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Zeiler Globalization became a buzzword following the end of the Cold Warbut the phenomenon has long been a factor in the foreign relations of the United States and has deep roots in history.
To the extent that it meant the expansion of trade and investments, it can be defined as economic expansion, as in the transition from territorial expansion in the nineteenth century to the increasing internationalization of markets in the twentieth century.
In the aftermath of World War IIeconomic internationalism, or the suggestion of growing interdependence of nations and the development of international institutions, seemed to capture the essence of what more recently has been termed globalization.
But such usages are too limited; they do not adequately define a phenomenon that shaped American diplomacy and its constituent elements of economics and culture.
Professor Theodore Levitt, a marketing professor at the Harvard Business School, apparently first employed it in a article in the Harvard Business Review. It is arguable, however, that the basic concept dates to the first humans.
Defined broadly, globalization is the process of integrating nations and peoples—politically, economically, and culturally—into a larger community. In this broad sense, it is little different from internationalization. Yet globalization is more than this incremental process that over the centuries has brought people and nations closer together as technological innovation dissolved barriers of time and distance, and enhanced flows of information promoted greater awareness and understanding.
The focus, as the term suggests, is not on nations but on the entire globe. Consequently, a more sophisticated definition might emphasize that contemporary globalization is a complex, controversial, and synergistic process in which improvements in technology especially in communications and transportation combine with the deregulation of markets and open borders to bring about vastly expanded flows of people, money, goods, services, and information.
This process integrates people, businesses, nongovernmental organizations, and nations into larger networks.
Globalization promotes convergence, harmonization, efficiency, growth, and, perhaps, democratization and homogenization. Globalization also has a dark side. It produces economic and social dislocations and arouses public concerns over job security; the distribution of economic gains; and the impact of volatility on families, communities, and nations.
Many also worry about a growing concentration of economic power; harm to the environment; danger to public health and safety; the disintegration of indigenous cultures; and the loss of sovereignty, accountability, and transparency in government.
These, too, are issues that have been topics of concern to American diplomats and foreign policymakers throughout the twentieth century. There are two principal drivers to globalization: Rapidly changing technologies for transportation and communications continue to dissolve the barriers of time, distance, and ignorance that once complicated long-range relationships.
In the twentieth century some of the most important technological innovations that changed diplomacy were the jet plane, satellite communications, fiber-optic cables, and the Internet. Ideas also shape globalization, particularly the widespread belief that free tradeprivate enterprise, and competitive markets promote efficiency and economic growth.
Another set of ideas also influences the globalization process: The impact of technology and ideas are the building blocks of globalization, and have shaped U. The globalization process has other independent drivers.
In the history of the modern world, a rising population in less-developed areas frequently has triggered emigration to areas of economic opportunity, and this in turn has frequently produced a stream of remittances to family members who remained behind.
Famine and malnourishment, as well as the need for energy and industrial raw materials to support advanced economies, also affect the globalization process, promoting greater flows of materials, food, and goods, and thus enhancing the interdependence of people and economies.
Also, two World Wars, a Cold War, and the Great Depression disrupted in significant ways the ongoing globalization process through much of the twentieth century.
Finally, leadership is an important element of all human activity. Had the United Statesas the world's leading economic and military power in the twentieth century, not committed its public policy to promoting an open, and nondiscriminatory, international economic system, it is quite possible that the globalization process would have taken a different course—perhaps one that gave priority to regional blocs.
In explaining the emergence of globalization, it is almost trite to observe that the underlying forces of technology and economics have transformed the traditional nation-state system and compressed once-formidable barriers of time and space.
But post—Cold War globalization did just that, although the process had roots in the late-nineteenth-century growth of American power.
The concept, therefore, requires scholars of foreign relations to leap outside of the normal parameters of the nation-state and political-military affairs and take into account such elements as the flows of goods, services, and money; the increasing international mobility of people and especially business professionals and skilled workers ; the emergence and growth of large corporations that view the world as a single market in which they allocate resources, shift production, and market goods; the expansion of financial, legal, insurance, and information services; and the interconnections of cultures, customs, political processes, and ideas.
Mindful that the concept addresses historical transformations, scholars in political scienceeconomics, linguistics, anthropology, geography, law, art, and film studies help to define the term. Political scientists, economists, and business historians have accurately identified techno-economic globalization as the precursor of other forms of globalization, such as transnational cultural exchanges.
That is, the open and expanding market, in a synergistic relationship with technology including scientific developmentshas given rise to concomitant political, institutional, social, intellectual, and diplomatic changes. Economics and technology exert an enduring impact on international relationships, seemingly proceeding on their own separate tracks but not immune from events.
This calls into question the interpretation of economic determinists, for globalization complicates while it also complements Marxismcorporatism, and the like. To be sure, the power of markets associated with money, goods, services, and information facilitates international relationships, but it does so in diverse ways.
Wealth is only one of the critical factors propelling the global economy. When viewed from a perspective of globalization, Marxism overemphasizes capitalism's contradictions of overproduction and underconsumption, diverting attention from the impact of economic and business concerns on diplomacy.
Corporatists tend to discount the influence of strategic, humanitarian, and idealist considerations in government circles and within the private sector as well, while world systems theorists draw on an international lineup of states rather than global, private-oriented networks.
Traditional approaches to diplomatic history, including post-revisionism, also ignore the globalization construct in that they relegate economics and technology to a second tier in their levels of analysis. Globalization requires attention to nongovernmental actors, including religious and philanthropic organizations, consumer and environmental groups, workers, and unions, along with those active in business and finance.John Zysman.
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