Globalisation

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Enquiry question 1

WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF GLOBALISATION AND WHY HAS IT ACCELERATED IN RECENT DECADES?

  • Globalisation is the process of the world's economies, political systems and cultures becoming more strongly connected to each other.
  • Globalisation is an economic process that involves increases in the flows of ideas, people, products, services and capital between countries on a worldwide scale.
  • In the past 30 years these flows have intensified and the process has speeded up, resulting in a much greater level of integration in the world economy and closer economic ties between countries.
  • The connections are best thought of as 'flows' that can be of:
  • Goods - the products we all buy in shops, many of which were made in distant places
  • Capital - flows of money between people, banks, businesses and governments
  • Information - such as data transferred between businesses and people, often using the internet
  • People - flows of migrants and tourists from one part of the world to another
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Enquiry question 1

  • Globalisation can take several forms, all involving increasing interdependence (the success of one place depends on the success of other places) and interconnectedness.
  • Economic globalisation - involves the growth of global transnational corporations (TNCs), which have a global presence and global brand image. It also involves the spreading of investment around the globe and rapid growth in world trade.
  • Cultural globalisation - involves people increasingly eating similar food, wearing similar clothes, listening to similar music and sharing similar values, many of which are 'western' in origin
  • Political globalisation - takes the form of the dominance of western democracies in political and economic decision making. It also spreads the view that democratic, consumerist societies are the most successful. 
  • Demographic globalisation - occurs as migration and tourism increase: populations are becoming ever more fluid and mixed
  • Environmental globalisation - the realisation that global environmental threats require global solutions
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Enquiry question 1

Globalisation has resulted in:

