Many people define globalization in different ways owing to its wide coverage of the various aspects in the world. However, a fair definition of globalization is when it refers to the integration of diverse cultures, regional economies, and societies through networking their political ideas by communication, trade, and transport all over the world. It is a process by which various nations rapidly integrate and interdepend on each other at a global level thus shaping the world affairs. Globalization has impacted the environment, products people consume, idea exchange and security between different nations. Globalization has been expedited by a number of factors including; effective communication, transportation and immigration links across the world. Globalization can be simply referred to as the process by which individuals, corporations, various governments of countries interact and cooperate, a course driven by global trade and entrepreneurship and propelled by information technology across national boundaries (Boudreaux 2008, p. 1). This paper discusses globalization and analyzes both its good and implications.
Globalization is the global integration from three perspectives; economic, political and socio-cultural fronts (HAMDI 2015, para. 2). It has rendered the world a small village/locality as the borderlines separating nations have gotten broken down. Globalization dates back to the second half of the 20th century which saw the development of infrastructure such as transport and communication technologies which brought the notion where borderlines were deemed a limit to economic activities. Globalization plays a vital role in the development of countries and it is from such a standpoint that one can affirm that there are various advantages that have been accrued from globalization. It has led to increased economic activities, technological advancement, political influences, improved healthcare services, and systems, increased awareness of social and natural environmental aspects (Kuepper 2018, para. 7.). In the day-to-day life of a human being, globalization has led to many benefits.
Developing countries have been able to enjoy new opportunities attributed to globalization. These opportunities include but are not limited to; technology transfer advantages, increased chances of accessing the markets of developed nations, growth, expansion, enhanced productivity, and improved living standards of its people. Globalization, however, has both its positive and negative effects as a phenomenon. This is because globalization has had its downsides such as environmental degradation, a creation of unstable commercial and financial marketplaces, raised capital inequities in and outside countries within the globe (Nayyar 2003, p. 5). The benefits and shortcomings of globalization can be categorized into three proportions as follows; economic and trade activities front, educational and healthcare systems, and socio-cultural effects.
Impacts of globalization on economy and trade activities
Globalization has helped developing nations to interact with the rest of the globe thereby raising their economic expansion and resolving the poverty plights that these countries face. Before the boom of globalization, developing nations could not engage in trading ventures with other countries owing to the multiple trade barriers. This made them lag behind in economic growth. Globalization bridged this gap as the World Bank and other world commerce agencies encouraged developing nations to undertake market transformations and radical alterations by taking large loans (HAMDI 2015, para. 3). Various developing countries started taking steps aimed at opening their markets such as tariff removal and freeing up their economic fronts. This enabled developed nations to make foreign investments in those countries which aided in job creation for the people in developing nations. Globalization has led to the interdependence between various countries.
Whereas developing nations depend on developed ones for resource flows and technological advancement, developed nations rely on developing nations for raw materials for their industries, food and oil products, and also as their markets to sell their industrial merchandises (HAMDI 2015, para. 3). One significant benefit that globalization has brought about is easy and fast transportation of both goods and persons since free trade agreements between nations have been enacted and this has also reduced the probability of a warfare. In addition, expansion in communication between people and corporations in the world has increased trading activities which have resulted in increased economies. Despite the benefits that globalization has accorded the developing countries, there are various disadvantages associated with it.
Globalization widens the inequality gap between the rich and the poor nations since its benefits are not universally fair. This is to mean that globalization increases wealth for the rich while keeping the poor poorer. It is true that some developing nations benefit from the results of globalization, but the growth rate is still low as they are still lagging behind. While republics such as China and India have greatly grown even swifter than the developed nations, other countries like those in Africa exhibit high poverty rates, and it has also been noted that some areas in China which do not access globalization are poverty stricken (HAMDI 2015, para. 3).
Globalization has resulted in a vibrant growth in global shipping ventures. Trading and shipping are closely associated as the latter complements the former. The major shipping and transport sectors include ships, air transport, and railways. Globalization has led to the use of air transport which response to the dynamic requirements of globalization. These requirements include swift, high quality, and dependable global transport. Globalization has not only helped in bringing profit to airline owners but has also ensured that transport of perishable goods from producing countries reaches manufacturing destinations on time. It is reported that 40 percent of the global trade value uses air for transport (OECD 2010, p. 14).
Globalization has led to establishments or mergers of big companies in various countries. The world has witnessed various companies investing in other countries or in multiple countries, a phenomenon known as Multinational Corporation or transnational corporations (Nayyar 2003, p. 5). This has opened up new business opportunities for companies to venture in. Such examples include US’s fast-food giant McDonald and Costco which have entered into various markets as Europe, Australasia, and Africa. When big multinationals set up new ventures, it opens up a place for other businesses, creates job opportunities, and can lead to improvement of infrastructure of the region. However, this is not without a negative impact. As big multinationals enter a new market, the existing businesses which are probably smaller will face a stiffer market competition which could lead to their closure and subsequent loss of jobs.
