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What is globalization? What are its key drivers and effects on economic, cultural, political and social life?


Globalization is an interaction system among different countries of the world so as to improve the international economy. It is used to refer to the amalgamation of societies and economics worldwide. Globalization entails cultural, economic, political, and technological exchanges made probable mainly by improvements in transportation; infrastructure and communication. This paper will focus on the various approaches that have been used to describe globalization. It will also focus on the key drivers of globalization which are the costs, technology, market, competitive and government drivers. This paper will also concentrate on the various effects brought about by globalization. These are political, social, economic and cultural. By so doing, this paper will discuss how these effects affect our day to day lives.


Globalization is used to refer to the growing unification of the economic order of the world by the decline of such hurdles to worldwide trade like the import ratios, export charges and various tariffs. The aim is to improve wealth in terms of goods and services via a multinational distribution of labor by various means increased by completion, multinational relations and expertise (Stiglitz, 2003). It defines the method whereby communities, cultures and provisional economies have grown to be incorporated through transportation, trade and communication. Globalization has several terms that are associated with it. Economic globalization for example is the incorporation of national economies into global economy through migration, the flow of capital, the spread of technology, the presence of military and investments coming directly from foreign countries. Nevertheless, globalization is normally renowned as being pushed by an amalgamation of technological, political, economic and biological attributes. Globalization is also used to mean the transnational circulation of ideas, popular culture, assimilation and languages. Any feature of the world which has undergone the process of globalization is termed as globalized. Contrary to this view, an optional approach points out how globalization has essentially reduced inter-cultural associates while escalating the prospects of global and intra-national variance (Waters, 2001).The chronological origins of globalization are debatable. Various scholars have linked globalization origins to the modern time while other people view it as a trend that has a lengthy history.

Effects of Globalization

Globalization has different aspects which influence the world in various different ways. As we can now differentiate the various features of globalization; as being cultural, social and economic, many scholars have reminded as that cultural and social globalization entails the passage of notions, images, people and information.


With the augmented economic interrelation, inherent changes in politics causing countries to become even more reliable on movements in principal economies like the USA where investments and technical know-how seem to be placed. There has also been a change in power ahead of the nation state and in the direction of global corporations.

Globalization has contributed to the surfacing of worldwide markets in production and broader access to a group of foreign services and products for consumers and institutions, especially movement of material between and within national borders. Globalization has immensely contributed to international trade as since 1995; it has increased over 100 times. Africa’s trade with China has also risen drastically since 2007.


Globalization has led to the awareness of the international common market, founded on the liberty of capital and goods’ exchange. In the advanced job market, the workforce competes indirectly in an international job market. In the earlier period, the financial fate of employees was attached to the destiny of national economies but with the dawn of the information era and advancements in communication, this not the case anymore. Due to the fact that employees compete in a market that is global, income is not fully dependent on the victory of or collapse of the discrete economies. This has immensely affected the distribution of salaries and income. In order to survive in the recent business market that has gone global, there needs to be improved yield and improved competition. Owing to the globalization of the markets, organizations in different industries need to improve their products and employ skillful use of technology so as to face the stiff competition. Globalization has also led to the emergence of international financial markets and improved reach to outside funding for the borrowers. By the start of the 21st century, over $1.5 trillion was traded every day to sustain the lengthened levels of trade and savings.


The growth of globalization has diverse varying impacts on the development of politics, which especially goes along with the dropping of the significance of the state. Due to the development of sub-state organizations like WTO or the International criminal court, the state is denied the authority of coming up with policies and thus control. A majority, however, see the comparative decline in the power of United States as being founded in globalization, especially due to the high discrepancy in trade. The result of this is a worldwide shift in power towards the states in Asia, mainly China, which has had numerous growth rates. What’s more, recent estimates assert that the economy of China will surpass the economy of the US come 2025.


Cultural globalization influences how we carry on our day to day lives. It either helps in unifying us or separating us in our various communities. While it is approved that culture is possibly one of the most complex words in terms of definition, is possibly due to its dynamism as it is not static. The idea of culture has developed from the conventional definition to hold recent and u-and-coming trends, latest notions and ways of people’s behavior in the light of modernism and growth.

The question of whether people are made alike or different by cultural globalization was concluded that as it brings about a solitary world culture based on consumerism, language and mass media, other verdicts have associated it to tolerating or even growth in cultural diversity. Globalization was concluded to have not maintained millions of people from enduring to hold national disparities.
Globalization has led to the development of cross-cultural associates, the wish to improve the living standards of people and enjoy overseas products and ideas, implement new ideas and take part in a world culture
(Scholte, 2000). Various people view multiculturalism caused by globalization as a way of supporting peace and understanding among nations while some consider it as a danger of assimilation.

Social Life

The act of socialization by people so as to make their businesses better and to improve their financial engagements internationally can be regarded as globalization. Globalization is not recent because people have kept on looking for new places and opportunities to expand their business endeavors as proven by the Vasco da Gama explorations and the Company in Columbus. Globalization has been seen to be the rapid assimilation of nations and taking place by means of greater investments and trade of a foreign nature. In other words, it is the increased probabilities for action among people all over the world in different situations regardless of geographical concern. Countries that have developed and are trying to track developing nations so as to ease up the trade and consent to more elasticity in the policies of business to offer equal chances to international organizations in their local market. Globalization has introduced new technologies, new economic prospects and products. Globalization has also brought along excitement to the lives of people by creating new vistas of job opportunities.

