Term Definition

Vera Jovanovic

Globalization is the process of growing and widening worldwide interconnectedness and interdependence. Although globalization is not a completely new concept and can be traced back to the empires of antiquity and, more recently, the age of colonisation and the industrial revolution, the last four decades have witnessed true global processes in every sphere of existence, economic, social, cultural and political. In a world that has become a global village, traditional forms of organisation such as sovereign state or nation are being challenged and no longer enjoy their old status. Territorial and other material boundaries have begun to lose sense, denationalization has become a reality and the individual has become a globally important actor.

The World Wide Web is a characteristic phenomenon of globalisation, not the only one. Globalization has other embodiments, some of them being international organisations or institutions such as the United Nations, the World Trade Organisation, the European Union, the Olympics.

Although critics can always list arguments against globalization, there are many improvements in the world that can be attributed to globalisation: income inequality for the world as a whole is diminishing, democracy is definitely spreading, life expectancy has almost doubled in the developing world since World War II. Another of the important benefits is a growing cosmopolitan spirit deriving from the consciousness that the world is a shared social space.

Compiled and edited by Dr. Stefan Melnik, a senior advisor to the Friedrich Naumann Foundation as well as political communication trainer, editor and author of many books on liberalism. Names of outside contributors are respectively mentioned under the terms.

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