Globalization As A New Phenomenon

Globalization As A New Phenomenon 

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Diversity stands in line with the most controversial and highly debated concepts in contemporary society. Geographers, researchers, and the general public have often engaged in debates on the same topic. The general outlook of globalization is reflected by the concept of universalization, where individual countries are exposed to foreign cultures and ideals despite the existence of physical boundaries between countries in the world. There are a number of concepts attached to globalization, and they include westernization, liberalization, and internationalization. These concepts may be used to define the political, social, and economic impacts of globalization. The main point of dispute between scholars is whether globalization is a new phenomenon or not. Some scholars link globalization to internationalization and liberalization, and they believe that globalization has existed since early times. Most of them have researched and found out that there is evidence of globalization since the early existence of trade between countries. Therefore, they believe that there is nothing new with globalization. On the other hand, some elites who view globalization from a westernization perspective claim that global relations only rose following the advancement in technology since it simplified the accessibility of media and people across national boundaries. Thesis

Technology as a factor of globalization proves the extent to which globalization is a new phenomenon. The contemporary development of information and communication technology has effectively affected the rise and growth of globalization across the world. Graham and Dutton (2019, p.127) argue that The last decade has marked a period of intense IT revolution, which has changed human life. Consequently, there has been improvement in inter-country communication and reduced transport costs, leading to increased enhanced movement of goods and services across borders. Furthermore, technology has connected people across countries boosting their interaction despite their distances. This is followed by a growth in demand for telecommunication services caused by the rise of cellular technology associated with smartphones. People have begun to prefer tech and image communication alongside voice communication. As a result, the number of internet users rose from one hundred million in the 1990s to over one billion in the last two decades (Schiller, 2011, p.97). Therefore, globalization is extensively a new phenomenon in that it relies on the current technological advancement to develop. It is all about connecting people across boundaries, and the rise in technology has made it possible. 

The other approach to address the issue of globalization as a new phenomenon is by looking at its contemporary impacts on political, economic, cultural, and environmental aspects. From a political perspective, global governance is one aspect that shows the extent to which globalization has become a new phenomenon. Prior to the rise of globalization, a statist form of governance was common and was intensively practiced in traditional societies. In a contemporary setting, the practice of a statist form of governance has declined and has greatly been replaced by global governance (Murphy, 2015, p.189). Global governance is characterized by a collaboration of various countries aiming to negotiate on strategies to curb common international problems, especially political issues like instability and war. Hyper globalists believe in the decline of state authority of individual countries (Moon, 2019, p.6). Due to globalization, most countries today operate over a common set of policies. For example, there are several treaties and peace agreements signed by countries that are under a common international institution, such as the World Health Organization and the United Nations. The development of such institutions characterizes globalization as a new phenomenon in that major political and social challenges are addressed globally and quickly, something that never existed before globalization. Additionally, the existence of global law under global governance has eliminated individual power over currency where even the richest countries have no power over exchange rates and money supply. Therefore, globalization is extensively a new phenomenon because it has left new marks in the contemporary political era through the introduction of global law and governance. 

Still, from a political perspective, the rise of globalization as a new phenomenon has brought about enhancement in peacekeeping and conflict resolution. Peace has been heavily affected by globalization. For example, Amavilah et al. (2017, p.99) mentioned that African countries had recognized a high level of peace and conflict resolutions since the onset of globalization, and this is specifically propagated by international peacekeeping organizations such as the United Nations. The enhanced trade openness has helped in the reduction of military conflict. Practically, as a result of global trade, an individual country may find it hard to attack another country that is a trade partner because of the bilateral interdependence brought by trade operations such as import and export of goods and services. Globally trading nations are exposed to intense political freedom and democracy. Furthermore, expansion of bureaucratic structures is a primary outcome of globalization, which majors on countries’ security and economic interests, and there is potential support from military action to promote peace. Finally, global interaction and integration reduce incentives for conflict among the OEDC states. This was done through the signing of peace-related treaties. An example of the treaties signed after globalization is the nuclear non-proliferation treaty regime of 1968 which discouraged the spread of nuclear arms across states, reducing the probability of nuclear attacks among the OEDC states (Siracusa, & Warren, 2018, p.19). This, among other treaties, has extensively helped in developing a peaceful correlation among states. Therefore, globalization seems to be something new in that it has new approaches to promoting peace, one being bilateral trade interdependence and another one being inter-country integration in the global market. Such approaches never existed in the historical contexts prior to the development of globalization. 

