Three views on the origin of globalization

Three Views on the Origin of Globalization

Each of the three views on the origin of globalization provides a competing perspective on how, when, where, and/or why this process and phenomenon of closely integrating nations, cultures, and people of the world began. In other words, these views help put in perspective the discussions and debates, as well as research about the causes and factors of globalization.

Understanding the Arguments About the Origin of Globalization: The Three Views

1. The Modern Phenomenon View

Globalization is considered to be a consequence of modernity. To be specific, under the modern phenomenon view, this concept is a recent phenomenon stemming from the Western ideologies of capitalization and recent technological developments. The expansion of multinational companies in the United States beginning in the Second Industrial Revolution and further after the Second World War was a main driver in the current interconnectedness of the world.

This perspective also focuses on the primary role played by multinational enterprises and state actors or governments in leading and driving business and economic trends, as well as in creating global homogeneity by eroding specific cultures and traditions. This means that the phenomenon is a result of the internationalization efforts of business organizations and the expansion of the political influence of governments through international relations and foreign policy.

2. The Historical Evolution View

From a historical evolution perspective, globalization is nothing new and it has always been part of human history. Ancient cities were involved in cross-border trades. The existence of ancient trade networks such as the Incense Route that connected East Asia with India and Arabia, and the Silk Road that connected the East and the West demonstrated exertion of economic and cultural influence across different countries.

Western imperialism and colonialism during the Middle Age, the Islamization beyond the Arabian Peninsula and toward Asian countries, and the dynastic expansion of China are also examples of early attempts at globalization. The expanding influence of the free market and capitalism after the Second World War marked another another attempt toward globalization.

3. The Pendulum View

Like the swing of a pendulum, globalization swings back and fort, and has its ups and downs. For example, after World War II and during the Cold War, communist countries such as the former Soviet Union, China, and North Korea closed down their economies from the international trade in their attempt to promote economic independence and self-sufficiency. However, during the same time, countries such as Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, and South Korea, became trading hubs.

Today, while globalization is an ongoing phenomenon, there are existing clamors toward economic and cultural nationalism. The pendulum view on the origin of globalization fundamentally argues that the process of globalization is not recent and one-directional. There were and will be points in the entire historic timeline in which countries would be either more open toward international cooperation and integration or would detest being part of the broader global society.