Globalisation is a phenomenon which affects us in our everyday lives. We have all heard of globalisation, but do we really know what is covered by the term, or whether the fact that our world is globalising is a benefit or something negative? Globalised representatives of the food processing industry like McDonald’s or KFC are frequently the targets of suspicion and contempt, but do we really know what these companies are guilty of and what arguments they themselves would use against their opponents? And what about the ever-increasing interconnection of the entire world, thanks to the media and the internet; does this help us? Or are we simply needlessly overloaded by all of this global information?

  • What is...?

Globalisation: This refers to the ever-increasing connectivity of the modern world in all spheres of people’s lives, i.e. in the economic, social, cultural, technical and political.

Global village: The mutual connectivity of the world thanks to electronic media such as television and the internet. Because of the modern possibilities of communication, geographical, political, national and other barriers are being wiped away, and people around the world can freely exchange their opinions and swap information.

Americanisation, westernisation: An influence on the rest of the world by certain parts of the culture of the USA or Western culture in general (watching American serials, celebrating St Valentine’s Day, eating fast food such as McDonald’s, etc.)

Global problems: These are problems on a global and local level relating to the whole of human civilisation and resolvable only by global efforts.

World Bank: This is an organisation providing financial and technical assistance to developing countries with the aim of reducing poverty and improving living standards throughout the world. It is owned by the governments of its 180 member countries, each of which has a stake in the organisation.

International Monetary Fund (IMF): This is an international organisation affiliated with the UN which sets itself the aim of facilitating international currency cooperation, supporting the stability of exchange rates, and using loans to provide assistance to countries which are experiencing economic problems.

Rich north and poor south: The world is divided into economically advanced countries which take advantage of globalisation and whose economic development is consequently prospering (the rich north), and countries which lag behind and are the worse for globalisation (the poor south).

Supranational companies: In the world today, there exist some 40,000 companies which operate on a supranational basis, including Coca-Cola, T-Mobile, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Nike, Adidas, Dunkin’ Donuts, Shell, Avis, Holiday Inn, Hilton, and others from various branches.

Fairtrade: This is a commercial partnership whose objective is to provide direct and effective support to disadvantaged producers from developing countries. It aims to achieve this by providing fair commercial conditions for producers, with an emphasis on compliance with the basic norms of employment rights and environmental protection, and increasing the amount of information given to consumers regarding the situation of small farmers and craftspeople in developing countries.

  • Topic

The term ‘globalisation’ is a young one, only used for the first time in 1985 by the American economist Theodore Levitt to describe the development of the world economy during the seventies of the 20th century. These days, we encounter the term ‘globalisation’ almost every day, on television, in the press, on the internet and in regular conversations.

“On the most general level, globalisation means the increased connectivity of the world in all spheres of human life. Globalisation is a set of many different processes which contain economic, social, cultural and political aspects. These processes are mutually linked and supported. The economic processes consist above all in the connecting up of world markets and the inclusion of all companies in world economic ties, and in the operations of supranational corporations and international financial institutions (the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund). The social processes include phenomena such as global tourism and migration, the development of communication technology and transport, and the worldwide increase in poverty. Within a cultural dimension, globalisation involves an intensification of the contacts between cultures and the worldwide propagation of certain cultural models. In this respect, there is talk of the disappearance of the variety of cultures and a process of “westernisation” or Americanisation of the world, and of the creation of new cultural forms by their mixing (hybridisation or “creolisation”). Political processes are above all characterised by a decrease in the political influence of nation states, the connecting up of countries into larger wholes, and the growing impact of economics on political decision-making. An important characteristic of globalisation is the mutual dependence between countries and economies, or the increase in inequality between poor and rich societies which accompanies the connecting up of the world.” (

Global problems of humanity
Human civilisation must resolve a whole host of global problems which globalisation brings along with it and which relate to the entire world. The following such global problems are spoken of most frequently:

1) Inter-social problems – these arise in mutual relations between people (the person-to-person relationship) and are linked with the basic conflict of interests of various social and economic groups and systems:
- the problem of war and peace (including possible nuclear, chemical and biological conflicts and catastrophes)
- the problem of overcoming the social and economic backwardness of less developed (developing) countries
- the problem of international indebtedness
- the problem of changes in international economic relationships: the endeavour to create a New International Economic Order (NIEO), including the problems of opening up the markets of the advanced countries to goods from developing countries, fairer rules for trade, and the indebtedness of poor countries

2) Eco-social problems – these originate from the links which have been broken between nature and human society (the person–to-nature relationship):
- population problems
- food (nutritional) problem
- raw materials and energy problems
- ecological problems: the weakening of the ozone layer, global warming, the greenhouse effect and the threat of global climate change, the raising of the levels of the oceans and seas and the possible flooding of 40 percent of the world’s population, i.e. people living in regions of up to 60 kilometres from the coast, possible wars fought over resources (raw materials, land, water), climate change as a moral challenge (the redistribution of insufficient resources)

3) Anthropo-social problems – these relate to the future of humankind, most falling into one category of problem: general social, humanitarian and cultural problems. There is frequent mention made of the overall problem of the future of humankind, which is divided into 10 - 15 sub-problems, which include:
- the problem of absolute poverty, when the international boundary of poverty in the modern world is a daily income of 1 American dollar; 1.2 billion people live on a lower income, and 113 million children do not have access to basic education
- the problem of absolute poverty, when the international boundary of poverty in the modern world is a daily income of 1 American dollar; 1.2 billion people live on a lower income, and 113 million children do not have access to basic education
- the problem of the spread of epidemics and drug addiction (including alcoholism and cigarette smoking), the AIDS epidemic (40 million people live with HIV/AIDS) and other illnesses (malaria, typhoid, cholera, tuberculosis)
- the problem of uncontrolled international immigration
- the problem of terrorism, nurtured by political and racial conflicts, as in Corsica, Chechnya, Kosovo, Israel, Northern Ireland, the Muslim Jihad, and the so-called war against terror

Globalisation – pros and cons

Positive Negative
A reduction of the costs of production and other activities amongst many countries, higher purchasing power, a reduction of costs for logistics Globalisation is not subject to any scale of values, is not restricted by any regulations, and is not governed by any world authority. There is a danger that supranational companies are not corrected, and if a country is not receptive to their dictates, they will move somewhere where conditions are better.
Satisfaction of the requirements of more and more customers anywhere in the world. E.g. in a Czech shop it is now possible to buy coconut milk or the ingredients for Japanese sushi without difficulty. On a political level, the process of globalisation leads to authoritarianism, not democratic control.
Standardisation of products and programmes – products must meet certain criteria valid around the whole world, which increases their overall quality. Standardisation – there is the possibility of a product not satisfying any customer.
An increase in competitiveness Brings benefits only to one part of humanity, while the other part lives in absolute poverty. Globalisation is an opportunity for the stronger and a threat to the weaker.
Globalisation accelerates development, especially in information technologies, the exchange of data is very fast. Globalisation is dangerous for national cultures, it leads to their degeneration, the merger of countries, and deterioration of the environment.
Production equipment on the global market is compatible. Giant supranational companies liquidate local producers. The consumer then pays tax to that part of the world where it is least needed.
Globalisation brings with it a desire for knowledge and the free exchange of information. Globalisation brings with it a desire to take over territory and increase influence.

  • Sources


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