There is a broad economic significance and benefits that countries in contemporary society enjoy due to globalization. According to Suci et al. (2016, p.80), globalization broke boundaries and opened new business opportunities for international players and a broad labor market for service providers. First, labor is readily available for countries in a global setting. Labour is often a critical resource that is valued in every organizational environment. With globalization, a country can import labor from another country and have full productivity. On the other hand, globalization as a new phenomenon has enhanced specialization among companies. This is reflected by the existence of comparative advantage in such companies (Suci et al. 2016, p.85). For instance, a company specializes in goods that it has a comparative advantage and ability to produce. Such a company imports other products that it has no efficiency to profile. This results in an aggregate economic benefit. Just like a new product, the availability of global labor and global production across borders exist as a result of globalization.

Another great economic feature is the contemporary existence of multinational corporations. Before globalization, it was difficult to set up companies that operate with branches in several countries. The onset of globalization as a new phenomenon came with an open environment for the operation of multinational corporations (Suci et al. 2016, p.86). The first benefit of globalization, in this case, is increased international relations. Globalization combined several countries with a common goal and provided a good business environment where they could do business together. This made it easy to set up and successfully run multinational companies. Countries, due to globalization, began to enable foreign investors to set up company branches on their soil in sought of economic development. Communication is an important factor in business. Worldwide communication is one good element of communication where people and businesses freely share information with one another. There are several communication platforms that people use, and global freedom has improved due to globalization. Multinational companies have leveraged this aspect and incorporated it in the management of branches in the global market. For instance, a headquartered operational manager can communicate effectively with assistant managers or engage in online conferences to implement project strategies and share timely business performance.

From a cultural perspective, the existence of a new global culture supports the claim that globalization is a new phenomenon. Various outlooks have developed as a result of globalization leading to several theories, one being cultural familiarization. In this case, globalization has propagated the domination of one culture, specifically the American culture, over others. In the process of globalization, gradual transmutation and erosion are witnessed among cultures and subcultures that exist in the face of capitalist culture. Cultural familiarization is generally the spread of cultural imperialism through IT and media. That is, high economic and technological growth develops and perpetuates the spread of common cultural discourse. The major and dominant culture often comes from developed countries and dominates over weak cultures in developing countries. As illustrated by Gills (2000, p.120), globalization has eliminated recognition of weak cultures in global tourism, television, global language use, consumerism, global human rights, among other aspects. For instance, when handling global matters in a globalized environment, the English language is normally used, and other languages are ignored because it is a norm of globalization that English should be dominant. Additionally, Gills (2000, p.120) claims that the integration of cultures due to globalization sired a new global culture. The author presented clothing, food, music, architecture, and films in America as cultural familiarization elements. Also, some brands such as Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Nike, and McDonald’s have grown to dominate the world despite the existence of other brands in other nations. Therefore, the new way of perceiving things and the dominance of particular languages, brands, and people is a result of a new wave of globalization that has propagated cultural similarization. 

