Globalisation

  • Introduction
  • Activity 1
  • Activity 2
  • Activity 3
  • Activity 4
  • Activity 5
  • Activity 6
  • Reflection

Introduction

If climate change is the key process in the natural world impacting on sustainable development, then globalisation is the parallel process in the human world, creating both opportunities for, and barriers to, sustainable development.

Globalisation is the ongoing process that is linking people, neighbourhoods, cities, regions and countries much more closely together than they have ever been before. This has resulted in our lives being intertwined with people in all parts of the world via the food we eat, the clothing we wear, the music we listen to, the information we get and the ideas we hold.

This interconnectedness amongst humans on the planet is sometimes also referred to as the ‘global village’ where the barriers of national and international boundaries become less relevant and the world, figuratively, a smaller place. The process is driven economically by international financial flows and trade, technologically by information technology and mass media entertainment, and very significantly, also by very human means such as cultural exchanges, migration and international tourism. As one commentator remarked, we now live in a networked world.

While globalisation is not a new process, it has accelerated rapidly since World War II, and is having many effects on people, the environment, cultures, national governments, economic development and human well-being in countries around the world. Many of these impacts are beneficial, but Jimmy Carter, a former President of the USA, has pointed out that many people are missing out on these benefits:

Globalisation, as defined by rich people like us, is a very nice thing… you are talking about the Internet, you are talking about cell phones, you are talking about computers. This doesn’t affect two-thirds of the people of the world.

Source: Jimmy Carter Quotes & Speeches

These issues make the development of an understanding of globalisation, its various integrated forms, its driving forces and its impacts a vitally important education objective. Such a understanding can provide young people with critical insights into the social, cultural and political impacts of the globalising impacts of economic integration and communication technologies – as well as provide them with capacities to assess the costs and benefits in their lives an communities and those of people in other parts of the world. This provides an important ethical, as well as analytical, dimension to the study of globalisation.

Objectives

  • To understand basic concepts, processes and trends associated with globalisation;
  • To assess the impacts of globalisation and the wide range of reactions they have caused around the world;
  • To understand the interconnected nature of the major drivers of globalisation;
  • To appreciate the complexity of teaching about globalisation; and
  • To develop a rationale for integrating a global perspective in Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future.

Activities

  1. Growing Connections
  2. Circles and Systems
  3. What is globisation?
  4. Drivers of globalisation
  5. Evaluating globalisation
  6. Globalisation: Further Investigations
  7. Reflection

References

Anderson, S., Cavanagh, J. and Lee, T. (2005) Field Guide to the Global Economy, 2nd edition, Institute for Policy Studies, Washington DC.

Bardhan, P. (2005) Globalization, Inequality and Poverty: An Overview, University of California, Berkeley.

Bhagwati, J. (2004) In Defense of Globalization, Oxford University Press, New York.

Bhalla, S. (2002) Imagine There’s No Country. Poverty, Inequality, and Growth in the Era of Globalization, Institute for International Economics, Washington DC.

Broad, R. and Cavanagh, J. (2008) Development Redefined: How the Market Met its Match, Institue for Policy Studies, Washington DC.

Held, D. et al.(1999) Global transformations: politics, economics and culture, Stanford University Press, Stanford CA.

Hicks, D. and Holden, C. (eds) (2007) Teaching the Global Dimension: Key Principles and Effective Practice, Routledge, London.

Lash, S. and Lury, C. (2007) Global Culture Industry: The Mediation of Things, Polity Press, London.

Reich, R. (2007) Supercapitalism: The Transformation of Business, Democracy, and Everyday Life, Vintage Books, New York.

Richardson, R. (2004) Here, There and Everywhere: Belonging, Identity and Equality in Schools, Trentham Books, Stoke-on-Trent.

Steger, M. (2008) Globalisation: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Steger, M. (2009) Globalisation: The Great Ideological Struggle of the twenty-first Century, Rowman and Littlefield, Lanham MD.

Stiglitz, J. (2002) Globalisation and Its Discontents, Norton & Company Inc., New York.

Stiglitz, J. (2006) Making Globalization Work, Norton and Company, Inc., New York.

Veseth, M. (2005) Globaloney: Unraveling the Myths of Globalisation, Rowman and Littlefield, Lanham MD.

Wolk, M. (2004) Why Globalisation Works, Yale University Press.

World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalisation (2004) A Fair Globalisation: Creating Opportunities for All, International Labour Organisation, Geneva.

Internet Sites

ActionAid

Center for Global Development

Centre for Research on Globalization (Canada) – Global Research

Center for Strategic and International Studies (State University of New York) – Globalization 101

Focus on the Global South

Global Policy Forum

Brookings Institute Center for Global Economy and Development

Oneworld.net – Globalisation Guide

UN Millennium Development Goal Indicators Database

WIDER (World Institute for Development Economics Research)

World Bank – Inequality Around the World

World Commission on Globalisation: A Fair Globalisation – Creating Opportunities for All

Acknowledgements

We wish to thank the Yale Centre for the Study of Globalisation for providing the “Small Screen, Smaller World” to include on the CDRom version of this programme.

Japanese Funds-in-Trust

Credits

This module was written for UNESCO by John Fien.

The production of this module was funded by the Japanese Funds-in-Trust.

Growing Connections

Begin by opening your learning journal for this activity.

Good morning world!

All day every day we are linked to ideas, processes and products from all over the world. For example, consider the morning routine of a typical student.

Hover over any word in the story, which you think links the young person to a global connection somewhere in the world each morning. How many global connections can you find?

