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Globalization: Characteristics and Dimensions


Globalisation refers to the integration of societies, economies, and cultures as they interact through trade and other forms of communication. Economies are globalised as they interact through various ways such as widespread use of technology, international trade or migration. This is termed as economic globalisation due to its nature and mode of interaction of economies. Globalization plays a big role in the process of linking different countries. This mitigates the probability of future war and conflicts. Currently, globalisation has been facilitated by removal of trade barriers thus enhancing interaction of nations through trade. This also has increased interdependence of countries enabling them to enjoy comparative advantage in trade. For instance, countries are able to obtain what they do not produce from another country. Comparative advantage can take a different form where countries choose to buy a certain product from a country that produces it more cheaply than them in order to save on production cost.

This paper is aimed at examining the concept of globalisation in a broader spectrum. First it explores the concept of migration in globalisation. The characteristics and dimensions of globalisation according to Steger are also examined. An analysis of what globalization meant to regulate and how it is unequal in regulating is reflected in the ranking of these movements.

Migration in globalisation

Globalisation has facilitated migration of people from one country to another.

Removal of trade barriers have enabled people to move freely from one country to another. Although not all people are free to move, it is evident that modern globalisation has facilitated migration. Recent trends in the world economy have made migration to be common globally. It has been argued that globalization is the defining factor of migration since migration barriers disappeared with globalization. For instance, the presence of many international organisations which seek to improve economic integration between different countries of the world has greatly contributed to removal of migration obstacles. Organisations like World Trade Organisation seek to enhance globalization and have improved the migration process.

Characteristics and dimensions of globalisation according to Steger

Steger highlights components of globalization which includes ideological and political aspects. In addition, he also asserts that cultural and historical aspects are a part of globalization. According to Steger (2009, p.23), globalisation culminates into transformation of the element of nationality. This makes the world to be borderless. He also asserts that globalization is a combination of unified processes which operates at different dimensions. These dimensions will be discussed below.

In the Historical dimension of globalisation, Steger argue that globalization is not a current event but has been in existence since prehistoric period. Many analysts argue that globalization is recent phenomenon but Steger asserts that events that lead to the current technology and cultural exchanges are part of recent globalization. According to him, cultural exchanges that greatly contributed to the recent globalization existed in the prehistoric period. The outset of globalisation depends on how deep people examine the issue. His view is that recent technologies and social alignments is a result of phenomena that took place in prehistoric period.

Economic dimension of globalization depicts how globalization emerged out of economic interaction of countries in the world. According to Steger, economic globalization is shown by the recent economic order evident in the world today. He illustrates three factors that have lead to economic globalization (Steger, 2009, p.23). One of these factors is trade internalization which results from comparative advantage enjoyed by countries. Comparative advantage has increased interdependence between countries which has in turn facilitated international trade. In addition, internalization of finance arises where exchange of goods has been eased. The last factor is transnational corporations (TCNs) that have power to influence trade relations between nations. TCNs have influenced and changed the trends in international economy leading to a more interactive global economy. They also affect the political and economic aspects of nations in the world. Other institutions considered include World Trade Organization (WTO), World Bank and international monetary funds (IMF). These institutions play a major role in shaping global economic trends. He argued that these institutions have power to enact and enforce rule which have the capacity of affecting the global economy like international trade tariffs regulation (Steger, 2009, p.28).

Political dimension of globalization is evident in the current world. Steger points out that there have been increased political interrelations between nations in the world. This has culminated into rapid globalization. The origin of political globalization is evident in the nation state system that is embraced by many nations in the world today. This could be related to the European state system of 17th century that has been adopted by almost all nations in the world. This has permeated interaction between nations as they trade and participate in international affairs. This has also lead to rapid emergence of a borderless world that thus facilitating globalization. Emergence of powerful political institutions like European Union is the key cause of current globalization. These associations and institutions are capable of influencing the world’s political, economic and social system thus increasing interactions between nations.

Cultural dimension of globalization is made rapid by dissemination of culture of one nation to other countries. This can be traced back in colonial period when superior languages like English and French among others spread to their spheres of influence or colonies. Other cultural practices have spread rapidly among nations. Language is the most spreading aspect of culture (Steger, 2009, p.29).

Ecological globalization deals with various global ecological issues. For instance environmental degradation is a global issue attracting the focus of the whole world. One of the most recent ecological issues is global warming which is being addressed by all nations in the world.

Regulation role of globalization

Taking into consideration the different dimensions of globalisation, it is evident that globalization is aimed at regulating different aspects of the global economy. For instance, globalisation is meant to regulate illegal immigration of people to a certain nation. This is achieved by easing boarder restriction and giving people permits to trade freely between nations. It ensures that only legalised migration takes place around the globe.

Globalization is also aimed at easing investigation into an issue of global interest. For instance, production of nuclear bombs is easily investigated with the current globalization. This is accomplished through united nation organisation that is mandated to conduct such investigations. Also globalisation is meant to regulate conflicts between nations. For instance by establishing strong trade relations among nations, chance of conflict between trading partners is mitigated. Countries develop friendly economic relationships.

Globalization also encourages comparative advantage between nations. This allows a nation to obtain what they can not produce at all or cheaply. This also regulates conflicts as nations become interdependence and friendly. It also regulates transfer of technology from one country to another thus helping improve domestic production and foreign investment). Globalization is also meant to protect a property that is of global interest. Steger (2009, p.33) asserts that ecological globalization aimed at minimizing environmental degradation.

Globalization also aims at ensuring fair trade relations between nations. This is achieved through ensuring purchasing power parity (PPP) is heeded. This will regulate trade and ensure that no country is exploited by another.

Cases of unequal regulation

Despite the attempt by different player to regulate the world’s economic movement, there have been cases of unequal regulation. For instance, the issue of illegal immigration is rampant is in some countries than another. This is mostly because some countries still have strict border restrictions and therefore people look for illegal ways to enter there.

Environmental degradation is still common in some nations with less regulation. Conflicts still occur between nations. Unequal border regulations have increased cases of terrorism and drug trafficking.

Castles and Miller views on migration regulation

Castle and Miller felt that most countries lack effective system of controlling international migration (Castles & Miller, 2009, p.27). They argue that migration of people is the least regulated movement. In most parts of the world, movement of people is not regulated. For instance the European Union allows free movement of their people across its member states. Castle and Miller argued that people move in search for good employment and better livelihood. Movement of people is less regulated because most countries are united in to associations that allow people to move freely (Castles & Miller, 2009, p.20). The European Union has not established policies to regulate migration from 3rd world countries but have allowed free migration from and to member states. The strictest countries like US have not managed to end migration to their countries despite their strict rules. Movement of people is therefore less regulated.


Globalization has made the world borderless. In addition, it has enabled countries to benefit through international trade. Globalization has also enabled the world to be able to address issues such as global warming. Globalization is beneficial though it could have its own demerits.

Reference List

Castles, S & Miller, J. (2009). The age of migration: international population movements in the modern world. New York: Guilford Publications

Steger, B. (2009). Globalization: a very short introduction. USA: Oxford University Press.

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