What is Globalisation and Why is it Important?

Globalisation is a pervasive phenomenon that has infiltrated nearly every facet of public life, from the educational curriculum to fast food chains, the effects of globalisation are inescapable.

What is globalisation and why has it become so important?

‘Globalisation’ is a catchall term used to describe the free movement of goods, services and people across the world. Given the broad nature of this definition, it is hardly surprising that the effects of globalisation have been able to hide in plain sight. Take for example your local KFC or McDonalds – you are more likely to see a convenient food source than a foreign corporation that has infiltrated and dominated the local industry. Globalisation is principally driven by international trade and investment and has been increasingly facilitated through information technology.

Why is it Important?

Although many will argue that globalisation was inevitable given the remarkable developments in information and travel technology, it has had a pronounced impact on countries around the world.

In terms of the environment, research has linked globalisation and the increased development and consumption that it brings with accelerated damage to the environment, especially in the developing world. Globalisation has also resulted in heightened economic comparative advantages around the world, meaning that local markets often struggle to compete with cheaper foreign imports. On an individual level, the exportation of Western culture has also begun to erode indigenous traditions and culture which many claims act to undermine an individual’s national identity.

The merits of globalisation have been hotly debated among researchers around the world as some argue that the age of economic prosperity that it ushered in, combined with positive exposure to cultures other than one’s own, outweighs its corresponding harm to society. As things currently stand, any purported reversal of globalisation is highly unlikely to succeed, especially given that the world is becoming more and more interconnected through technology.

Globalisation is still a fairly opaque subject and requires considerably more research. If you are interested in continuing your academic development in this field it is definitely worth looking at the academic programmes offered at the Vaal University of Technology.