As I wake up, I throw back the sheetsSheets are made from cotton first domesticated in India but now grown, spun and sewn in China by a British owned company. and blanketsBlankets are made of wool from sheep first tamed and herded in the Middle East but whose forebears came from Spain to Australia where the wool was grown before being exported to Italy on a Liberian registered ship – crewed by men from The Philippines but with English officers – before being exported to your country where it is sold in a shop owned by a company from Sweden., get out of bedBeds are built from a design going back to the ancient Middle East and modified in northern Europe and, today, made from sustainably grown plantation pine in Norway before being exported to your country. and put on my slippersSlippers are much like the moccasins worn by native North Americans but today made in Thailand using a synthetic fibre made in Singapore on a machine made in Russia.. I then go to the bathroomToday’s bathrooms are a recent development of the washrooms of ancient Rome in Italy. where I wash with soapSoap was invented by the ancient Gauls from modern day France but made from Nigerian palm oil by a Dutch-English company with subsidiaries in almost every country of the world – and advertised on our Japanese-made televisions by a Spanish-born Hollywood movie star. and waterThe water is purified by chemicals from Canada at a treatment plant owned by a French company.. Returning to my bedroom, I take off my pyjamas and put on my clothesJeans and T-shirt, both made in El Salvador, but worn by people in almost every country. and shoesThe sneakers were made in Vietnam for a German company from skins tanned according to a process first developed in Egypt and rubber from Malaysia. for school. I look out the window to check the likely weather – cold and rainy – and decide that I had better wear a jacketMy jacket made from nylon fibre made from oil from Iraq by a New Zealand owned company but with a brand named after a city in Nepal. to keep me warm. Downstairs in the kitchen, I eat a bowl of cerealMuesli is based upon an original Swiss recipe made by a US owned company out of grains first domesticated in Mexico. and drink a cup of coffeeMy family buys Tanzanian “campaign coffee”; Sugar is a grass that was first domesticated in the Caribbean; Milk is from cows originally bred in Belgium. while watching CNNThe news today is about an election in Pakistan, a meeting of world leaders in Doha, Qatar, a new UN peace-keeping mission in Central Africa (with soldiers from Fiji, Denmark and The Netherlands), the results of a World Cup qualifying game between Uruguay and Argentina, and a famous Bollywood (India) actor who has just gotten married.. Realising I am running late, I rush upstairs to clean my teethThe modern tooth brush is based upon a custom developed in ancient China.. Downstairs again, I pull on my jacketMy jacket made from nylon fibre made from oil from Iraq by a New Zealand owned company but with a brand named after a city in Nepal. and hat, pick up my booksThe textbook was printed by an English publishing company but soon to be available on the global internet. and head out the door to the busThe bus is a Swedish Volvo running on Iranian oil and a big contributor to global climate change – but not as bad compared to those students whose parents drive the to school in private cars from Korea, Japan, Germany, Spain, France, Italy, Brazil, USA, South Africa or England. stop.

Read the story again, this time with all the global connections included.

Q1: The story Good Morning World! was written to try to be “typical” and have some relevance to students in as many parts of the world as possible. Rewrite both forms of the story so that it more accurately described the typical morning of young people in your country.

Typically, these cultural, economic and environmental aspects of globalisation are the ones most often considered when people think about globalisation. These will also be a focus of this module as they strongly affect the prospects for sustainable development, both positively and negatively.

However, growing ideas about the need for international understanding and a global culture of peace. This is an important aspect of globalisation and Education for Sustainable Development.

The hat-maker’s son who became Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations

Robert Muller was born in a disputed area of Belgium in 1923, the son of a hat maker. He was raised in the Alsace-Lorraine region of France, which endured so much political and cultural turmoil that his grandparents switched nationalities five times (French, German, French, German, and French) without leaving their village.

During World War II, Robert Muller lived under Nazi occupation and was imprisoned by the Gestapo. He then became a refugee, and later a member of the French Resistance.

On the night of the French liberation from Germany at the end of the war, he stood in a field and wept for all the young people whose lives were lost. That night Muller swore he would devote his life to peace.

In 1947, Robert Muller won an essay contest on world government. The prize was an internship at the newly-created United Nations in New York. He devoted the next 40 years to the UN, working behind the scenes on global cooperation to bring about a lasting world peace. He rose through the ranks of the UN to the highest appointed position: Assistant Secretary-General. He was nicknamed the “Prophet of Hope” for his spirit of peace and his many contributions to the United Nations.

The World Core Curriculum

Among the many honours for his efforts to build a global culture of peace, Robert Muller was made Chancellor of the United Nations University for Peace in Costa Rica. He was also awarded the Albert Schweitzer International Prize for the Humanities, the Eleanor Roosevelt Man of Vision Award, and the World Citizenship Award from the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation.

UNESCO awarded him the 1989 Peace Education Prize in recognition of World Core Curriculum that he wrote. This outlined four areas of essential knowledge:

  1. Our Planetary Home and Place in the Universe
  2. Our Place in Time
  3. The Family of Humanity
  4. The Miracle of Individual Life

Q2: Many people see globalisation as something to do with international finance and trade, multinational compaies the Internet, Hollywood and Boolywood movies and other threats to local identity and culture. Why do you think Robert Muller’s World Core Curriculum seems to be much wider than this?

The father of global education

As a result of his work on the World Core Curriculum, Robert Muller is know as “the father of global education”. This is the challenge he posed to governments and teachers:

A child born today will be faced as an adult, almost daily, with problems of a global interdependent nature, be it peace, food, the quality of life, inflation, or scarcity of resources. He (sic) will be both an actor and a beneficiary or a victim in the total world fabric, and he may rightly ask: “Why was I not warned? Why was I not better educated? Why did my teachers not tell me about these problems and indicate my behaviour as a member of an interdependent human race?”

It is, therefore, the duty and the self-enlightened interest of governments to educate their children properly about the type of world in which they are going to live. They must inform them of the action, the endeavour, and the recommendations of their global organisations … and prepare their young people to assume responsibility for the consequences of their actions and help in the care of several billion more fellow humans on Earth.

Source: Muller, R. (1982) New Genesis. Shaping a Global Spirituality, Doubleday, New York.

Q3: When you read arguments as persuasive as this quotation, it is hard to understand why all school curricula do not have a strong global perspective. Yet, this is not the case in many parts of the world. What reasons do you think curriculum writers or teachers may have for neglecting the global perspective?

Q4: How would you answer them?

Save your answers to Questions 2-4 in your learning journal as you will return to them at the end of this module.

Circles and Systems

Begin by opening your learning journal for this activity.

UNESCO Peace Education Prize

As well as Robert Muller, many other global educators and peace makers have won the UNESCO Peace Education Prize. Some include:

UNESCO Peace Eudcation Prize
1981   Helena Kekkonen (Finland)
1986   Paulo Freire (Brazil)
1990   Rigoberta Menchú Tum (Guatemala)
1992   Mother Teresa of Calcutta
1994   The Venerable Prayudh Payutto (Thailand)
1996   Chiara Lubich (Italy)
1997   François Giraud (France)
2000   Toh Swee-Hin (Australia)
2001   Bishop Nelson Onono-Onweng (Uganda)
2006   Christopher Gregory Weeramantry (Sri Lanka)

Two approaches to globalisation in education

Robin Richardson    Here, There and Everywhere.

One global educator who has not been awarded this honour yet is Robin Richardson. Nevertheless, he is one of the key thinkers in the world about globalisation and education.

