In the last few years, there has been an increasing change in the aspects of human relationships, institutional change, political relations as well a the natural environment and they have been seen to increasingly become intertwined and while this has often been referred to as globalization, there has so far not been a clear and direct definition of the term (Sholte, 2000). This paper therefore seeks to examine the effects of globalization on the attitudes, opinions and perspectives of the world’s societies and this will be done by detailing a system for analyzing and measuring globalization.
The very definition of globalization has been met with a resurgence of controversy since it has been assumed that the term covers a wide range of issues that are contradictory in nature under one single term which by extension means that the term can either be taken as positive or negative depending on the individual (Sholte, 2000). For many individuals, this term stands for the ever increasing power of multinational companies as well as the spread of knowledge on human rights which has had an effect on practically every field of life including acquisition and spread of wealth, the freedom of individuals as well as their culture. This has been clearly seen in the ever increasing change in the tastes of food as well as the influences in art and the new products that consumers have access to (Sholte, 2000).
Even with the speed and ease that globalization has been seen to spread to the world’s cultures, it is still challenging to attempt to quantify globalization especially when one considers the complexity of the topic and the fact that it incorporates a wide range of issues however, an attempt to provide an index of the term would be essential in providing the world with a far greater understanding of the term as well as enabling the world to be able to view the extent of globalization thus by extension providing a clearer picture of the impact of globalization on the world and its continued growth (Andersen, 2003). Globalization can be seen through its elements which include the free movement of good as well as services, the constant flow of capital and labour as well as the massive transfer of technology and this is besides the perceived economic benefits in a large scale that come with the adoption of globalization and the free flow of information and ideas as well as people (Caselli, 2006).
This research paper seeks to ask the question: What parameters can be used to measure the effect that globalization has on the world?
For the purposes of this study we shall look at three countries that are at different stages of development including the United States which is considered as a developed country. China which is classified as a newly industrialized country, a classification it enjoys based on the fact that it has not sufficiently reached the developed country status but has shown significant progress in terms of its economic growth as compared to the rest of the other developing countries and Mexico which is classified as a developing country based on its low living standards as well as a largely undeveloped industrial base (Castagna, 2010).
It is important to note that the research that is carried out to determine the causes and consequences, whether negative or positive, of globalization has been termed as important and especially for today’s increasingly modern societies and this has been attributed to the fact that the use of indices is the most encouraging way for objective and clear data to be achieved with regard to this topic (Castagna, 2010). Whereas in business indices are often used to enable stakeholders gain a clearer picture of the climate and environment for investment to be profitable as well as the ongoing trends in business and enable the clearer understanding of the impact in which the global business environment has had on the operations of business. With regard to globalization, the question of the use of indices has to do with helping to provide an answer as to whether the notion of globalization can be better understood and this is the reason why there are several types of indices that can be used to gain a clearer picture of this notion and the impact that it has on the growth of the world’s societies (Caselli, 2012).
The Maastrict Globalization Index or MGI has been attributed to Martens and Zywietz and the 2002 KOF index of Globalization have been seen as the most effective tools to use in the measurement of globalization. The choice of which index to use is base on determining whether the measures to be included in the index can be normalized since the methods for normalizing the provided data are numerous and this is the reason why choosing the correct index to use is vital (Caselli, 2012). With regard to the MGI index, one would be guided by the basic components of the index that are labeled as indicators for the effectiveness of the implementation of globalization and they include global politics which is among the most vital indicator of integration in politics. This can be clearly seen in the type of diplomatic relations that the country enjoys with other countries for instance, only recently has China opened up its borders and instituted measures that will ensure that sound diplomatic relations are felt between it and other countries in the world whereas in the case of the United States, favourable diplomatic relations has been a part of its government policies for years (Mattoscio & Catagna, 2007).
In terms of the above indicator, the effectiveness of the country’s political integration is measured by the number of embassies and active representation it has in other foreign countries as well as the active membership in international organizations. This is a firm indicator of the extent to which the country has invested in the cultivation of positive foreign relations with other countries as well as ensuring that the country’s culture and ideals are passed on to the rest of the world (Mattoscio & Catagna, 2007). Another indicator of the globalization of a country is the measure to which the country has been able to effectively organize its military in relation to maintaining peace with the rest of the world. In addition, the rate at which the country takes part in the trade of weapons and the purpose for which they do this is also an indicator of the extent to which the country has embraced globalization (Mattoscio & Catagna, 2007).
The extent to which the country carries out direct foreign investment is also another indicator of the degree to which the country has embraced globalization. Direct foreign investment is often classified as the involvement, often long term, by one country in another and the effects of this involvement are felt in numerous ways and most especially in the economy of the country that is doing the investing (Dreher, et al, 2010). Further, globalization can also be measured by the migratory patterns of the given country’s population, and this is especially seen in terms of tourism numbers as this brings people in greater contact with each other and promotes globalization through the exchange of ideas and cultures for people who would have otherwise never had the chance to interact with each other. In terms of measuring the extent of globalization in individuals, the ethical and cultural dimensions of the impact of adopting globalization can be examined and this can be done through the examination of the amount of freedom that these individuals are allowed to practice their civil and political rights as well as whether this globalization undermines or positively affects the cultural diversity of these individuals (Dreher, et al, 2010).
The impact of globalization can also be measured in individuals by the impact that it has on helping the individual shape his identity in relation to the values that are being propagated by the opening up of his country’s borders (Martens & Zywietz, 2006). Employing the use of a questionnaire with questions ranging from the personal impact that globalization has had on the way that the individual perceives the rest of the world. Whether he perceives the impact of globalization as positive or negative can then be able to produce a clearer picture of the individual effect of globalization on each individual and not just on the country or society as a whole. Bearing in mind the fact communication has helped to further spread the notion of globalization which in effect means that more and more of the world’s populations are getting more exposed to culture they would have otherwise never had the chance to explore and as a consequence this rise in the world’s communication has often caught the world by surprise (Martens & Zywietz, 2006).
It would then be important to consider the question of the challenges that individuals have had to deal with in regard of the gap that it has widened between the traditional norms and values that have always been passed on through the generations and the new cultures that have led to an increase in the increase in personal expectations with regard to the acquisition of employment. Therefore, by extension, the hope that this would lead to grater incomes especially bearing in mind the great advancements being made in the area of audio-visual technology which has impacted on the traditional forms of employment (Martens & Zywietz, 2006). In carrying out the survey and use of the indices, it can indeed be seen that there is a great co-relation between globalization and development; increased foreign investment, an emphasis on the cultivation of positive foreign relations and creating measures to encourage tourism have all been seen to have a positive impact on the economic, social and cultural growth of a country (Kearney, 2002).
The notion of globalization has long been a debatable one especially bearing in mind the fact that one cannot say that there is a direct definition of the term which is why there has been an increase in the need to carry out a measurement of globalization in order to enable countries be able to be better prepared for the impact of globalization not only on their cultures but also on their economic and social framework.
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