What are the Characteristics of globalization?

The main features of globalization are stated below.

1. Liberalisation:

The freedom of the industrialist/businessman to establish industry, trade or commerce either in his country or abroad; free exchange of capital, goods, service and technologies between countries;

2. Free Trade:

Free trade between countries; absence of excessive governmental control over trade;

3. Globalization of Economic Activities:

Control of economic activities by domestic market and international market; coordination of national economy and world economy;

4. Connectivity:

Localities being connected with the world by breaking national boundaries; forging of links between one society and another, and between one country and another through international transmission of knowledge, literature, technology, culture and information.

5. Borderless Globe:

Breaking of national barriers and creation of inter- connectedness; the ideal of 'borderless globe' articulated by Kenichi Ohmae.

6. A Composite Process:

Integration of nation-states across the world by common economic, commercial, political, cultural and technological ties; creation of a new world order with no national boundaries;

7. A Multi-dimensional Process:

Economically, it means opening up of national market, free trade and commerce among nations, and integration of national economies with the world economy. Politically, it means limited powers and functions of state, more rights and freedoms granted to the individual and empowerment of private sector; culturally, it means exchange of cultural values between societies and between nations; and ideologically, it means the spread of liberalism and capitalism.

8. A Top-Down process:

Globalization originates from developed countries and the MNCs (multinational corporations) based in them. Technologies, capital, products and services come from them to developing countries. It is for developing countries to accept these things, adapt themselves to them and to be influenced by them.

As a result, the values and norms of developed countries are gradually rooted in developing countries. This leads to the growth of a monoculture - the culture of the north (developed countries) being imposed on the South (developing countries). This involves the erosion and loss of the identity and the cultures of developing countries. Globalization is thus a one-way traffic: it flows from the North to the South.

But this view of globalization has been contested. Some scholars have argued that globalization tends to provoke backlash at the community, local, regional and ethnic levels when the national government fails to resist or counter the invasion of globalization.

In the face of aggression of globalization, the people, in protest against the failure of the national government to defend them, develop or strengthen their allegiance to their community, locality, region or ethnic group. In this process, local identity, regional identity and ethnic identity take root and get strengthened. Thus globalization goes hand in hand with localization, regionalization and multiculturalism.

9. Global State vs Global Civil Society:

In protest against the harmful effects of globalization on the vast multitude of people all over the world, particularly in developing countries, protest marches, demonstrations and meetings have been organized in different countries. These protests have taken militant forms in the last decade. Protest groups have tried to disturb and paralyse the meetings of WTO, World Bank and IMF.

They charge that these UN-based organizations have been the agents of globalization and that they have been used by developed countries as their instruments to exploit and dominate developing countries. These protest groups-environmental groups, human rights groups, women's groups, farmers' groups and peace groups have interlocked themselves at the global level.

As a result, a global civil society, though yet not fully developed, has come into being, but a global state is a distant dream. The UN and its affiliated organisations which could have been the foundation of a global state have been weakened by many forces including glo­balization.