Robin works in England as a consultant on multicultural and anti-racist education and, at one time, was Chief Inspector in one of the education regions of London. He has also worked as a consultant or lecturer in a range of governmental and other organisations in the UK, in most west European countries, and in Australia, Czech Republic, Israel, Kenya, Lesotho, India, Japan, South Africa and the United States.

As long ago as 1980, he was writing school textbooks with titles such as World in Conflict, Progress and Poverty and Planet in Crisis. So, whenever he writes anything about globalisation and education, you can generally be sure that it is not only very learned and wise, but also of value in day to day teaching.

In one of his latest books, Here, There and Everywhere: Belonging, Identity and Equality in Schools, Robin Richardson contrasts two approaches to learning about globalisation and its effects – the concentric circles approach and the systems approach. The differences between these are important as they underpin significant differences not only in thinking about the nature of globalisation but also in philosophies of education.

The concentric circles approach

Robin Richardson drew inspiration from a novel called Lark Rise to Candleford to describe the concentric circles approach. The novel, written by Flora Thompson, is autobiographical and paints a vivid picture of life growing up in a small English village in the 1880s:

Beyond the garden in summer there were fields of oats and barley and wheat which sighed and rustled when the wind blew, and which filled the air with pollen and heavy earth scents.

The fields were flat and stretched away to a distant line of trees on the horizon. To the children at that time those trees marked the boundary of their world.

Beyond their world enclosed by trees there was, they were told, a wider world where there were hamlets similar to their own, and towns, and cities, and the sea, and beyond the sea other countries where people spoke languages different from their own. Their father had told them so. But for the children, in their small world bounded by the trees, this wider world was but an idea, unrealized. Whereas everything within their own world was more than life-size, and more richly coloured.

Robin Richardson used this passage from Lark Rise to Candleford to depict the concentric circle view of the world.

Inside the innermost circle is the world we see and touch, hear and smell. It is our personal world and, beyond it, can be found the local region, national borders, oceans and the far-off countries of the world, each cascading out from the centre in concentric circles, just like when you throw a stone in a pool of water.

The concentric circles approach is very often used as a way of structuring school syllabuses in geography, history and other social science subjects.

Q5: Describe a school program you teach – or maybe studied as a student – that was based upon the concentric circles approach.

Q6: What do you think were its advantages and disadvantages?

The systems approach

Robin Richardson argues that the concentric circles approach has problems as a model of today’s interconnected world as it ignores the many different links across the scales. He wrote:

… it is no longer possible to understand your local world unless you see it as belonging to systems much larger than itself – systems in which skylines and national boundaries are largely irrelevant. “here” is not only the centre of concentric circles but also where various global systems meet, for example systems of economics, politics, ecology and culture.

Source: Richardson, R. (2004) Here, There and Everywhere: Belonging, Identity and Equality in Schools, Trentham Books, Stoke-on-Trent, p. 12.

This means that we cannot adequately understand the centre circle or, indeed, any of those around it, unless we see it/them as part of something far larger and more complex than itself. Thus, there is a need to map onto the concentric circles the notion of world systems, with four of the most important of these being economics, politics, ecology and culture.

As the diagram shows, the systems act like drive-belts on a motor, turning and shaping our personal and local worlds in line with events and processes that are taking place elsewhere in the systems. Robin Richardson concludes that this is a more realistic basis for planning school curricula and suggests that “interdependence” be seen as a key word in curriculum planning.

Economic interdependence is an essential concept in geography. Ecological interdependence is fundamental in biology and chemistry. Political interdependence is central in all studies of causation in history. Cultural interdependence, involving fusion, cross-over and mutual influences and borrowings, is a recurring feature in art, design, drama, literature, music and technology.

Source: Richardson, R. (2004) Here, There and Everywhere: Belonging, Identity and Equality in Schools, Trentham Books, Stoke-on-Trent, p. 13.

In fact, the situation is even more complex than this because we can no longer see the school curriculum as made up of separate subjects. The major contemporary issues facing the world today – such as the topics of sustainable agriculture, gender and development, population, sustainable communities, tourism and so on in this section of Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future – are interdisciplinary.

Thus, there is a need to recognise that the systems that drive the world today demand new responses in education. If disciplinary specialists working on their own cannot solve these major contemporary issues in the real world then it makes little sense for teachers and students to study them in disciplinary boxes in classrooms. (See Module 6 Activity 2.)

Q7: Do you think the World Core Curriculum follows the concentric circle or the systems approach? Why?

Windows on Global Classrooms

What are teachers around the world doing to help their students understand this systems perspective on the increasingly interconnected nature of the world today? What processes, issues and implications are students being asked to explore?

Roll the mouse over the countries marked on the map to see how some teachers are answering these questions.

Brazil Malaysia Australia Kenya Lebanon Canada

[Click here for a printer friendly version of these desciptions.]

Q8: Select three lessons that you would find interesting to teach and describe the systems that students are learning about. Also explain why you would find these lessons interesting to teach.

What is globalisation?

Begin by opening your learning journal for this activity.

Globalisation describes a world environment in which there is relatively free and frequent movement of goods, capital, people, information and ideas internationally. The lessons in the previous activity were guiding students towards an understanding of some of the many consequences of globalisation. This activity takes a step backwards and provides evidence and examples of globalisation, clarifies the different meanings of globalisation and the drivers behind the many globalising processes in the world.

We saw in the World Core Curriculum and the examples of global education, that globalisation can emphasize the sharing of cultural experiences and building a global culture of peace. However, it is economic globalisation that is of concern to many.

Economic globalisation: A short history

Economic globalisation has made global market forces more important in the daily lives of the world’s people relative to nation state political forces. The economic processes of globalisation are not new, however. For thousands of years, people have been buying and selling to each other across great distances.

For example, the Silk Road across Central Asia connected China and Europe during the Middle Ages. The great Chinese navigator, Cheng Ho (or Zheng He), made seven voyages to Southeast Asia, India, the Persian Gulf, and Africa between 1405 and 1433 AD and established major trading ports. In fact, Africa was considered China’s “El Dorado” in the fifteenth century just like South America was for Portugal and Spain from the sixteenth century onwards.

Euros

However, not everyone benefited from these historical experiences of globalisation. The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade saw over ten million Africans shipped to the Americas in 35,000 voyages between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries. The British East India Company was formed to trade with the East Indies (Indonesia) but ended up trading mostly between the Indian subcontinent and China. While sending cotton, silk, indigo dye and tea back to England, the Company made its greatest profits forcing Indian farmers to grow poppy flowers which were manufactured into opium in company-owned factories and then sold into China against the will of the Imperial government. This eventually led to the Opium Wars between China between Britain.

