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?
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.
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.” (www.varinaty.cz)
Global problems of humanity
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:
2) Eco-social problems – these originate from the links which have been broken between nature and human society (the person–to-nature relationship):
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:
Globalisation – pros and cons