Globalization has many definitions and each definition explores its different aspect.
‘Globalization’ is commonly used as another way of describing the spread and connectedness
of production, communication and technologies across the world.
Though the above definition explains Globalization well but Globalization is not limited to this.
Over the past 2 decades Globalization has impacted and changed the world for better.
Globalization largely involves technological, economic, political and cultural exchanges.
Globalization as a phenomenon has been picking up speed for last one decade as more and more
Underdeveloped and developing economies are accepting it to revive their economies and
improve the living conditions of their populations by providing them best in the class services
and products which their counterparts in developed countries experience and use.
Though lately Globalization has been criticized on various fronts but the criticism it faces is
outweighed by positive affects it has had on the World in large and continues to have. Many of
the developing and undeveloped countries like India and China owe their prosperity to
Globalization. In last two decades Globalization has lifted millions out of poverty in these two
most populated countries of the world and has powered their economies for the world to see.
While China is the fastest growing economy in the world, India brags of the second spot and the
credit goes to Globalization which pumped in money into these economies and helped them
grow. Though these two nations are the most glaring examples, the success stories of
Globalization don’t end here and it has impacted many other economies and countries.
Globalization has connected our world in a much better way and has helped in transfer of state of
the art technologies from developed and advanced countries to poor and downtrodden
developing and underdeveloped countries in fields of medicine, agriculture, education etc. As
noted by Stiglitz, due to Globalization projects have more than doubled the incomes of farmers
lucky enough to get water; education projects have brought literacy to the rural areas; in a few
countries AIDS projects have helped contain the spread of this deadly disease (5).
The effects of Globalization can be broadly divided in these categories:
Industrial Effects: Globalization has led to emergence and birth of worldwide production
markets and broader range and selection of foreign products and services for
consumers as well as companies in developing countries. This aspect has dual benefit as it gives
gives access to better products to people in developing countries and also helps developed
countries grow economically. Competition in developing countries grows and domestic
companies also enhance and upgrade their products and services qualities to stay relevant. Hence
it is a win-win situation for all. For the facts, India, which opened its market to Globalization in
1991 saw a surge in number of factories as the number of factories in India.
Financial Effects: Globalization lead to emergence of worldwide financial markets and better
and improved access to financing for borrowers. This incontrovertibly lead to
increase in entrepreneurs and small businesses in these countries and hence provided
employment to millions and made them self reliant. The net capital flows to emerging economies
increased due to Globalization and helped them grow. FDIs formed an important part of
economic and financial aspect of Globalization. Capital flows have increased immensely and
touched a very high level in last three decades. This shows how Globalization pumped money
into some cash strapped and bankrupt economies.
Economic Effects: The economic aspect of Globalization is considered the most important one
as it has equal number of fans and critics. Globalization has promoted and
enhanced international trade and this has helped many countries grow far more quickly than they
would otherwise have done (Stiglitz 4). Globalization leads to increase in imports and exports as
the countries are better connected and trade barriers are less. Export based growth fuelled the
exceptional growth rate of various economies in Asia and pulled millions out of the clutches of
poverty. Various social and economic parameters have also improved in developing countries
owing to increased trade and foreign investments. Quality of standard of living, per capita
income, GDPs of these countries increased due Globalization while poverty, illiteracy decreased
leading to their overall development. Increased Globalization has prompted infrastructure
development in these countries which forms an important part of economic liberation and growth
for a country. Good infrastructure promotes prosperity and increases employment rate and hence
is considered vital for a country. New and latest technologies and intelligence transferred from
developed countries to developing countries has at least ensured minimum infrastructure in
underdeveloped and improvement in infrastructure in developing countries.
Informational Effects: This is one aspect of the Globalization which has been highly praised and
has connected the world in a much more efficient and uniform ways. It
has lead to increased information flows geographical remote and inaccessible locations. As noted
and has given many people access to knowledge well beyond the reach of even the wealthiest in
any country a century ago’ (4). Globalization has lead to increased penetration of telephone and
internet in many developing countries and the advent and introduction of modern technologies
like fiber optic cables in these countries has meant giant leap in communication era in these
countries. Due to transfer of information and technology from advanced countries to developing
countries, these countries today have better satellite technologies which are essential for many
segments of economy ranging from agriculture to discovery of important minerals as well as
correct and timely weather predictions which can save many from natural disasters. One of the
many informational effects has been the increased uniformity across the globe as use of English
has increased considerably worldwide due to Globalization and this provides a common platform
for people across the globe to communicate and hence has empowered them in a sense and this
in turn has lead to increased employment chances.