The new businesses may exploit the natural resources until completion and leave the place. Further, the profits that the multinationals accrue are sent back to their home countries which develop their economies more. In addition, as countries welcome new multinationals, the proper laws and regulations may not be imposed. This could mean that the multinationals may run in a manner which does not regard the environment or the welfare of the local workers. Sometimes, when multinationals disregard the views and regulations of the local people, it may lead to disagreements. When certain multinationals disregard the law in their practices, people contend that the elected leaders or the available authority have been disregarded for the benefit of wealth creation or in pursuit of an international free trade agreement (Pettinger 2017, para. 5).
Impacts of globalization on education and healthcare systems
In a great way, globalization has facilitated the improvement of the healthcare systems and educational services in developing nations. From an educational perspective, globalization has acted as a catalyst to employment opportunities requiring a high set of skills which has, therefore, allowed individuals to get high levels of education. Given the fact that healthcare and education are the fundamental goals for the improvement of nations, the economic growth accorded to developing nations by globalization has helped in developing these two aspects. Developing nations have improved the living standards of their people thus increasing the life expectancy (HAMDI 2015, para. 4). Globalization has provided developing economies with fortunes that have been used for the enhancement of sanitation and healthcare services to their populace.
Money that has been gained from the increased economy can be allocated to the education sector, thereby reducing the illiteracy levels. Globalization has raised the living conditions of people without regard to geographical limitations hence increasing the life expectancy. Globalization has brought together researchers, scientists, and doctors who have been able to make useful discoveries of diseases and their cures which initially were problematic to man and animals. Globalization has led to the emergence of many global organizations in the fields of education and education which include the World Health Organization among others whose role revolves around the elimination of illiteracy and eradication of diseases (Lee 2004, p. 156).
Albeit globalization has presented many positive impacts on the field of healthcare and education, there are also accompanying ills to these fields. As globalization facilitates free movement of people between different states and nations, there is also spread of contemporary diseases between these people. Diseases affecting both human and animal have quickly spread as travel and trade expanded between different nations. Such diseases include HIV/AIDS, H1N1 flu, Bird Flu and other illnesses affecting humans, plant, and animals (Lee 2004, pp. 156–157). This upsets the livings standards and consequently life expectancy among the populace. Another major shortcoming of globalization is that after gaining an education and getting skills and nurturing talent, workers can easily migrate to developed nations in search of higher compensation and better lifestyles for themselves and relatives. This robs developing countries of brilliant minds and labor as professionals like doctors, scientists, engineers among others migrate to developed countries (Bardhan 2005, pp. 3-4)
Impacts of Globalization on socio-cultural setting
In this regard, globalization has both positive and negative impacts. Globalization has enabled people to know and understand the culture of other people. Through the various communication platforms such as the media like TVs, radios, satellites, and the internet, people can now know what is happening in other nations in real time. In addition, globalization has enabled people to now freely know each other and exchange ideas. For instance, American culture can be understood by watching films acted in Hollywood and other cinemas (HAMDI 2015, para. 5). People can now possess clothing, mobile gadgets, and foods like those of other people from different cultures.
On the other hand, there is an increasing concern on the ills that globalization has had on different cultures. It has threatened to annihilate the cultures, norms, traditions, identity, and language of people from different cultures as some individuals especially teenagers tend to copy others. Globalization has led to the disappearance of some wordings and expressions of certain languages as more international languages are frequently used. Family life has greatly been altered by globalization as young men and women attempt to break off from their families after a certain age as they see in other cultures. Family units have become more and smaller as traditional extended families are broken down (HAMDI 2015, para. 5).
Another social problem that globalization pose is environmental degradation. As globalization opens up developing nations, the developed ones set up many industries in these developing countries where lower wages are required and fewer regulations on pollution have been enacted thus leading to uncontrolled pollution. Further, as transport sectors such as road, railway, and air transport set up, these new technologies release dangerous exhaust fumes that are not only hazardous to health but also mean far-reaching climatic effects (OECD 2010, pp. 14–15). In addition, pollutants from sea transport, air transport or land, the lives of other non-humans are disrupted.
Globalization has enabled mass coverage of almost every happening and thus human rights activist can easily rally to protest against violations. Therefore, human life has been eased and has become global too. Whilst globalization has made it easier for intergovernmental agencies to fight terrorism, drug trafficking, smuggling, money laundering, and undocumented migrations, it has also made it hard to control these activities since they can now easily communicate and plan their ills (Lee, 2004, p. 157). Through globalization, the rise of internet use has also come with a price of fraud, cyberbullying, and uncontrolled wanton behaviors such as immorality and promotion of drug abuse.
Globalization has brought together people from different parts of the world. It has had both positive and negative impacts on the socio-economic aspects of human life. The economies of most countries have been tremendously improved such as those of India and China. The ills that bedeviled certain continents like poverty, illiteracy and poor healthcare has been alleviated through globalization which has increased the economies of those countries as well. There have been some downsides to globalization such as cultural degradation, the spread of diseases, increase in drug abuse, increased terrorist activity, and environmental pollution. However, the benefits of globalization outweigh its negatives and thus, globalization should not be resisted.