The 19th and early 20th Centuries were also a time of very rapidly increasing free movement of goods, capital and people. New technology – in the form of the telegraph and steamships – made international communication and transportation much faster, easier and cheaper. By 1914, almost all of Africa, Asia, the Pacific and Latin America and the Caribbean had been colonized by European countries to advance their wealth and power. This was achieved by using military power to rule colonies as sources as cheap, near slave labour and abundant, nearly free natural resources. These resources were sent to the factories in the colonial powers, where they underpinned the industrialisation and economic growth Europe and North America.

Despite becoming politically independent in the years after World War II, most former colonies remained tied into the global economy as suppliers of raw materials, low-paid labour and markets for manufactured imports. Very few countries have been successful in breaking out of this pattern. This is the process known as neo-colonialism.

Economic globalisation has been advanced by five key factors in the past fifty years:

  1. To encourage economic growth and investment, governments have privatized many previously government owned services and industries and deregulated economic activity to allow market forces greater scope. The lending and development policies of international agencies and banks, to open their economies to international goods, services, practices and ideas.
  2. Large multinational corporations have replaced governments as the vehicle for economic domination and many have grown to be larger and more powerful than most countries.
  3. Rapid advances in technology, especially in manufacturing, communication and transport in recent decades, has seen the industrial revolution replaced by the information and services revolution.
  4. Advances in communication technologies and the media have intensified daily experiences of global connectedness and contributed to a “global consciousness” that normalizes and, thus, encourages more and more global connectedness.
  5. The rise in per capita income generated by these processes has fuelled a massive rise in consumerism and created a perpetual cycle – or a treadmill – of production and consumption.

These five factors are analyzed in detail in Activity 4. The important point to note is that they are mutually reinforcing. That is, rapid advances in information technology and computerisation, for example, have reduced the time and costs of global communications, thus reinforcing the effects of these economic factors. Faster, easier and cheaper communications have enabled the rapid transfer of huge amounts of money electronically and the organisation of production on a multi-continental scale. Thus, today, much of the world’s business is carried out on a global scale. For example, the typical family car now contains parts from all over the world.

Source: Ranson, D. (2001) The No-nonsense Guide to Fair Trade, New Internationalist Publications, p. 98.

See an animated film of the globalized supply chains involved in the manufacture of televisions, including case studies from Ethiopia, Turkey, China, India and Mexico. (Using TLSF CDRom? Please click here.)

More than just economies

Economic globalisation is a pervasive part of our daily lives – but globalization is more than just economics. There are many other examples and forms of globalisation, and evidence is found in all aspects of daily life, just as we saw in the story, Good Morning World!

What sort of evidence would convince you that globalisation is a pervasive part of daily life? Select six types of evidence for detailed analysis.

Q9: Match the examples of globalisation you analysed to the different parts of Robert Muller’s World Core Curriculum.

Q10: Summarise what you have learnt, this far, about globalisation in your Learning Journal.

Some definitions

Thomas Friedman - The World is Flat.

Globalisation is a process in which the people and countries of the world are being brought closer and closer together, economically and culturally, through trade, information technology, travel, cultural exchanges, the mass media and mass entertainment. The impacts of these have been so rapid that they are the focus of much academic and popular writing.

The journalist and author, Thomas Friedman, is one of the most well-known popular writer on globalisation. His books include: The Lexus and the Olive Tree, The World is Flat, and Hot, Flat and Crowded. Friedman has parodied the Olympic motto of “further, faster, higher” to argue that that globalisation is moving so much “farther, faster, cheaper, and deeper” that “the world is flat”. This is what Marshall McLuhan called the “global village.”

Thus, globalisation can be defined as the:

… broadening, deepening and speeding up of world-wide interconnectedness in all aspects of life, from the cultural to the criminal, the financial to the environmental. At issue appears to be ‘a global shift’; that is, a world being moulded, by economic and technological forces, into a shared economic and political arena.

Source: Held, D. et al. (1999) Global Transformations: What is Globalisation?

This is similar to the definition provided by Joseph Stiglitz, a former Senior Vice-President of the World Bank and a winner of the Nobel Prize for Economics. Stiglitz defines globalisation as:

… is the closer integration of the countries and peoples of the world … brought about by the enormous reduction of costs of transportation and communication, and the breaking down of artificial barriers to the flows of goods, services, capital, knowledge, and people across borders.

Source: Stiglitz, J. (2004) Globalisation and its Discontents.

A number of scholars argue that these definitions are too narrow as they do not emphasise the many different aspects of globalisation. For example, the University of California Atlas of World Inequality argues that we need to recognize at least four dimensions:

Economic globalisation
… the greater global connectedness of economic activities through international national trade, financial flows and transport, and the increasingly significant roles of international investment and multinational corportions
Environmental globalisation
… the increasingly global effects of human activity on the environment, and the effects of global environmental changes on people.
Cultural globalisation
… the connections among languages, ways of living, and fears of global homogeneity through the spread of North American and European languages and culture.
Political globalisation
… including wider acceptance of global political standards such as human rights, democracy, the rights of workers, environmental standards, as well as the increased coordination of actions by governments and international agencies.

These different dimensions of globalisation often need to be studied separately in order to provide a detailed analysis. However, they are closely interlinked and have many interconnections and a full picture of each one must include its relationships with the others. Indeed, Joseph Stiglitz and Thomas Friedman, two of the main writers about economic globalisation have, also written extensively about the relationship between globalisation and climate change. For example, Friedman’s next book after The World is Flat was called Hot, Flat and Crowded, while Stiglitz was one of the lead authors of the 2007 report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Q11: Identify an example of each of the four dimensions of globalisation in Good Morning World! Also provide an additional example of each one from another aspect of your life.

Drivers of globalisation

We saw in the previous activity that globalisation works through many interconnected means. Some examples of the drivers behind globalisation that were identified included: the promotion of free trade, multinational corporations, transport, the media and communications technologies, and consumerism.

Promotion of free trade

Since World War II, and especially since the 1980s, governments have reduced many barriers to international trade through international agreements such as the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and the World Trade Organization (WTO).

These agreements have led to many initiatives to promote what is called “free trade”, including:

  • The elimination of tariffs (taxes on imported goods)
  • The elimination of import quotas (limits on the amount of any product that can be imported)
  • The creation of free trade zones where there are only small or no tariffs as well as cheap land and skilled, but controlled, labour
  • The reduction or elimination of controls on the movement of capital out of a country so profits can easily be returned to the base country or a tax-haven
  • The reduction, elimination, or harmonisation of subsidies for local businesses so overseas companies can compete against them without any support for local industry and employers
  • The establishment of local subsidies for global corporations so that they can make things cheaper in oen country rather than another
  • The harmonisation of intellectual property laws and cross-border recognition of intellectual property restrictions (e.g. patents granted by China would be recognised in the United States and vice versa).

