Globalization

  • globalization: process by which national economies, politics, cultures, and societies become integrated with those of other nations around the world
  • interdependence: the dependence of countries on each other for goods, resources, knowledge, and labor from other parts of the world
  • outsourcing: practice of sending work to the developing world in order to save money or increase efficiency
  • multicultural corporations: branches and assets in many countries and sell their goods and services throughout the world
  • World Trade Organization: 1995; more than 100 nations joined, purpose was to strengthen GATT
  • protectionism: the use of tariffs and other restrictions that protect a country's home industries against competition
  • blocs: groups to promote trade and meet common needs
  • sustainability: the ability to meet the needs of the present without harming future generations

An Interdependent World
Globalization defines the world of the post-Cold War. By the 1990s, globalization was occurring at an extrordinary pace. Economic interdependence was a major effect of globalization. Improvements in transportation and communication, the spread of democratic systems, and the rise of free trade have made the world increasingly interdependent. The spread of goods and ideas led to the development of a global culture.
Doing the World's Work
Rich and poor nations are linked. Nations of the developed world control much of the world's capital, trade, and technology but, depend on low-paid workers in developing countries to produce manufactured goods cheaply. Companies in the industrial nations also choose to outsource jobs. Companies send work to the developing world in order to save money or increase efficiency.

Multinational Corporations Grow
Globalization has encouraged the rise of huge multinational corporations. They sell their goods and services throughout the world. Proponents of these corporations invest in the developing world. They bring new technology in industires, provide jobs and technical assistance. Critics feel that multinational corporations have a large influence on prices of goods. They take large profits out of developing countries and pay workers low wages.
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Financial Crisis Effects Everyone
One aspect of economic interdependence is financial interdependence in the world's markets. This means that an economic crisis in a country or region can have a global impact. An example of this is a financial crisis that struck Thailand in 1997. It quickly spread to other Asian countries from Singapore to South Korea. It also worsened Russia's economic woes and contributed to a recession in Japan. The fallout continued to spread around the globe as affected countries were unable to repay loans.

Oil: A Volatile Natural Resource
Natural resources play a huge role in an interdependent world. All nations, for example, need oil for transportation and for products like plastics and fertilizers. Any change to global oil suppy can have a major impact on economies and livers around the world. Whenever oil prices have risen sharply, people have face economic uncertainties.
The Far-Reaching Effects of Debt
In the 1980s, bank interest rates rose while the economy slowed. Developing nations that had borrowed capital to modernize were hard hit. They couldn't repay their debts or even the interest on their loans while the demand for their goods fell. The debt crisis also hurt rich nations. Banks were stuck with billions of dollars of bad debts. To ease the crisis, leaders lowered interest rates, gave some nations more time to repay loans, or even canceled debts. In return, they required nations to adopt reforms such as privatizing state-run industries. They argued that more efficient private enterprises would bring prosperity in the long run.

Global Trade Organizations and Treaties
Many international ogranizations and treaties link people and nations around the world. They have various goals like encouraging development, settling economic issues, and promoting free trade. Free trade is a key part of global trade today.
International Organizations Expand
The United Nations' responsibilites, have expanded greatly since 1945. The UN has acted in a peace-keeping role. It deals with political, social, economic, and cultural issues. Other international organizations deal specifically with economic issues. The World Bank offers loans and advice to developing nations. The Intenational Monetary Fund (IMF) was established after WW II. Its goal is to promote international monetary cooperations and encourage global economic growth. Other organizations include non-governmental organizations (NGOs). NGOs, which are usually not affiliated with governments, perform a variety of functions including monitoring human rights, disaster relief, and economic development.
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Treaties Guide Global Trade
In 1947 the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) was signed to expand world trade and reduce tariffs. In 1995, more than 100 nations joined to form the World Trade Organization (WTO) to strengthen GATT. They wanted trade flows as smoothly and freely as possible. One of the WTO's basic policies is its opposition to protectionism, or the use of tariffs and other restrictions that protect a country's home industries against competition. The Group of Eight (G-8) is an international organization of industrialized nations that meets yearly to discuss a wide range of economic and other issues. The G-8 consists of Great Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, and Japan.
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Regional Trade Blocs Promote Trade
Many nations have formed blocs to promote trade and meet common needs. The EU is among the largest. NAFTA (North American Free Trade Association) is a regional trade bloc that went into effect in 1994 to facilitate trade among the U.S, Canada, and Mexico. The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) promotes trade among Pacific Rim nations. OPEC, representing oil-producing countries, regulates the production of oil to stabilize the market. Organizations like these work to lower trade barriers in their regions and promote the free exchange of goods and services.

Costs and Benefits of Global Trade
Benefits of Trade
Global trade has many benefits like bringing consumers great variety in the types of goods and services. Since many people compete to provide those goods and services, prices are generally kept low. Globalization exposes people to new ideas, technology, and communications. It also encourages growth in technology and communications, benefiting people's daily lives. Success in trade earns money that can be used to raise standards of living and provide better services. Nations involved in free trade have often become more democratic. Most economists believe trade works best when nations have an informed citizenry that is free to participate in economic processes.

