rest of the country. Cultural globalisation includes the spread of western values.

  • The radicals

    • The spread of capitalism in globalisation is bad. They see the spread of capitalism as essentially based on money and the growth in economy will benefit some but impoverish many but also it messes with the environment by being unsustainable. Globalisation widens the gap between rich and poor, only benefiting the rich in society who have the tools to trade. Cultural globalisation is a form of cultural imperialism from the West and destroys local cultures through homogenization. Capitalism has been globalising for centuries but now it’s almost completely dominant. But now it’s different because TNC’s supported by IGO’s have replaced nations as the driving force for changes. Such a view has been called ’McDonalisation’ or ’Coca-colonisation

  • The Transformationalists

    • They see globalisation as important in development but not like the radicals of neo-liberals think. Globalisation can end, it can slow and even go in reverse. Some countries can take all of the positives of globalisation and not take the negatives. Globalisation doesn’t destroy local culture, it creates a hybrid of cultures. Globalisation reinforces the old ways of the North/South and First world/Third world.

Key terms

Hannerz (1992)- Coca-colonisation, the process of destruction of uniqueness in terms of religion, ethnic identity and national identity.

Ritzer (1993)- McDonaldisation, the process of fast food outlets increasingly dominating America and the rest of the world.

How far has economic globalisation gone?

It’s not gone, and there aren’t as many TNC’s and MNC’s which have a proper base in one place, also even if government have less control there are still separate groups which offer some protection like the EU which places limits on TNC’s. Hirst and Thompson (1999) argues that economic globalisation is a myth. Nation states still have power like the direct of the global economy. There are international economies which are big but not global economies. Hirst and Thompson don’t see evidence for a global economy.

How far has Political globalisation gone?

Governments still work on their own, they make agreements with international organisations , they still wage wars and raise taxes. Although because of this spread more countries have adopted Liberal ways, however these aren’t free and fair, for example Robert Mugable in Zimbabwe holds and wins elections and claims its all democratic but it isn’t. And western countries like the US still tolerate and trade with non-democratic countries as long as they are allies like Saudi Arabia. Tranformationalists like McGrew (2004) argue that although nation states aren’t totally loosing all power, there is still a transformation of politics and global decision making. People are becoming more active in politics and the way people engage in politics, like in international organisations, but locally party membership and voting is declining in the North.

Neo-liberals claim that with the spread of global markets, there will be a spread of liberal democracy and a lesser control from the state. But then what’s the point in spreading liberal democracy if even if people have free and fair elections the elected cannot make decisions because they have no power, global powers make decisions.

How far has cultural globalisation gone?

Its hard to ignore the western culture nowadays and it is everywhere, but not everything that is western has got around the world; American Football and baseball, and baseball is only played in the big leagues between two Northern teams anyway. The east has also had an influence on the west, in the way of Bollywood and Hong Kong film industries. Tourists going to other countries have actually promoted local culture but appreciating it, although it may be a simplified version of very complex cultures the tourists are promoting local cultures in the countries they go to as well as western values.

Globalisation after 9/11

It is clear that globalisation of Western cultures is creating a resistance to the West. For instance Islamic states show no signs of disappearing under the West. The US against public opinion and UN approval invaded Iraq in 2003 suggesting a return to nation state rule not international.

Kunstler (2005) argues that there is nothing inevitable about globalisation, and the fact it was based on the relative peace of post Cold-war and the fact loads of cheap energy sources were available then means that it will end as both of these are drastically fading. US troops and other nations involved in Iraq and Afghanistan are under constant threat from terrorists, oil reserves are running out, and most of the other oil is under the control of anti-western states. Kunstler expects and end to globalisation soon.

Saul (2004) sees that globalisation hit it’s high point in the 1990’s with the creation of the WTO (world trade organisation) but some countries and nation-states are coming back to a state without globalisation under one global economy. For instance Malaysia evading the 1997 Asian crisis; Argentina ignored IMF advice after an economic collapse in 2001 and recovered anyway. But there are some positive effects of some lower form of globalisation with the creation of the International Criminal Court and non-economic treaties.


Globalism relates to the way we live our lives today in a globalised world. Robertson (1992) defines globalism as 'consciousness of the (problem of) the world as a single place’. 

Below is a sheet I was given about the impacts of globalisation on Work, leisure, consumption etc

Is globalisation a good or bad thing?

+More opportunities in terms of economy, politics and culture. Promotion of interconnectedness, to respect and value the values of other societies

+Increase trade; countries have raw materials to use for developing countries to use to promo their own developmental

-Diseases can be spread as they are not used to themselves

-Environmental and human abuses; illegal loggers destabilising and dispersing communities

-Created a new 'Transnational capitalist class’

-Growing gap between rich and poor

-Giddens (2001) argues that there are some sceptics who believe that although communication and economies are becoming more global, it’s not a globalised world. For example it’s only really occuring in Europe, Asia-pacific, and North America