These economic and trade reforms are a central part of “free-market economics” which greatly increased opportunities for international trade and investment. Taking advantage of new opportunities in foreign markets, large corporations are able to source their raw materials from many different countries and establish factories and sales outlets all over the world. Thus, while there are many forms of globalisation as we have seen, one of its most significant aspects is its dependence on “free trade”. Free trade is strongly supported by the major international development banks and by economically powerful nations, such as US, UK and Japan, as they own 89% of multinational corporations. More recently, China and India are becoming strong supporters of free trade as their economies start to dominate global markets. This defining feature of globalisation is underpinned by a politico-economic philosophy known as neo-liberalism.

Neo-liberal trade policies are intended to encourage free trade but many people, especially in developing countries, argue that it has not produced fair trade. As a result, many development campaigners stage large demonstrations at international meetings of political and economic leaders, with banners and placards saying “Fair Trade – Not Free Trade”. While protesting about globalisation, these campaigners are very skilled in using one of globalisation’s major tools, the internet. Read more …

Q12: Where do you stand on the choice of “free trade” or “fair trade”? Why? Where did the ideas behind your position come from?

Multinational Corporations

It might seem impossible or, at least impractical, but every week four-wheel-drive trucks made in Japan bring crates of Coca-Cola to a remote Mayan community in the Yucatan of Mexico when the community lacks running water and electricity in their community. The same thing happens in villages in many parts of Africa and Asia.

Q13: How can this be?

One explanation is that carbonated soft drinks are very profitable to sell but water is not. This was explained in the module on Consumption.

Two processes lie behind this paradox. The first includes the neo-liberal trade and economic policies we saw in the previous section. Neo-liberal policies favour private enterprise and discourage government investment in the sorts of social infrastructure that support education, health, public transport, housing and housing that contribute to social well-being.

The second is the ever-increasing influence of multinational corporations. A multinational corporation (MNC) is a large company engaged in international production and sales. The largest MNCs have raw materials extraction and production sites in many different countries, even often manufacturing different components of a product in different countries where it has a cost advantage.

A growing amount of what we consume is produced from outside our own countries by MNCs whose purpose is to make a profit for their owners and shareholders. Many of these companies have active corporate social responsibility programmes to assist the communities where they operate. Nevertheless, of the 100 largest economies in the world, 51 are corporations while only 49 are countries, based on a comparison of corporate sales and country GDPs. Read more …

Sometimes MNCs are so large that they transcend national boundaries in their operations and are know as transnational corporations (TNCs). Sometimes they merge with other MNCs or TNCs to produce one very powerful organisations. As a result, MNCs have the potential to strongly influence international trade and investment laws so that they can meet their need to make a profit.

Investigate the activities of five of the world’s largest MNCs:

Unilever
  Unilever – The world’s biggest food and soap company with outliets in 150 countries round the world, selling products as diverse as Omo washing powder, Lipton tea, Dove soap and Magnum ice-cream.
Gazprom
  Gazprom – The biggest company in Russia and the largest gas company in the world – and only a decade old
levis
  Levi’s – The company that invented jeans, and has been in business for 150 years.
Shell
  Shell – The energy company that operates in 140 countries, and, through chain of petrol filling stations, claims to run the largest retail network in the world.
McDonalds
  McDonald’s – The world’s best-known fast food brand with over 30,000 restaurants in 120 countries.

Transport, the media and communications technologies

Technology has been another principal driver of globalisation. Advances in transport and information technology, in particular, have dramatically transformed economic life. Developments in containerisation and bulk carrier shipping have enabled rapid and cost-effective transport while innovations in logistics and air-freight means that many goods – from African flowers to Chinese-made computers – can arrive in markets over-night. However, it is the rapid improvements in information and communication technologies that have provided some of the strongest drivers of globalisation in recent years. The global Internet and its associated capacity for financial transfers have provided companies with valuable new tools for:

  • Identifying new and expanded economic opportunities
  • Faster and more informed analyses of economic trends around the world
  • Easy and instantaneous transfers of payments and profits
  • Speedy, often instantaneous, communication and decision-making
  • Partnerships with far-flung partners.

Read more on the role of the Internet and globalisation.

The rise of the Internet is only one of the many manifestations of globalisation and communication technologies. The mass media have and are having a major impact on linking people and ideas around the world – from newspapers, radio and television, to Hollywood and Bollywood movies through to the Internet, Google, Web 2.0, Twittter, Facebook and free international telephone calls via Skype. All serve to make contacts with other parts of the world a regular and almost unobserved or ‘normal’ part of daily life.

In normalising global experiences, the media have helped create a “global consciousness” or “global imaginary” as a “shared sense of a thickening world community, bound together by processes of globalisation that are daily shrinking our planet”. And, in so doing, the lived experience of globalisation and the mental and cultural models of the world it creates serve to further encourage even greater globalisation of the economy, culture and politics. Read more …

This can be an enriching process for many people, opening their minds to new ideas and experiences, and strengthening the universal values in a global culture of peace and understanding. However, some commentators have noticed that the concentration of major entertainment and advertising industries in the United States as contributing to the decreasing diversity of global cultures.

Terms such as ‘Coca-Colonisation’, ‘McDonaldisation’ and ‘Disneyification’ are used to refer to the way that the North American way of life becomes a universal ideal. Around the world, these brands are identified with the United States and represent its dominance around the globe. Coca-Cola, Disney and McDonalds have myriad sales outlets, hundreds of country web sites and billions of dollars to spend on advertising, thus spreading Western ways worldwide. Among the many results of this process are the loss of local cultural difference and the decline of world languages and the cultural experiences they contain. Read more …

Consumerism

One of the major dimensions of the mental models created by globalisation has been the commodification – or commercialisation – of daily life. The themes and underlying values of many American and European movies, television programmes and advertisements “normalise” materialistic assumptions about what counts as “a good life” or “a life worth living”.

As a result, one part of the cultural impact of globalisation has been to create a global consumer culture.

This aspect of cultural globalisation was analysed in Module 9.

Interconnected drivers

The important point to note about consumerism is that it is both an effect and cause of on-going globalisation. Itself a product of the media, new communication technologies and the resultant normalisation of Western ways of life, consumerism drives global demand for new and more products which, in its turn, drives the sales of products of multinational corporations and entrenches economic globalization. In this way the driving forces of globalisation become self-reinforcing.