The social and cultural interaction and adoption is another evidence of globalization as a new phenomenon. According to Mikail & Abdullah (2017), before the emergence of globalization, people were strict in upholding their cultural values and acting as expected based on certain cultures and ethnicities. Recently, people began to enjoy the freedom of interaction across the globe. Becoming business partners and social media colleagues have attracted the sharing of cultural information, which propagates cultural influence. People interacting with others are likely to adopt different ways of living. For example, globalization enables one to live in any country and work there. In the process, one will begin to consume food from that area and listen to particular music. over time, an individual gets used to the way of living in the new area of residence. Also, as people interact, some get married to partners from other cultures causing cultural exchange. Today, it is never a shock to find someone speaking several languages because of globalization. As claimed, the intensity at which people mingle and share information encourages westernization and degradation of the existing cultures. In most cases, African people are fond of copying and adopting western cultures in their way of living (Mikail & Abdullah, 2017). 

The concept of globalization as a new phenomenon can also be understood by looking at the new features introduced into the environment, especially as a result of technological advancement. The topic of globalization values ecology since the relationship between humans and the environment resembles that of the nations. Various environmental developments link to the rise of contemporary globalization. For instance, it is difficult to predict nature. However, contemporary technological globalization has enhanced the predictability of natural disasters, normally done through digital processing and satellite surveillance. Many countries often record many deaths due to disasters such ad droughts on an annual basis (Muchie & Baskaran, 2006, p.30). However, following the rise of globalization, several disaster management institutions have risen, and they employ technology to reduce the impact of disasters. globalization also has enhanced communication across the world, boosting awareness on disaster management skills and international disaster aid. Preventing natural disasters is beneficial in protecting environmental biodiversities such as animals and trees. On the contrary, globalization has contributed to a negative impact on the environment. Globalization is comprised of the occasional development of transport systems connecting various parts of the world. Movement across countries using motor ships and planes pollutes the environment. The most dangerous part is that globalization has enabled companies that produce toxic components such as carbon dioxide to evade individual country regulations by moving to areas with less extreme environmental regulations. In a nutshell, globalization has encouraged a collective approach to promote environmental cleanliness through making global environmentally-related regulations. 

Finally, the globalization impact on crime is necessarily a depiction of how globalization in contemporary society appears as a new phenomenon. Contemporary globalization is claimed to have offered opportunities for countries to combat crime collectively using technology. Advancement in technology has promoted counter-terror and surveillance units determined to fight terrorism. However, criminal offenses seem not to decline. For instance, cybercrimes a rising following the global internet communication where people share critical details via social media. The increased connection among people increases their vulnerability since criminal organizations also use the same connection as leverage to organize crimes. So, globalization appears to be a new phenomenon in that it gives rise to new concerns in the criminal field. 

Despite the consideration of globalization as a new phenomenon, there exist some counterarguments that it is not a new phenomenon. Eštok and Bzdilová (2011, p.44) argue that interacting between different types of individuals existed in the past. Therefore, this aspect was an evolution of hidden globalization in the 15th century. The only reason why people regard globalization as new is because of the development of an integrated system of technology and the introduction of international trade and foreign direct investment. According to Eštok and Bzdilová (2011, p.45), the advancement In technology only accelerated globalization and increased the power of transnational corporations. Most of the global economic extensions occurred In the 19th and 20th centuries, followed by the emergence of new economies in countries such as China and Russia. In general, the increased communication and interaction caused by technology is just an improvement of the interaction and global interdependence that existed in the historical contexts.


An understanding of globalization as a new phenomenon is still a complex topic since other scholars believe that it is never a new phenomenon. Technology as a factor of globalization confirms that globalization is a new phenomenon in that it follows the new technological advancement in technology and enhances connections among people and countries. Politically, the emergence of new international regulatory bodies and peacekeeping unions shows the existence of globalization as a new phenomenon. From a cultural perspective, it can be said that the contemporary world is full of cultural interactions and imitations caused by globalization. The economic perspective of globalization also tells a lot since there are new shifts in business operations signified by the existence of global labor and multinational corporations. Environmental pollution and conservation regulations have also changed after the emergence of globalization. Despite the arguments for globalization as a new phenomenon, there is a need to understand that there are arguments that globalization is not new since there is evidence for the historical interactions in the past. 




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