Globalization, Meaning and Scope

A collection of essays on Globalization and its Impact

Anthology 2012 34 Pages

Politics - International Politics - Topic: Globalization, Political Economics




What is globalization

Project of IMF/World bank

Goals and criticisms of international Finance institutions

International organization that works on human rights issues

Impact of globalization on Human rights

Social enterprises

Globalization and communication

Globalization and economic development

Case studies

Globalization versus public health

Impacts of Globalization

Impact of globalization on the environment


This book is a compilation of essays that have been written in a course of study entitled: Globalization. Some of the material covered in this book deals with what globalization is about. Globalization is defined. The positive as well as the negative impacts of globalization have been discussed and explored. The essays were written as assignments to meet the requirements of the course: Globalization, at the University of the People. The University of the People is a new initiative on the global scene. It is the first tuition free University in the world, yet it has high quality education. It has various levels of assignments. Some of the questions require shorter answers, whereas the others require longer ones. Globalization is one of the courses at University of the People, in the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. The inadequacies in the answers must be attributed to the writer and not to the institution. This publication has nothing to do with the requirements of the university. It is my personal interest to preserve my assignments and that these may assist other learners.

What is globalization

Globalization can be best understood in terms of the integration of societies, nations or states in terms of economic development, culture and information sharing. The important thing is that there is sharing, trading and information distribution. All these leads to a state where there is less limitation that are based on geographical location. This goes hand in hand with the common term that the world is now a global village. In economic terms there is unlimited trade in the world. A person or company or country can choose people or organizations to do business with anywhere in the world. A person in United States can do business with a person in China or South Africa. Goods are distributed anywhere around the world. Information is moving in all directions forward and back through the use of the internet, phones, fax or post. The coming of cell phones has further revolutionalized everything. Globalization has been made possible by the development of transportation system where a person can travel from one corner of the world to the other within a day. Goods and services can also be transported within a day. Information is being shared within a matter of seconds. One key feature of globalization is the homogenization of trade, communication, culture and business practices among others.

Globalization has both good and bad aspects, but it is not inevitable. It has assisted in improving the conditions of living of people in poor countries. This is so because materials can move across the globe. Medication, for example, moves from China to Zimbabwe. Education is now possible anywhere in the world. Virtual learning is made possible. I can learn with the University of the People based in USA, while I am in Africa. Countries that do not have certain resources can access them through trade. Hunger has been reduced since food can be transported anywhere in the world. Life expectancy has improved due to globalization. There has been economic growth in some countries that used to be very poor. Expertise can now move across the globe. Yes, there are a few disadvantages. For example globalization has led to many international conflicts that arise out of trade agreements or practices. Local problems may be internationalized. For example the conflict in Libya has been internationalized due to the advent of new technology in information. Some countries are exploited of their resources by better of countries. Diseases can easily spread across the world. However, it is true that globalization is inevitable. This is so because it arose out of the evolutionary nature of human beings and societies in which they live. People’s survival instincts have led to new innovation such as new communication modes. As long as people are living they will strive to have newer ways of doing things. The advent of education and research means that innovation would have come one day or the other.

The theory of globalization which I agree with is that of capitalism. This means that capitalism was the driving force behind globalization. With the coming of industrialization that emerged from Feudalism there was excess capacity and production. The profit oriented capitalists sought ways to distribute goods to make more profits. Through the capitalistic motive new transportation system came into effect as well as new means of communication. Trade spread to all parts of the world, as much as the flow of information, technology and assimilation and diffusion of culture.








Project of IMF/World bank

The international monetary fund and the World Bank have embarked on many projects world over. Some of these projects have been successful, yet some of these have failed. The project that the writer describes in this essay is the one that was carried out in the writer’s country, Zimbabwe. The economic project was entitled the structural adjustment program (SAP).Generally; the project was a failure, although it also brought a few positive economic benefits. New policies were also crafted by the government.