Q14: Draw a diagram to illustrate the interconnectedness of these drivers of globalisation.

The global music industry is an example of how the four drivers are interconnected.

Up to 90% of music sales is by just five corporations: EMI Records, Sony, Vivendi Universal, AOL Time Warner and BMG. These ‘Big Five’ produce and sell recorded music in all of the major markets in the world, but have their headquarters in the United States, the largest of the world’s markets.

Vivendi Universal is the largest of the ‘Big Five’ with 29% of the world music market and wholly owned record operations or licensees in 63 countries. Its nearest rival is AOL Time Warner, with 15.9% of the market.

Each company also operates in a variety of fields beyond recorded music, including film making and distribution, publishing, electronics and telecommunications. This extends their influence to cover more markets within the global entertainment industry.

Research the global music industry further.

Q15: Explain how the global music industry illustrates the free trade, MNC, communications and consumer drivers of globalisation.

Theories of globalisation

Scholars have interpreted the interconnectedness of these drivers of globalisation in a number of ways. As a result, a number of different theories of globalisation has been proposed.

Read a summary and analysis of three different theories of globalisation:

Evaluating globalisation

Begin by opening your learning journal for this activity.

Globalisation is experienced in many different ways in many parts of the world, and there are many different opinions about it.

Ban-Ki Moon Secretary-General of the United Nations

The last two years have witnessed a cascade of interconnected crises: financial panic, rising food and oil prices, climate shocks, a flu pandemic, and more. Political cooperation to address these problems is not a mere nicety. It has become a global necessity.

The intensity of global interconnectedness is stunning. The H1N1 influenza virus was identified in a Mexican village in April 2009. By July it had reached more than 100 countries. The effects of the collapse of Lehman Brothers in September 2008 were transmitted worldwide within days: soon even the most remote villages in Africa, Asia, and Latin America were feeling the shock of reduced remittance income, canceled investment projects, and falling export prices. In the same way, climate shocks in parts of Europe, Australia, Asia, and the Americas in recent years contributed to soaring food prices that hit the poor and created instability and hardships in dozens of countries.

No nation or world leader can solve these problems alone …

Global cooperation was decisive in arresting the financial meltdown. While the world’s economic situation remains difficult, the benefits of monetary and fiscal cooperation among the major economies is clear. We saw a similarly effective collective response to the H1N1 pandemic. Cooperation works, but we’ve only just gotten started. Let us now bring the power of global partnership to bear on climate change, poverty reduction, and food production. Let us begin an economic recovery that is not only robust, but also just, inclusive, and sustainable – lifting the entire world. For if we do not do it now, at a moment of crisis, when will we?

More …

Yukio Hatoyama, Prime Minister of Japan

The economic order or local economic activities in any country are built up over long years and reflect the influence of each country’s traditions, habits, and national lifestyles. However, globalism progressed without any regard for various non-economic values, nor for environmental issues or problems of resource restriction. If we look back on the changes in Japanese society that have occurred since the end of the cold war, I believe it is no exaggeration to say that the global economy has damaged traditional economic activities and destroyed local communities.

Capital and means of production can now be transferred easily across international borders. However, people cannot move so easily. In terms of market theory, people are simply personnel expenses, but in the real world people support the fabric of the local community and are the physical embodiment of its lifestyle, traditions, and culture. An individual gains respect as a person by acquiring a job and a role within the local community and being able to maintain his family’s livelihood.

More …

William Clinton, former President of the USA

Today, we must embrace the inexorable logic of globalisation – that everything from the strength of our economy to the safety of our cities, to the health of our people, depends upon events not only within our borders but half a world away … Globalisation is irreversible.

More …

Vandana Shiva, Indian environmentalist

What we are doing, in the name of globalisation, to the poor is brutal and unforgivable. This is especially evident in India as we witness the unfolding disasters of globalisation, especially in food and agriculture.

More …

International Chamber of Commerce

Globalisation is about worldwide economic activity – about open markets, competition and the free flow of goods, services, capital and knowledge. … Globalisation has made the world economy more efficient and has created hundreds of millions of jobs, mainly, but not only, in developing countries. It generates an upward spiral of jobs and prosperity for countries that embrace the process, although the advantages will not reach everybody at the same time.

More …

Review how globalisation is viewed in your country or a part of the world near, or like, yours.

Africa Canada Japan Pakistan South Korea Russia Malaysia Latin America Kazakhstan India Eastern Europe

Globalisation has many strong advocates and many critics. However, of itself, globalisation is neither ‘good’ nor ‘bad’. Assessments of globalisation therefore depend on whose perspective is being expressed, their experience of globalisation, and its impact on their lives. Such perspectives also depend upon whether or not the economic status, government, access to telecommunications, etc. of the commentators enables them to enjoy the benefits of globalisation or not.

Q16: Summarise the major advantages and disadvantages of globalisation.

Q17: Where do you stand on globalisation: (a) as an individual, and (b) as a teacher?

Q18: What ethical dilemmas might you face if your views of globalisation as an individual and as a teacher are relatively similar?

Q19: What ethical dilemmas might you face if your views of globalisation as an individual and as a teacher are very different?

Review the principles that you could follow when teaching about a controversial issue such as globalisation, and compare them with the views of other teachers.

Globalisation: Further Investigations

Begin by opening your learning journal for this activity.

Supporters of globalisation point to many improvements in standards of living around the world. Examples include:

  • The percentage of people in developing countries living below US$1 per day has halved in only twenty years
  • Life expectancy has almost doubled in the developing world since WWII and is starting to close the gap to the developed world where the improvement has been smaller
  • Child mortality has decreased in every developing region of the world
  • Democracy has increased dramatically from almost no nation with universal suffrage in 1900 to 62.5% of all nations in 2000
  • The proportion of the world’s population living in countries where per capita food supplies are under 9,200 kilojoules per day decreased from 56% in the mid-1960s to below 10% by the 1990s
  • Between 1950 and 1999, global literacy increased from 52% to 81% of the world. Women made up much of the gap: Female literacy as a percentage of male literacy has increased from 59% in 1970 to 80% in 2000

However, critics argue that some of these improvements may not be due to globalisation but to national policies on education and land reform, for example. Others argue that these improvements may have been possible without the current form of globalisation and its negative consequences.

Investigate key questions about the social impacts of globalisation.

To try to address these concerns, the United Nation’s International Labour Organisation (ILO) established an independent World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalisation in 2002.