  • A greater proportion of manufactured goods being produced by TNCs
  • Large increases in international trade reflecting the growth of global production and consumption
  • The location of production in LEDCs, with increased flows of raw materials, manufactured goods and components from the developing to the developed world
  • Offshoring of services such as ICT, billing and customer care from MEDCs to LEDCs
  • Greater dependence on global flows of capital, controlled by major world cities such as New York, London, Tokyo
  • Freer international movement of goods, capital and people
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  • A key factor driving globalisation, and accelerating it, has been developments in transport technology. These have encouraged growth in trade, as transporting goods and people around the world has become cheaper over time.
  • Developments in transport have created a 'shrinking world' - the idea that the world in 2016 feels smaller than in 1916, because places are closer in terms of travel time and knowledge of distant places is widespread so they feel less 'exotic'. The speed and ease of moving around the world has reduced the friction of distance between places as well as dramatically lowering the cost of trade.
  • Developments in transport technology: 
  • Railways Steam trains quickly replaced horse drawn and canal transport 
  • Telegraph Electric telegraph was the first long-distance, instant communication technology
  • Steam ships Replaced sailing ships and increased speed and cargo capacity dramatically
  • Jet passenger aircraft Reduced travel time for passengers to hours rather than days, replacing steam ships
  • Containerisation Dramatically speeded up goods trade and reduced costs, making consumer goods cheaper
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  • The development of shipping containers in the 1960s is perhaps the most important development. 
  • Before containers, cargo was loaded in crates or stacks, manually, into the holds of ships. Now containers are loaded and unloaded by crane, increasingly automatically.
  • Containers are inter-modal, meaning they can be transported by ship, lorry or train.
  • The world's fleet of 9500 container ships can carry up to 18,000 twenty-foot shipping containers each.
  • The late twentieth and twenty-first centuries have been dominated by developments in ICT and mobile technology. Developments have been very rapid since 1990:
  • Mobile phones became widespread from the mid-1990s and are now common even in many developing countries
  • Internet access became common from the mid-1990s, followed by fast broadband; now close to 50% of the world's population uses internet
  • The global network of land-based and subsea fibre optic cables has allowed instant, global communication
  • Satellite-based television has meant popular channels are available worldwide, in many languages
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  • A huge number of social networking applications means that people can stay in touch and communicate as never before and experience time-space compression.
  • Time-space compression - the idea that the cost, in terms of time or money, of communicating over distance has fallen rapidly, so the idea of someone being 'a long way away' is now largely irrelevant in terms of the ability to communicate with them.
  • The internet and mobile communications revolution is also important to businesses as they can:
  • Keep in touch with all parts of their production, supply and sales network locally and globally
  • Transfer money and investments instantly
  • Instantly analyse data on sales, employees and orders from anywhere within their business
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  • A number of organisations have helped promote free trade and end 'protectionism'. In the past many countries protected their own industries and businesses by:
  • Demanding payment of taxes and tariffs on imported goods, so making them more expensive than home-produced goods
  • Using quotas to limit the volume of imports, protecting home producers from foreign competition
  • Banning foreign firms from operating in services like banking, retail and insurance
  • Restricting, or banning, foreign companies from investing in their country
  • Foreign direct investment - when a business from one country invests in another such as opening a chain of shops or building a factory
  • World Trade Organisation (WTO) - The international organisation that works to reduce trade barriers and create free trade. A series of global agreements has gradually reduced trade barriers and increased free trade, although the latest round of talks began in Doha in 2001 and have not been agreed yet.
  • International Monetary Fund (IMF) - Since 1945 the IMF has worked to promote global economic and financial stability, and encourage more open economies. Part of this involves encouraging developing countries to accept FDI and open up their economies to free trade. The IMF has been criticised for promoting a 'western' model of economic development that works in the interests of developed countries and their TNCs.
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  • World Bank (WB) - The World Bank's role since 1944 has been to lend money to the developing world to fund economic development and reduce poverty. It has helped developing countries develop deeper ties to the global economy but has been criticised for having policies that put economic development before social development.
  • Most governments actively seek global connections in the belief that trade promotes economic development and wealth. Governments can promote globalisation in a number of ways:
  • Joining free trade blocs such as the European Union (EU) and Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), which make trade barrier-free between member states and in the case of the EU allows free movement of people between countries.
  • Opening up markets to competition: in many countries certain industries are protected or even operate as a monopoly such as national rail networks, postal services or electricity generation. Since 1980 there has been a move towards free market liberalisation, which has created competition in once restricted markets.
  • Privatisation: since the 1980s many governments have sold off industries they once owned ('nationalised industries'). In the UK the steel, car, electricity, gas and water industries were all state-owned but are now all privately owned.
  • Grants and loans are often made to new businesses (business start-ups) especially in areas that are seen to be globally important growth areas such as ICT development, pharmaceuticals or renewable energy. 
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  • In emerging countries there is a long history of attempts by governments to promote particular regions as ideal locations for FDI. Beginning around 1980, countries such as China, India, Mexico and the Philippines began to create special economic zones (SEZs), free-trade zones (FTZs) or export processing zones (EPZs).
  • China led the way in this area when in 1978 it decided on an Open Door Policy towards FDI and in 1980 created the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone.
  • SEZs and similar models are attractive to FDI for a number of reasons:
  • They are tariff and quota free, allowing manufactured goods to be exported at no cost
  • Unions are usually banned, so workers cannot strike or complain
  • Infrastructure such as port facilities, roads, power and water connections are provided by the government, providing a subsidy for investors and lowering their costs
  • All profits made can be sent to the company HQ overseas
  • Taxes are usually very low, and often there is a tax-free period of up to 10 years after a business invests
  • Environmental regulations are usually limited
  • SEZs have contributed hugely to 'made in China' as FDI has poured into that country in the last 30 years. Western consumers benefit from low-cost goods but there are question marks about pay and working conditions in SEZs.
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  • Apple was subject to negative publicity in 2010 when working conditions in its supplier factories (owned by Foxconn) making iPhones and iPads came under scrutiny. 
  • In many Chinese SEZs wages are now high by global standards and countries like Vietnam are more competitive.
  • The KOF index measures the degree of globalisation of countries on an annual basis. It measures three aspects of globalisation:
  • Economic globalisation measured by cross-border trade, investment and money flows
  • Social globalisation measured by international telephone calls, tourist flows, resident foreign population and access to foreign internet, TV, media and brands
  • Political globalisation measured by foreign embassies in a country, the number of international organisations the country is a member of and trade and other agreements with foreign countries
  • The most globalised countries tend to be European, relatively small and often involved in import/export trade. Many of the most globalised countries have culturally mixed populations and have many of their residents living abroad, as well as foreigners in their country.
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  • The AT Kearney Global Cities Index measures how economically successful cities are. In 2016 London, New York, Paris, Tokyo and Hong Kong were ranked as the most successful global cities, reflecting their global political importance as well as their role in the global financial system.
  • One of the main drivers in globalisation has been TNCs (transnational corporations - companies that operate in more than one country). These major companies have a global 'reach'. 
  • They are the driving force behind the globalisation of industry, services and trade of the past 50 years. TNCs are responsible for 4/5 of global economic output. The top 500 TNCs account for 90% of FDI. TNCs generate 2/3 of world trade
  • Much of China's rapid economic growth has been fuelled by western TNCs locating manufacturing plants in its SEZs, creating jobs and boosting exports, taking advantage of China's economic liberalisation since 1978. 
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  • TNCs have contributed to globalisation by:
  • Outsourcing some parts of their businesses, usually administration and data processing, to third-party companies: Bangalore in India has become known as a location for TNC call centres and data processing.
  • Offshoring some parts of their businesses to cheaper foreign locations, especially the SEZs in Asian countries.
  • Outsourcing and offshoring are both ways of reducing business costs by moving parts of a TNC's business overseas. Offshored parts are still owned by the TNC, whereas outsourced parts are not.
  • Developing new markets - many TNCs that initially set up factories in Asia now sell their products there.
  • Glocalisation - adapting brands and products to suit local market tastes, e.g. McDonald's.
  • However, TNCs have been accused of exploiting workers in the developing and emerging worlds by paying very low wages. Outsourcing jobs to the developing world can lead to job losses in developed countries. Local cultures and traditions can be eroded by TNC brands and western ideas.
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Enquiry question 1