The Anti-Globalization Movement
Anti-globalizers focus attention on poverty. Many claim that rich countries exploit poor countries by raising their debt and lowering their standard of living. They also argue that nations trying to meet the demands of international trade are put at risk by specialization, or focusing their economies on one or two high-value commodities. The anti-globalization movement often targets the World Bank and the IMF. Both of these organizations work to ease economic problems, but critics oppose the tough changes they often require nations to make. They also target the U.S because it is seen as the force behind policies they oppose. Some believe that globalization hurts indigenous people by taking their lands and disrupting their culture. Others say its emphasis on profits encourages too-rapid development, dangering sustainability. Sustainability is the ability to met the needs of the present -for food, resources, shelter- without harming future generations.

Social and Environmental Challenges

  • Tsumani: Massive Tidal wave
  • Epidemic: Rapidly spreading disease
  • Famine: when a large number of people in a region face death by starvation
  • Refugees: People who are forced to move because of poverty, war, or natural disasters
  • Acid rain: Form of pollution in which toxic chemicals fall back to earth as rain
  • Deforestation: Cutting of trees without replacing them
  • Erosion: Wearing away of land
  • Global warming: Rise of earths surface temperature over time

Global Poverty, Disasters, and Disease
Poverty
Globalization has brought all kinds of social and economical changes. Almost half of the world's population lives off of $2 a day or less and many cannot read or write. Millions suffer from life-threatening diseases and hunger. These problems also affect nations of the developed world. The gap between the rich and poor in developed nations is huge and growing. Many poor nations owe billions in debt and have no extra money to improve living conditions. Political upheavals, civil war, corruption, and poor planning also stop efforts to reduce poverty worldwide. Growing populations has made it harder for countries too.

Natural Disasters Affect Millions
Natural disasters strike all over the world all the time from earthquakes, floods, droughts to hurricanes and volcanic eruptions. They cause death, destruction, and unsanitary conditions that may lead to disease. One benefit of globalization is that news of natural disasters spread instantly to help bring aid.
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Global Disease Spread Rapidly
Disease can spread rapidly. Diseases such as avian flu, mad cow disease, West Nile fever, and influenza have raised concerns about the global spread of disease.When a disease spreads quickly, it's called an epidemic. HIV/AIDS is an epidemic taht began in the 1980s. It has taken a huge economic and human toll around the world. By the early 200s, treatment and prevention had become a global priority.

Hunger and Famine Threathen
For tens of millions of people, hunger poses a daily threat. Hunger escalates into famine when many people in a region face death by starvation. Natural disasters can cause famine along with human activity and war disrupts food distribution and in many instances, only the efforts of international aid groups have saved millions of people.
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Millions Migrate
Globalization has lead to a vast movement of people around the world. Some people choose to migrate for better opportunites but refugees move because of poverty, war, natural disasters, or persecution. Many mirgrants do create better lives but others fail to find jobs and homes or meet hostility and discrimination. Millions of migrants, both legal and illegal, continually head to Europe, Asia, and North America.

Human Rights
In 1948, UN members approved the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It entitled all people to basic rights without discrimination. In 175, nations signing the Helsinki Accords guaranteed basic rights including freedom of speech, religion, rights to a fair trial, and to live in safety. Despite such agreements, human rights abuses occur daily around the world.

The Role of the World Community
The spread of democracy has forced people to question how human rights abuses can still happen in a modern world. In response, the world community has pressed countries to end abuses. The UN, the U.S, and human rights groups monitor and report on human rights violations including in nations of the developed world. The UN Charter supported equal rights for men and women and many nations gave them the right to vote. The UN carefully monitors the human rights of women and violence and discrimination is condemned.

Protecting Children and Indigenous People
Worldwide, children suffer terrible abuses, poverty, armed conflict, and AIDS. They are also targets of human rights violations. These problems hurt a country's hope for the future. In 1989, the UN General Assembly approved the Convention on the Rights of the Child. This treaty set standars for the right to life, liberty, education, and healthcare for children. Human rights groups and developed nations have focused on stopping child labor.
Indigenous people also face discrimination and other abuses. Many times, their lands have been forcibly taken away and many have died of disease carried by the newcomers. The UN has also worked to set standards to protect the rights of the indigenous people.

Development and the Environment
Industrialization and the world population explosion have increased the damage of the environment. One of the challenges of the 21st century is how to achieve development withouse causing permanent damage to our environment.
Pollution
Since the 1970s, environmentalists have warned about threats to the environment. Chemical pesticides, oil spills, gases from power plants and factories causing acid rain, are all problems to the envirnoment. Pollution is another concern and accidents involving deadly radiation being exposed to people, crops, and animals have caused industries and governments to develop better safety measures.
Shrinking Forests
Deforestation is also another major problem. People cut trees to sell in markets abroad and shelter or burn down forests to make way for farms and cattle ranches or for industry. Rain washes nutrients from the soil which destroys its fertility. Deforestation also causes erosion which encourages flooding. Rain forests play a key role in absorbing poisonous carbon dioxide and releasing essential oxygen and also are home to millions of plants and animals. The Green Revolution was a time period where increased agricultural production in countries such as India and Brazil, Feeding more people.350px-DEFORASTATION_RAIN_FOREST_RIO_DE_JANEIRO_BRAZIL.JPG
Global Warming
Global warming is yet another environmental issue which is hotly debated. Global warming can cause a rise in sea level, changes in weather patterns, desertification and precipitation increases. In 2005, the Kyoto Protocol treaty went into effect. It was signed by 140 countries which excluding the U.S and Australia.The purpose was to lower the emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases that contribute to global warming. Many nations refused to sign because they say they must exploit their resources in order to develop fully.