The role of the Commission was to investigate the needs of people faced with the unprecedented changes that globalisation is bringing to their lives, their families, work places and communities. The Commission looked at the various dimensions of globalisation, the diversity of public perceptions of the process, and its implications for economic and social development. The Commission’s final report, entitled A Fair Globalisation: Creating Opportunities for All, was released in 2004.

The Report acknowledged the benefits of globalisation but concluded that the inadequate regulation of globalization at national and international levels (i.e. due to the dominance of neo-liberal policies) meant that globalisation had “made matters worse” for most of the world’s people.

Seen through the eyes of the vast majority of men and women around the world, globalisation has not met their simple aspiration for decent jobs, livelihoods and a better future for their children.

Source: World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalisation (2004) A Fair Globalisation: Creating Opportunities for All, International Labour Organisation, Geneva.

The report argues that this is the result of imbalances in the global economy, which are both “ethically unacceptable and politically unsustainable.” It warns that we have reached a crisis in the legitimacy of our political institutions, whether national or international, and that there is an urgent need to rethink current institutions of global economic governance, whose rules and policies, it says, are largely shaped by powerful countries and powerful players. The negative results of these policies, it argues, is due to the fact that financial and economic priorities of free trade have consistently predominated over social ones, including measures to support international human rights and the principles of international solidarity. The dire results of this have been seen in the impacts of the global financial crisis of 2007-2009, which has increased prices for food in the most vulnerable people around the world.

Q20: What can be done to help ensure that national leaders take better note of A Fair Globalisation: Creating Opportunities for All?

Impacts on food security and health

The United Nations World Food Programme has investigated food security will be affected by the global financial crisis by conducting case studies in five countries – Armenia, Bangladesh, Ghana, Nicaragua and Zambia. The case studies provided “on the ground” evidence of the effects of the financial crisis on families. The case study countries were especially selected to enable the findings to be generalised to other countries with similar socio-economic conditions. The major findings include:

  • All five countries have experienced a decline in exports, which has caused job losses. For example, in Zambia, the copper mining industry has retrenched a quarter of all workers while reduced exports of jute and clothing from Bangladesh have caused 300,000 job losses.
  • Overseas workers from these countries have not been able to remit as much money home to their families. For example, remittances which are the main source of income for a quarter of the population in Armenia fell by a third while Ghana saw a 16% decline in remittances in 2008-2009.
  • The currencies of these countries have been depreciated against major world currencies. For example, the Zambian Kwacha has lost a third of its value while Armenian Dram and Ghanaian Sidi have depreciated by 25% against the USD. This has led to inflation, and high food, fuel and fertiliser prices, especially for Zambia where food prices are increasing rapidly.
  • Overall, the most affected groups are: unskilled workers in the urban areas, families who rely on remittances, retrenched workers from the export sectors, miners and tourism sector workers and poor households.

The report found that families in these countries had to develop several strategies to cope with the global financial crisis. This included:

  • diversifying income sources
  • withdrawing children from school
  • delaying or reducing expenditures on health care
  • eating less nutritious but cheaper foods
  • reducing the number of meals eaten per day.

However, this is leading to higher malnutrition among children. For example, severe chronic malnutrition now stands at 20% in Bangladesh. Women are working longer hours and, therefore, have less time to take care of their children – and child labour is increasing. The loss of health care benefits for retrenched miners in Zambia is of particular concern given the high incidence of HIV/AIDS.

Q21: Compare and contrast the impacts of the global financial crisis on food security and health in your country and one of those studied by the World Food Programme.

Slowing progress towards the MDGs

A 2009 report by the World Bank predicted that global GDP will decline for the first time since World War II as a result of the failure of governments to regulate financial institutions and globalisation properly. Countries in the Global South are predicted to face a financial gap of $270-$700 billion caused by the global recession and mounting public and private debt and trade deficits.

The report also highlighted that the number of people living in poverty (ie. living below $1.25 per day) will increase by around 46 million people in 2009 (and by 53 for those living below $2 per day), caused by reduced wages, increased unemployment and slowing remittance flows.

The global financial crisis is also a major setback to progress on the Millennium Development Goals. For example, when poor households withdraw their children from school, there is a significant risk that they will not return once the crisis is over, or that they will not be able to learn what they have missed from months or years of poor or no school attendance. The World Bank also warns that infant deaths in developing countries may be 200,000 – 400,000 per year higher on average between 2009 and the MDG target year of 2015 than they would have been if the global financial crisis did not occur.

As a result, even though the global financial crisis began in the USA and Europe, it is hitting developing countries the hardest. In fact, it has caused a “triple crisis” as global economics, ongoing increases in food prices, and the impact of climate change affect the world’s most vulnerable people, according to the 2009 Global Monitoring Report on progress towards the MDGs.

If you take the period before the crisis, we were advancing very well in some areas, such as poverty reduction, education, child mortality and the decline of new infections of HIV/AIDS, but now the financial crisis has hit the developing world hard, and not all countries, both in the North and South, have properly integrated a programme for change.

The problems of the developing world are also the problems of the developed world. How Europe, for example, addresses its own recovery from the financial crisis, such as its trade regime, affects the whole world.

Global sustainability has to go hand-in-hand with human development; we have to avoid protectionism, and encourage productive opportunities in areas like agriculture, industry and services.

Source: Donnelly, C. (2009) Development: MDG Goals Face ‘Triple Crisis’.

Q22: What do you believe should be done to address the slow progress on towards achieving the MDGs?

De-globalisation

The global financial crisis has increased calls for increased controls on globalisation.

At their meetings in 2009 to deal with the global financial crisis, the leaders of the twenty largest economies in the world (which account for 80% of global GDP), the G20 have replaced the narrow G8 group as the major international economic forum in the world. This has greatly increased the voice of the emerging economies such as Brazil, Russia, India and China (sometimes known as the BRICs) and led to agreements to expand the membership of the boards of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.

The G20 meeting in September 2009 agreed to a set of key principles or core values as fundamental to strong, sustainable and balanced economic activities. These include:

We have a responsibility to ensure sound macroeconomic policies that serve long-term economic objectives and help avoid unsustainable global imbalances.

We have a responsibility to reject protectionism in all its forms, support open markets, foster fair and transparent competition, and promote entrepreneurship and innovation across countries.

We have a responsibility to ensure, through appropriate rules and incentives, that financial and other markets function based on propriety, integrity and transparency and to encourage businesses to support the efficient allocation of resources for sustainable economic performance.

We have a responsibility to provide for financial markets that serve the needs of households, businesses and productive investment by strengthening oversight, transparency, and accountability.

