The current phase of Globalization; of course, is not a new phenomenon. The period 1870 to 1913 experiences a growing trend towards globalization. The new phase of globalization which started around mid 20th century became very widespread, more pronounced and overcharging since the late 1980s by getting more momentum from the political and economic changes that swept across the communist countries, the economic reforms in other countries, the latest multilateral trade agreement which seeks to substantially liberalize international trade and investment and the technological and communication revolutions.
Here explains the question – How to we look at the current phase of globalization?
There are several similarities and differences between the two phases of globalization.
The Human Development Report, 1999, mentioned the following as the new features of the current phase of globalization:
- Growing global markets in services- banking, insurance, transport.
- New financial markets- deregulated, globally linked, working around the clock, with action at a distance in real-time, with new instruments as derivatives.
- Deregulation of antitrust laws and the proliferation of mergers and acquisitions.
- Global consumers market with global trends.
- Multinational corporations integrating their production and marketing, dominating food production.
- The World Trade Organization- the first multilateral organization with the authority to enforce national governments’ compliance with rules.
- An international criminal court system in the making.
- A booming international network of NGOs.
- Regional blocs proliferating and gaining importance- European union, Association of South-East Asian Nations, Mercosur, North American Free Trade Association, Southern Africa Development Community, among many others.
- More policy coordination groups- G-7, G-40, G-22, G-77, OECD.
New Rules and Norms:
- Market economic policies spreading around the world, with greater privatization and liberalization than in earlier decades.
- Widespread adoption of democracy as the choice of political regime.
- Human rights conventions and instruments building up in both coverage and number of signatories and growing awareness among people around the world.
- Consensus goals and action agenda for development.
- Conventions and agreements on the global environment– biodiversity, ozone layer, disposal of hazardous wastes, desertification, and climate change.
- Multilateral agreement in trade, taking on such a new agenda as environmental and social conditions.
- New multilateral agreement for services, intellectual property, communications, more binding on national governments than any previous agreements.
- The Multilateral Agreement on Investment under debate.
New (Faster and Cheaper) Tools of Communication:
- Internet and electronic communication linking many people simultaneously.
- Cellular phones.
- Fax machines
- Faster and cheaper transport by air, rail, and road.
- Computer-aided design.
Four phases of globalization:
This approach naturally leads to 4 phases of globalization.
- First phases, consumption, and production take place together because the “hunter-gather” lifestyle meant consumption moving to “production” (i.e. food sources).
- Second phases, consumption, and production remained together but it was because people “brought” the food to themselves by developing agriculture.
- Third phases, were when modern globalization started in the 19th century. Steamships and railroads (and world peace called Pax Britannica) made it economical to consume goods that were made faraway. With things being made in one country and consumed in another, trade boomed.
- Finally, the one we are in today – started when production itself got broken up and shifted around to different nations. This knows as offshoring and it radically transformed world trade and manufacturing.
The transitions between the phases – so-called “phase transitions” – were marked by world-shaping changes.
The current and as yet not concluded the fourth phase of accelerated globalization that comprises the last two decades of the 20th century, as well as the first two of the 21st, will characterize especially by the rapidly increasing globalization of the financial markets, the building of communications systems that span the globe “in real-time,” and the overcoming of a binary, ideologically motivated political bloc system.
By no means does this indicate—as the once more intensifying and often religiously-clothed contrasts between the “Occident” and the “Orient” show in all clarity—that under this we might be standing directly before a breakthrough to a unified world society, or that the borders between states have become obsolete. The number of states on our planet that have become independent is also consistently increasing.
Discuss of Current phase:
This also applies, of course, to other configurations between different surges in globalization. The opening of the occidental modern era onto a common space open to the future, space with which the internet age became both technologically and culturally configured during the last two decades of the 20th century, is, here again, not to comprehensively understand without consideration of those processes designated as the third phase of accelerated globalization, especially the process leading to the development of divergent modernities.
Along with globalization “from above” (especially of financial markets and capital), there appears a globalization “from below” (on the level of mass migrations and their attendant fundamental globalization critique) and even “transverse” globalization (on the level of an information and knowledge society that interconnects on a world-wide scale, the centers of which—let us not deceive ourselves—lie nonetheless in the USA and, to some extent, in Europe).
Within the parameters of this fourth phase, China, India, and perhaps Brazil have become global players that in the future will have an important say not only in political and social matters but in the realms of economics and culture as well. Indeed, China might currently find itself in a position that could compare in many respects to that of the USA within the time frame of the third phase. That the next surge in globalization, which might still expect to occur in the 21st century, should necessarily benefit English alone is, in light of the growing importance of Asian markets and powers, hardly likely.
Characteristics of the Current phase:
The characteristics of the current phase of accelerated globalization are undoubtedly quite specific, yet they are no more specific than those of the past phases, nor are they independent of them. Only when it understands that the present globalization is not something completely new, a creation ex nihilo, will we be able to draw forth the lessons of the preceding phases of this process.
Only then is it possible for one to respond to the trailblazing and vectorizations observable since the expansion of Europe at the close of the 15th century with new paths and new forms of knowledge? Does that take the place of the dissolution of world order currently being articulated? And which could develop such models and measures as are indispensable to peaceful coexistence in diversity?
In the search for these new paths, for this other knowledge, the literature of the world—and it is from here that this work proceeds—are of inestimable value. For their knowledge is a knowledge that does not limit to particular regions of nations, but quite clearly strides beyond individual cultural areas and is constantly on the move.