Advantages of TNCs:

  • Provide inward investment and create jobs for local people
  • Increase incomes and raise living standards among employees
  • Boost exports and help the trade balance
  • Develop and improve skill levels and expertise among the workforce, and technology and process systems among local firms
  • Increase spending and create a multiplier effect within local economies
  • Attract related investment by suppliers and create clusters of economic activity

Disadvantages of TNCs:

  • Many jobs are relatively low-skilled in labour-intensive industries. 
  • Lack of security, as TNCs switch operations to lower-cost locations elsewhere
  • Lack of control, with key investment decisions taken overseas at company headquarters
  • TNCs may demand further government financial incentives not to disinvest
  • Competition can lead to the closure of domestic firms
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  • Some places remain 'switched off' from globalisation and have only weak connections to other places.
  • Political isolation - North Korea has deliberately isolated itself from the rest of the world, shunning world trade and limiting the use of technologies such as mobile phones and the internet in pursuit of its own state ideology. There are no undersea data cables connecting North Korea to other parts of the world.
  • Economic isolation - Rural parts of Sub-Saharan Africa, especially the Sahel region, are dominated by a subsistence farming economy with food produced to eat not to sell. These places are also poor, and their capacity to create connections is limited.
  • Environmental barriers - Harsh desert climates, extreme polar cold and dense tropical forests all limit the development of transport and trade connections meaning continental interiors and polar regions are less well connected than coastal locations.
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Enquiry question 2

WHAT ARE THE IMPACTS OF GLOBALISATION FOR COUNTRIES, GROUPS OF PEOPLE AND CULTURES, AND THE ENVIRONMENT?

  • Globalisation has benefitted many people, but by no means everyone, thus creating winners and losers as the process has accelerated in both the developed and developing worlds.
  • Migration is a key part of globalisation and it has affected some places much more than others, especially major cities.
  • Cultural globalisation has created a 'western' global culture that may threaten existing and traditional cultures.
  • In the last 30 years the global economic centre of activity has shifted towards Asia. This is a result of the global shift of industry towards Asia. In particular:
  • The shift of manufacturing jobs from Europe, Japan and North America to China
  • The shift of service and administration jobs to India, especially the city of Bangalore
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Enquiry question 2

Benefits of the global shift for Asia:

  • Major investment in roads, ports, airports and power infrastructure; China built 11,000km of new motorways in 2015 alone
  • A shift from informal, insecure employment to waged employment with a set income and some security
  • TNCs invest in training and skills development to improve workforce productivity, and some skills are transferable
  • Major reductions in regional poverty due to employment; 600 million Chinese were lifted out of poverty between 1992 and 2015
  • As more people in formal employment pay taxes, local and national government invest in public services such as education and health