We have a responsibility to secure our future through sustainable consumption, production and use of resources that conserve our environment and address the challenge of climate change.

We have a responsibility to invest in people by providing education, job training, decent work conditions, health care and social safety net support, and to fight poverty, discrimination, and all forms of social exclusion.

We have a responsibility to recognize that all economies, rich and poor, are partners in building a sustainable and balanced global economy in which the benefits of economic growth are broadly and equitably shared. We also have a responsibility to achieve the internationally agreed development goals.

We have a responsibility to ensure an international economic and financial architecture that reflects changes in the world economy and the new challenges of globalisation.

Source: G20 Leaders Statement: The Pittsburgh Summit.

Q23: Consider the likely impacts of these principles. Identify (i) the two you believe to be most beneficial to the poorest people in the world and (ii) the two that might be least beneficial. Explain the reasons for your selections.

The prospects of globalisation has also been called into question by the fact that many governments have also established economic stimulus programs meant to accelerate national productivity, undermining imports and export-oriented growth. As a result,

There is increasing acknowledgment that there will be no returning to a world centrally dependent on free-spending American consumers, since many are bankrupt and nobody has taken their place.

Moreover, whether agreed on internationally or unilaterally set up by national governments, a whole raft of restrictions will almost certainly be imposed on finance capital, the untrammeled mobility of which has been the cutting edge of the current crisis.

Source: Bello, W. (2009) The Virtues of Deglobalisation.

Walden Bello is Director of Focus on the Global South, an international NGO based in India, the Phillipines and affiliated with the Chulalongkorn University Social Research Institute in Thailand. Bello argues that a change in the “global imaginary” that underpins globalisation is occurring as a result of the global economic events of 2008 and 2009. While he notes the emphasis on free trade, private enterprise, and a minimalist role for the state, which characterize neo-liberal ideology, continue to be strong, and anti-globalisation trends “thought impossible a few years ago are gaining steam”.

Indeed, The Economist magazine has stated that “The integration of the world economy is in retreat on almost every front,” and while corporations continue their global supply chains, “like any chain, these are only as strong as their weakest link. A danger point will come if firms decide that this way of organising production has had its day.”

Q24: How seriously do you believe the drivers of globalisation will be undermined by these developments? Why?

“Deglobalisation” has been proposed as an alternative ideology to neo-liberal globalisation. Bello has identified eleven pillars of deglobalisation, primarily for developing countries, but argues that it “is not without relevance to the central capitalist economies”. The pillars are:

  1. Production for the domestic market must again become the center of gravity of the economy rather than production for export markets
  2. The principle of subsidiarity should be enshrined in economic life by encouraging production of goods at the level of the community and at the national level if this can be done at reasonable cost in order to preserve community
  3. Trade policy — that is, quotas and tariffs — should be used to protect the local economy from destruction by corporate-subsidized commodities with artificially low prices
  4. Industrial policy — including subsidies, tariffs, and trade — should be used to revitalize and strengthen the manufacturing sector
  5. Long-postponed measures of equitable income redistribution and land redistribution (including urban land reform) can create a vibrant internal market that would serve as the anchor of the economy and produce local financial resources for investment
  6. Deemphasizing growth, emphasizing upgrading the quality of life, and maximizing equity will reduce environmental disequilibrium
  7. The development and diffusion of environmentally congenial technology in both agriculture and industry should be encouraged
  8. Strategic economic decisions cannot be left to the market or to technocrats. Instead, the scope of democratic decision-making in the economy should be expanded so that all vital questions — such as which industries to develop or phase out, what proportion of the government budget to devote to agriculture, etc. — become subject to democratic discussion and choice
  9. Civil society must constantly monitor and supervise the private sector and the state, a process that should be institutionalised
  10. The property complex should be transformed into a “mixed economy” that includes community cooperatives, private enterprises, and state enterprises, and excludes transnational corporations
  11. Centralized global institutions like the IMF and the World Bank should be replaced with regional institutions built not on free trade and capital mobility but on principles of cooperation

Source: Bello, W. (2009) The Virtues of Deglobalisation.

Q25: Consider the likely impacts of these pillars of deglobalisation. Identify (i) the two you believe to be most beneficial to the poorest people in the world and (ii) the two that might be least beneficial. Explain the reasons for your selections.

Reflection

Begin by opening your learning journal for this activity.

Completing the module: Look back through the activities and tasks to check that you have done them all and to change any that you think you can improve now that you have come to the end of the module.

Every year, UNESCO and the United Nations University (UNU) convene a conference on issues related to globalisation. The themes analysed at the conferences have included:

Globalisation with a Human Face – Benefiting All
Globalisation and Intangible Cultural Heritage: Opportunities, Threats and Challenges
Sustaining the Future – Globalisation and Education for Sustainable Development
Science and Technology in the Era of Globalisation
Pathways Towards a Shared Future: Changing Roles of Higher Education in a Globalised World
Globalisation and Languages: Building on Our Rich Heritage
Africa and Globalisation: Learning from the Past, Preparing for the Future

Q26: Which of these conferences would you most like to have attended? Why?

Three questions in Activity 1 were marked for reconsideration at the end of this module. These were Questions 2, 3 and 4. In the light of the ideas you have studied in this module, answer these questions once again.

Q27: (From Q2) Many people see globalisation as something to do with international finance and trade, multinational companies the Internet, Hollywood and Bollywood movies and other threats to local identity and culture. Why do you think Robert Muller’s World Core Curriculum seems to be much wider than this?

Q28: (From Q3 & 4) Read Robert Muller’s persuasive argument about global education again. In the light of what you now know about globalisation, what rationale would you give for including global perspectives in the curriculum?

A child born today will be faced as an adult, almost daily, with problems of a global interdependent nature, be it peace, food, the quality of life, inflation, or scarcity of resources. He (sic) will be both an actor and a beneficiary or a victim in the total world fabric, and he may rightly ask: “Why was I not warned? Why was I not better educated? Why did my teachers not tell me about these problems and indicate my behaviour as a member of an interdependent human race?”

It is, therefore, the duty and the self-enlightened interest of governments to educate their children properly about the type of world in which they are going to live. They must inform them of the action, the endeavour, and the recommendations of their global organisations … and prepare their young people to assume responsibility for the consequences of their actions and help in the care of several billion more fellow humans on Earth

Source: Muller, R. (1982) New Genesis. Shaping a Global Spirituality, Doubleday, New York.

Review David Hicks’ rationale for global education. (David Hicks was the author of the module on Futures Education)

Q29: Use ideas from this rationale to review your answer to Q28.