The enhanced understanding of globalization comes from knowing what is meant by the word globalisation itself. By this, it is important to appreciate the various definitions that have been given by different authors and scholars. Valued academicians such as Modelski (2003), Heywood (2007), and Held and McGrew (2003) gave their respective definition of globalization.
Among the three, Modelski (2003) provided that globalization can be associated as a history of progression, and being that, it takes into account the increasing interaction of people from other parts of the globe. It supports the idea of international connectivity and the ability of people from all over the world to have an access to diverse information and to communicate to others on a global scale. On the other hand, Heywood (2007), contended that globalization embraces different phases of procedures, policies and strategical plans. Additionally, Held and McGraw (2003), claimed that globalization also comprises of the activities that utilize electronic exchange of data or information. Overall, these scholars maintained that globalization is described based on the growing number of countries that interact and depend on each other for diverse reasons, and that means that globalisation allows for national borders to be crossed. Moreover, they reason that the different national economies, culture and politics are now freely interacting. By looking at the definition provided by these three scholars, it can be concluded that there is no single way to define globalisation.
While globalisation can be defined differently, several perspectives are also offered for better understanding. Consequently, three common perspectives are: hyperglobalist, transformationalist and the sceptical perspectives.
In The Great Globalization Debate co-authored by Held, the authors contended that hyperglobalist perceive globalization in a very passionate standpoint (Held et al, 2000). The groups who advocate this perspective do not consider the state as a major part of globalisation, rather, they believe that states are only significant players of the past. Further, the hyperglobalist standpoint is also a supporter of the idea that trade and other economic activity results to the denationalization of different economies (Held et al, 2000).
It is also important to consider the impact of the system of capitalism and the neo-liberal market under this perspective, as they look at capitalism as a system that plays an important global role. Additionaly, the hyperglobalist are one with the concept of international governance, and these groups often show enthusiasm towards international institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) (Held et al, 2000). Culturally, the hyperglobalist are in favor of seeing the intermingling of different cultures across the globe, thus, the emergence of popular culture globally (Held and McGrew, 2003); consequently, the hyperglobalist points that the mass media and communication is associated with the growth of popular culture.
While the sceptical perspective towards globalisation is different from the hyperglobalist standpoint in many ways, they have something in common, in that both perceived globalisation in an econometric standings (Held and McGrew, 2003). Those who support the sceptical view has the impression that this idea is developed in order to advance the free market economy and the policies of neo-liberalism (Held and McGrew, 2003). The sceptics do not suppose that globalization has brought something different, for instance, they claimed that globalisation has nothing to share to cultural development. Further, they argued that the intermingling of cultures from different parts of the world is happening even before the advent of globalisation (Held and McGrew, 2003), and that they regionalism, rather than globalism, is flourishing today. For instance, they cited the economic blocs of the European Union, where most of the economic activities are focused regionally.
Somewhere in the middle of the hyperglobalist and sceptical perspective is the transformational viewpoint (Giddens, 2009). The transformationalist has one thing in common with the hyperglobalist in that both see globalisation as a real phenomenon that is occurring in our midst. On the other hand, they also share the viewpoint of the sceptics that globalisation has not brought anything new. While they believed that the state is relevant and is still maintaining its influence, the transformationalist assumed that there is a need for the states to become accustomed and be adaptive to the process of globalisation. In the economic sense, the transformationalist believed that despite the global spread of capitalism, the states are still given the freedom to impose their own economic, tax and other related policies (Giddens, 2009). On the other hand, the cultural perspective of the transformationalist claim of a mutual exchange among different cultures because of migration, effect of mass media and accessible communication. For instance, while popular western products such as coca-cola and McDonals has entered the global market, there is also the prevalence of Asian products such as Chinese restaurants in the major cities of the West. The mutual exchange, or the two-way exchange as coined by the transfomationalists results the creation of opportunities or chances for different states to intermingle, as well as cooperate with one another.
Giddens, A. (2009). Sociology. Cambridge: Polity Press.
Held, D. and McGrew, A. (2003). ‘The Great Globalization Debate: An Introduction’ in Held, D. and McGrew, A. (2003), (eds), The Global Transformations Reader: An Introduction to the Globalization Debate. Cambridge: Polity Press
Held, D., McGrew, A., Goldblatt, D. and Perraton, J. (2000), (eds). Global Transformations, Politics, Economics and Culture. Cambridge: Polity Press
Heywood, A. (2007). Politics. Hampshire: Palgrave and Macmillan
Modelski, G. (2003), ‘Globalization’ in Held, D. and McGrew, A. (2003) (eds), The Global Transformations Reader: An Introduction to the Globalization Debate. Cambridge: Polity Press