The government of Zimbabwe started the Economic Structural Program in 1990.The government was made to start this project by the international Monetary fund (IMF). This came as a result of Zimbabwe’s search for economic growth. Structural adjustment programs have been initiated in many different countries of the world by IMF. Economic structural programs are economic policies and guidelines that must be followed by a country in order that the country gets assistance from IMF and the World Bank. What happened was that Zimbabwe wanted to boost its economic development in the country, so it sought assistance from IMF. IMF agreed to assist Zimbabwe with loans but on the conditions that Zimbabwe implemented the structural adjustment program, as per the guidelines of IMF. The following conditions were to be met by Zimbabwe:

- The government was required to reduce budget deficit by implementing strict monetary measures. The country was required to cut its expenditures in many areas. This also involved the privatization of the government owned companies or state enterprises.
- The country had to implement trade liberalization. This meant that the country should open trade links with some other countries by removing restrictions of exports and imports. Previously, the government used to control goods that came into the country. There were many import duties and embargoes.
- The government was supposed to make a budget at the start of the year and stick to that budget. No extra expenditures were required even in cases of emergencies.
- The government was asked to remove price controls. Before the structural adjustment program, the prices of goods and services were controlled by the government. The government also provided subsidies in many areas of the economy where essential services were provided. Health services, for example, were heavily subsidized.
- The government at some times was required to devalue the currency.

This project, which was aimed at poverty alleviation, however brought a lot of suffering to many Zimbabweans. By removing price controls, the cost of living for the people rose remarkably. Most people could not afford to buy basic goods such as food and medication. Many people dropped form schools. Before this program education was subsidized. University students in Zimbabwe did not pay fees, but were given grants and loans for subsistence. This led to many people failing to go to school. The other effect was that hospital costs sky rocketed. The subsidy by government on medication was removed. This meant people had to pay full cost for their medication. Many people were affected. As a result many people succumbed to diseases and ultimately died since they could not afford medical expenses.

Since many companies that were owned by the government were privatized, many people lost their jobs. As companies privatized they cut on labor. Many people therefore became unemployed. From that time up to now (2012) the unemployment rate is very high. Many people left Zimbabwe and sought employment in neighboring countries. Since the government was required to cut cost, it cut the cost related to social services. That led many people to suffer. The standard of living of the people in Zimbabwe worsened.

These international financial institutions do not provide assistance in unbiased manner. Most of the employees in the institutions come from developed countries. For example most of the heads of World Bank since its inception were from France, Britain and USA. The people who choose these leaders are the politicians. What this means is that such institutions are manipulated by such countries. Other countries which do not have good relationship with the major powers won’t receive much help from such institutions. Countries like Cuba and Libya for exampled used not to receive funds from such institutions. These institutions serve the purposes of the countries which are in the United Nations Security Council. This is so because if a country has economic sanctions, then it can not receive assistance from these international financial institutions. Political agendas take a centre stage in the running of such institutions. For example there has never been the head of World Bank and IMF that has come from outside Europe and America. What does that mean? This means that there is a lot of bias from selection to posts in these institutions to the decision that these members would make. The needs of the developing world are not taken seriously, because the people running these institutions come from developing countries. So the policies of these institutions favour developed countries. They do not suit the need s of developing countries.

This essay has looked at Zimbabwe’s case of the economic structural adjustment program, as an example where the international financial institutions had initiated a project that has failed. The structural adjustment program brought a lot of hardships and suffering to many Zimbabweans. This essay has further shown the biases that arise in decisions made by such bodies. The sources of the biases come from the employees of these institutions that come mainly from developed countries.








Goals and criticisms of international Finance institutions

By international finance institutions we are referring to both the international monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. This essay discusses, in brief, the goals of the IMF and the World Bank. It then moves on to analyze the importance and criticisms of these institutions.

The IMF and the World Bank have various motives for their establishment. These institutions have certain essential roles to play in international business and relations. Despite their essential roles, there are many limitations and criticisms that are leveled against these Breton Woods Institutions. We will start by looking at the purposes of these two institutions.

Purposes of IMF

The Levin institute has listed the following as the purposes of the IMF, among others:

- The facilitation of international cooperation and cohesion in monetary policy
- Assist in the economic liberalization of trade
- Maintain a system of international financial payments
- Assisting in balance of payments rationalization
- Reducing the volatility of balance of payments accounts

Facilitation of cooperation in monetary policy

The monetary policies of nations play a very vital role in stabilizing the economic situation in the country. However, these monetary policies play an equal role on an aggregate level in the international scene. The IMF ensures that countries frame their monetary policies based on certain principles that ensures that the world economy is not adversely affected. The need for harmonization of monetary policies is due to how the economic conditions on a global scale are influence by the performance of the economic status of individual countries. An example is how the Greek debt crisis spilled over to affect the whole European Block. The 2008 to 2009 economic decline has its genesis from a few countries. The financial instability in USA impacted the entire globe. So harmonization of policies assists the global economy.



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Title: Globalization, Meaning and Scope