Is Globalisation Taking us for a Ride?
Globalisation is one of the great economic and political stories of our times. It was supposed to be one of the great new ideas. The current wave of globalisation is just a subset of huge structural changes that are the outcome of the Schumpeterian evolution in technology, and spatial intensity and scope of interactions between many actors at all levels of the economy. There is, however, a lot of confusion and disagreement in discussions since the process of globalisation means different things to different people. If globalisation is the outcome of the behaviour of transnational corporations, then this process is made possible by new technologies that permit spatial fragmentation of production and value chain, as well as reduction in the cost of transport and communications. The power of firms is increased to the detriment of the power of the state. Even so, governments supported by the general public and non-governmental organisations are able (but not always willing) to cap the globalisation process. Globalisation brings many amenities to society. There were once hopes that globalisation would benefit everyone. As time passes, globalisation’s downside becomes more and more apparent. If the goal of globalisation is to introduce and force the same standards everywhere and for everyone (including in the way in which people think), then there may be no room for differences.
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