Globalization is currently a very hot topic and many people have an awful lot to say about the matter, creating different theories and points of view. A definition of globalization could be, ‘The straightforward exchange between core and peripheral areas based upon a broad division of labour, is being transformed into a highly complex, kaleidoscopic structure involving the fragmentation of many production processes and their geographical relocation on a global scale in ways which slice through national boundaries.’ (Dicken ’98).
When talking about globalization it is difficult to go straight down one trail of thought due to there being so many views and theories on the origins, processes and impacts that are involved. These views can tend to be rather varied also, ‘At one end of the spectrum certain observers claim that today’s world is fully globalized; at the opposite pole ultra-sceptics deny any globalization whatsoever has occurred.’ (Scholte ’00). This massive difference of views may stem from the differences in actual definition that the opinions evolve from. It can be argued that globalization has been around for centuries in the trade of spices and exotic goods, etc. However, others believe that globalization has only really begun to take affect over the last half century when factors such as:
• Advancements in technology.
• Improvements in transport.
• Worldwide communication networks.
• Easing of trade barriers or free trade, etc… have all enabled the integration
of world trade to develop. For the purpose of this assignment I’ll be taking the view of globalization occurring to a much more substantial degree in the second half of the twentieth century.
The distribution of economic activity can be measured in many different ways using various tools and variables, such as flows of trade, FDI (Foreign Direct Investment), migration, information flows, cultural proximity, etc… all of which can be useful in different areas of analysis. In the past economic activity has been resource driven, whereas as now, due to advances in technology in particular, modern day economic activity is based upon ‘ideas and information rather than material or physical goods.’ (J.Khan notes ’07). This would indicate that knowledge is key and changes in technology mean that a more skilled workforce is needed. Different locations have been better suited to utilise technology over the ages, e.g. the industrial revolution saw the rise of the U.K and Western Europe, and then the introduction of Fordism (mass production) saw the rise of the Far East.