The three types of globalisation
Globalisation is a complex and multifaceted phenomenon that has transformed the world in numerous ways. It has brought people, cultures, economies, and politics closer together, creating a more interconnected and interdependent global community.
Examining the different types of globalisation, political, economic and cultural, will help us to further understand how the interconnection of the world has increased.
The first of our three types of globalisation is political. Political globalisation refers to the increasing integration and interdependence of governments and political systems around the world. It involves the spread of political ideals, institutions, and practices across national borders. Political globalisation has increased in prevalence since the end of the Second World War, as countries looked for ways to prevent such a conflict from occurring ever again.
One example of political globalisation is the formation and growth of international organisations such as the United Nations (UN) and the European Union (EU). These organisations facilitate global cooperation and address common challenges through diplomatic negotiations and policy coordination. The United Nations is seen to be the closest the world has to a “global government”, and decisions and treaties made at the UN are generally respected by all members.
Economic globalisation refers to the integration and interconnectedness of national economies. It involves the free flow of goods, services, capital, and technology across borders. One prominent example of economic globalisation is the establishment of global supply chains. Companies now source raw materials, components, and labour from different countries to produce goods and services. This has led to increased trade, foreign direct investment, and economic interdependence among nations. These changes have also coincided with developments in transportation and technology, such as containerisation and the use of air travel.
Furthermore, this type of globalisation is linked to other organisations that help to ensure that countries’ economies are more interconnected. The World Trade Organisation (WTO) sets standards across the world for how global trade should be conducted, with the aim of reducing the tariffs that countries pay for imports and exports.
Cultural globalisation is our third type of globalisation, and it refers to the diffusion and exchange of ideas, values, beliefs, and practices across different cultures and societies. It involves the spread of cultural products, such as music, movies, fashion, and cuisine, across national boundaries. It is perhaps the most widespread type of globalisation, but its importance is not as recognised in political discourse (discussion).
One example of cultural globalisation is the influence of American popular culture around the world, colloquially known as ‘Americanisation’. Hollywood movies, fast food chains like McDonald’s, and American music genres like hip-hop have become ubiquitous in many countries, shaping local cultures and identities. Furthermore, international competitions such as the Eurovision Song Contest allow people to see elements of national culture and identity through a relaxed and enjoyable event. The 2023 edition of the contest, held in Liverpool, saw Spanish flamenco, British pop and German heavy metal, among other acts.
Globalisation is an important aspect of international politics, and this article has explained the three main types of globalisation. We dive deep into the three types of globalisation and their impacts in our global politics course. You can learn more about global governance, power and regionalism with video, audio and text-based resources.
All three types of globalisation are interconnected and mutually reinforcing processes that define the modern world. They have both positive and negative implications, impacting societies, economies, and individuals in different ways. The time at which they all began can be traced back to many places, with the enhancements in connections across the world developing over a large timeline.
Understanding the different types of globalisation helps us comprehend the complexities of our globalised world and navigate the challenges and opportunities it presents.