Ecological Effects: Though Globalization has often been accused of increase in world pollution
and environment degradation but it has even resulted in increased awareness
among the countries, courtesy Globalization. It has lead to increased worldwide co-operation on
some of the most important topics like Climate change, increased emissions, water and air
pollution, over fishing and much more. Globalization has made the countries more accountable
under no scrutiny over the pollution caused by them are being asked to adhere to strict emission
and pollution control rules and laws. Thus contrary to the popular claim, Globalization has
helped in control and increased awareness of and regarding pollution.
Cultural Effects: Globalization has made our world a much smaller and better place to live in.
Cross cultural contacts have increased substantially and multiculturalism and
cultural diversity have blossomed. World tourism has increased over past many years due to
Globalization and better connectivity due to availability of technologies in developing countries
(airlines, world class airports etc.). This has again generated employment for local population
and contributed to advancement and prosperity of the region in particular and the country in
Technical Effects: Technical aspects of Globalization has pulled out countries from darkness
and have put them on the path of development and prosperity. There is
greater and increased trans border flow due to technologies such as internet ( again a by product
of Globalization). There has been greater movement of skilled labor and workforce between the
countries which has resulted in development of technologies keeping everyone in perspective. It
is due to Globalization that latest teaching methodologies and technologies have reached
developing countries today and the students there are as competitive as the ones in more
developed and economically stronger countries. It is due to increased Globalization that medical
fraternities around the globe can work in sync and ensure fast and cheap treatments for all.
Transfer of knowledge, modern equipment and treatments have ensured increased life
expectancy for people in developing countries. Better irrigation facilities and increased usage of
fertilizers have again ensured huge increase in agricultural output of many countries across the
Globe. Hence, Globalization has played an important part in development of many poor and
downtrodden countries of the world and in bringing them at par with developed countries.
Ethical Effects: Quite contrary to the major belief, Globalization has increased sensitivity
towards ethical and legal issues. The creation of International criminal courts
and many other agencies has ensured that everyone falls under the ambit of law and all are held
accountable for their actions. There has been increased awareness in global crime fighting and
increased cooperation between various agencies of the world to ensure a crime free and terrorism
free world. All this has been the result of Globalization that a country like Pakistan assists US
and NATO forces in anti-terrorism operations. Again increased connectivity and better
technologies available to forces in developing countries have made them potent and ensured that
they keep crime in check again ensuring a better and peaceful life for people living in these
Despite all the benefits that Globalization has showered on us, It has been criticized on some
Fronts. Rather, lately the talks have been more about the negative effects of Globalization on our
World. It is often argues that Globalization has not reaped the benefits it intended to and
promised initially. There are many points on which Globalization is criticized.
The animosity and resentment it has caused amongst the people in developed countries due to
outsourcing of jobs to developing countries is a very well known and debated issue. This has
increased unemployment in developing countries since most of the work is outsourced to
developing and underdeveloped countries where minimum wages and much lower. The
resentment and unhappiness has not been a one sided affair and many in developing countries
also eye Globalization speculatively and rightly so. Globalization has lead to increase in anti-
social and inhuman activities such as Child labor and slavery. In developing countries where
accountability is low and corruption rampant, Globalization has given birth to illegal activities
and trends. Moreover, many argue that poverty alleviation has become a distant dream due to
Globalization since it has stretched the gap between rich and poor and hence has promoted
widespread poverty. ‘A growing divide between the haves and the have-nots has left increasing
promises of poverty reduction made over the last decade of the twentieth century, the actual
at the same time that total world income actually increased by an average of 2.5 percent
annually’ argues Stiglitz (5). Moreover developed countries have been accused to force
developing countries follow capitalistic approach through Globalization.
Globalization is even said to be behind the increased environmental degradation and
exploitation, a problem that has been haunting us for last 2 decades and continues to do. Due to
Globalization industrial pollution and contamination of water and many more environmental
issues have become prevalent in developing countries due uncontrolled and unabated
industrialization, making life difficult for local populace.
Some school of thoughts have even held Globalization responsible for increased world terrorism
and attribute 9/11 in USA to the phenomenon. Globalization has, is argued, has done more bad
than good in the field of health and diseases as the problems and lethal health issues like AIDS,
Swine Flu etc. spread rapidly due to Globalization.
Finally, as the famous adage goes, each coin has two sides and nothing is perfect. Though it is
important that Globalization has ensured better global cooperation and increased prosperity for
people around the globe but strong regulations and checks in developing countries are required to
ensure that economic gains due to Globalization reach all and that local and small scale industry
is not crushed under the pressure of multi nationals. All in all, Globalization has ensured a better
world for us and has pushed many countries on the path of development and has helped millions
realize their dreams and should be practiced with some checks to ensure welfare of local
Stigliz, Joseph. Globalization and its Discontents, New York: W.W.Norton, 2011. Print.