Globalization has brought about very many changes in the cultural and social life. It has improved the access of people to television in the urban areas. This has brought about foreign movies which have really altered the cultural boundaries in different countries. The various technologies brought about by globalization have really changed the dreams and perceptions of normal people (Marcelo, 2004).

Negative effects of globalization

Various critics have argued that globalization has several side effects which are: Globalization has been argued by critics as being the contributory factor for poorer countries facing disadvantages. Even though globalization supports free trade among different countries, there exist negative outcomes because some countries strive to protect their national markets. The major export by these poor countries is normally agricultural products. The big countries usually subsidize their farmers thus reducing the market price for the unfortunate farmer’s crops with regard to what it would be under complimentary trade.

Globalization can also lead to the misuse of foreign workers who are underprivileged. The decline of the cover for the nations who are weak by the nations who are strong and have industrialized powers has led to the abuse of the people in these nations therefore turning out to be cheap labor. Since there is no protection, organizations from industrialized and influential countries are able to give employees enough wages to allure them to bear very long working hours and insecure working conditions, even if economists doubt if consenting employees in an aggressive worker’s market can be criticized as manipulated. It is a fact that employees are always free to quit their jobs, although in poorer nations, this would imply starvation for the employees, and probable yet his family if their initial employments were not available.

Globalization has also led to outsourcing shifts. This is because it has permitted firms to shift manufacturing professions from expensive locations with the minimal wages and employee profits. This leads to job loss in the expensive locations while generating vast economic prospects in the poorer nations (Robertson, 1992).

Key drivers of Globalization

Technology as a Key Driver

Globalization generally started attracting attention later in the 19990s. The crucial height in globalization is especially because ability and the exchange of information have turned out to be seamlessly manageable on a global balance at minimal costs via the hastily increasing complexity of technology (Lechner, 2004). In effect, technology has turned out to be one of the most powerful drivers of globalization, and it is via technology that continued economic development and integration of the world has been led by technology.

The advantages of globalization driven by technology are very many and will continuously increase. Nowadays markets and suppliers are not just regional or local. Global markets allow businesses and nations to concentrate on their special competitive gains. They permit access to technology, bigger export markets, economical service and import providers and also capital. Production is more resourceful and costs go down when businesses can gain access to knowledge, skills and labor at very minimal rates. Other important issues required are a degree of political and social stability, patent governmental and lawful configurations and a concrete educational system need to be positioned if an area is to take part in this modern global economy.

Market Drivers

The market drivers of technology include the ongoing thrust for economies of scale which are usually compensated by manufacturing which is flexible. The hastening innovation in technology and the progression in transportation are also other aspects of technology driven by the market. The constant rise in the price of product development comparative to market life and the emergence of countries that have been recently industrialized with constructive capacity and minimal labor rates are other market driven forces of globalization.

Cost Drivers

Cost drivers of technology have contributed to more and more nations becoming major battlegrounds for competition and the emergence of new rivals with the intention of turning global. Cost drivers have also led to the growth of international networks causing nations to be interdependent in specific industries, more industries developing into globally oriented instead of just being nationally focused (Boudreaux, 2008). Another important aspect of globalization driven by market drivers is the formation of new international alliances.

Competitive Drivers

Competitive drivers of technology have led to the reduction of tariff and non-tariff hurdles. This is because competition has become so stiff among the competitors. New trading unions have also been created due to competition drivers as these trading unions are very necessary especially by the corporate businesses. Privatization and liberalization of the market is also another aspect of competitive drivers of technology that has led to the assumption of new principles.


To some extent, it might be certain that the economic attractions and cultural attractions of America have won brought round, in the western world, the minds and hearts of the youth. We therefore have to put in mind that many Africans are today living in utter poverty, that radicalism and fundamentalism are on the increase, that many Asian nations are still ingrained in their conventional culture and that many islands are still holding on to their heritage. While many of them are still leaving from hand to mouth, it is difficult to understand how they can aim to unite to a global tradition while existing in another reality. The growth of popular culture is having a great influence in Western countries where numerous debates and issues are brought about mainly by scholars. In consequence, cultural globalization has minimal effect in China, India, Asia, Middle East, Russia and Africa (Beck, 200). While it affects those who can meet the expenses of it as it comes along with a price, the remainders appear to be over it. It can therefore be concluded that common culture is somewhat drawing a clear line of distinction among whoever is for it or against it, like the economic globalization is creating a substantial gap between the available and unavailable.


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Boudreaux, D. (2008).Globalization. Westport: Greenwood Press.

Lechner, F. (2004). Globalization: the making of world society. Malden: Wiley-Blackwell.

Marcelo, M. (2004).Globalization: culture and education in the new millennium. Berkeley : University of California Press.

Robertson, R. (1992).Globalization: social theory and global culture Stiglitz, J. (2003).
. London: Sage.Globalization and Its Discontents. New York: Norton.

Scholte, J. (2000). Globalization: a critical introduction. Hampshire: Macmillan.

Waters, M. (2001). Globalization
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