Globalisation is the process of increasing interconnectedness and interdependence among countries in various dimensions such as economic, political, cultural, and technological. The causes of globalisation are multifaceted and have evolved over time. Here are some of the primary factors that have driven globalisation:
1. Technological Advancements:
- Communications: The advent of the internet, satellite communication, and affordable telecommunication has made it easier for people around the world to communicate.
- Transport: Innovations in transportation, especially containerized shipping, have drastically reduced the cost and time required for international trade.
2. Economic Factors:
- Trade Liberalization: Reduction in tariffs and non-tariff barriers under the guidance of institutions like the World Trade Organization (WTO) has fostered greater international trade.
- Multinational Corporations: Companies that operate in multiple countries benefit from economies of scale and scope, searching for new markets and cheaper production facilities.
- Financial Markets: The deregulation of financial markets allows capital to move more freely across borders.
3. Political Changes:
- Fall of Communism: The collapse of the Soviet Union and the opening up of China created massive new markets and production possibilities.
- Regional Trade Agreements: Treaties such as NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) and the EU (European Union) facilitated trade among member countries.
- International Institutions: Organizations like the WTO, IMF (International Monetary Fund), and World Bank promote policies that foster globalisation.
4. Cultural Factors:
- Media and Entertainment: The global proliferation of culture through movies, music, and TV shows has led to a more homogenized global culture in some respects.
- Education and Research: Universities and institutions collaborate more than ever, leading to the global movement of students and researchers.
5. Societal Factors:
- Migration: Movement of people across countries has led to the exchange of cultures, ideas, and skills.
- Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs): Many NGOs operate internationally, advocating for causes that are global in nature, such as climate change or human rights.
6. Environmental Awareness: As global challenges like climate change and biodiversity loss become more apparent, countries and organizations are compelled to think and act globally.
7. Cost and Production Factors: Companies have been driven to outsource and locate their operations in places where production is cheaper and resources are abundant.
It’s worth noting that while globalisation has brought about numerous benefits, such as increased economic growth, access to new markets, and exposure to new cultures, it also has its set of challenges and criticisms. These include concerns about job losses in certain sectors, environmental degradation, cultural homogenization, and increased economic disparity between the rich and the poor.