Costs of the global shift for Asia:

  • Urban sprawl and loss of productive farmland and forests such as industry and cities expand to accommodate industry and worker housing
  • New developments tend to be unplanned and sometimes poorly built, lacking key public services
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Enquiry question 2

  • Pressure on natural resources, especially water supply as new factories and offices demand resources
  • Low wages, long working hours, lack of union representatio and possible exploitation of workers
  • Rapid loss of tradition such as local foods and dress as the pace of urban and industrial change is so rapid
  • It is clear that China has paid a heavy environmental price as a result of the global shift:
  • Severe air pollution in cities like Beijing, where air pollution is regularly well above WHO safe limits
  • Beijing's 6 million cars and coal-burning power stations are the source of its pollution; close to 50% of all the world's coal is burned in China
  • Around 50% of China's rivers and lakes and 40% of its groundwater is polluted
  • Over 20% of China is subject to desertification and severe oil erosion, which can create major dust storms
  • Combined with deforestation, desertification has forced many farmers off their land and into cities as the farmland has been over exploited
  • The WWF reported in 2015 that almost half of China's land-based vertebrate species have been lost in the last 40 years as biodiversity has suffered as habitats have been destroyed
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Enquiry question 2

  • For developed countries the shift has meant deindustrialisation (the closure of manufacturing industries such as steel, shipbuilding and engineering). This means lower pollution levels and it can be said that the global shift has exported pollution to Asia.
  • However, economic restructuring has caused a number of social and environmental problems in many former industrial cities in the developed world, such as Sheffield and Manchester:
  • Declining populations as a result of factory closures
  • High crime rates - in the UK post-industrial Middlesbrough has a high crime rate
  • Derelict land - disused factory sites and is often contaminated by industrial waste, making it costly to reuse
  • Unemployment is usually high in deindustrialised cities
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Enquiry question 2

  • The connections created by globalisation have caused an increase in global migration.
  • Probably the most significant form of migration is rural-urban migration (people moving from the countryside to cities). This feeds the growth of the world's megacities (a city with a population over 10 million).
  • In developing and emerging countries about 60% of urban growth is caused by rural-urban migration and 40% by high birth rates in cities (natural increase).
  • Push factors of rural-urban migration:
  • Goods and services available to rural places are limited
  • Less money is spent on educational resources in rural areas
  • Fewer doctors and medical facilities in rural areas
  • Limited new opportunities (jobs) in rural areas - unemployment
  • Limited amounts of government money is spent on rural areas - poor healthcare and education provision
  • Drought and famine
  • Natural disaster
  • Poverty
  • Crop failure
  • War and conflict
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Enquiry question 2

  • A lack of services and amenities
  • Poor electricity and power supplies
  • Pull factors of rural to urban migration:
  • Potential for employment
  • Better service provisions and amenities
  • A safer atmosphere - lower crime rates
  • Less natural disasters
  • Greater wealth or affluence
  • Political security
  • Stable government and no corruption
  • Higher education
  • High technology
  • More comfortable, proper and quality housing
  • Better living conditions
  • Better medical care
  • Political and religious freedom
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Enquiry question 2

  • While some megacities are growing slowly, developing world cities like Lagos and Karachi have very rapid growth.
  • Social challenges of megacity growth:
  • Housing is in short supply, leading to the growth of slums and shanty towns that lack water, sewers and power supplies
  • Poverty is rife, because wages are low and jobs are in short supply; many people have dangerous informal jobs
  • Lack of taxes means city governments struggle to supply essential health and education services
  • Lack of water and sanitation means disease and illness are common in slums
  • Environmental challenges of megacity growth:
  • Sprawling slums at the city edge cause deforestation and loss of farmland and increase flood risk
  • Wood fires, old vehicles and industry mean air pollution levels are high
  • Rivers and lakes are polluted with sewage and industrial waste, making health problems worse
  • Critical resources, especially water, are in short supply because of soaring demand
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Enquiry question 2

  • Migration can also be international. Migrants are especially attracted to global hub cities:
  • HQs and offices of TNCs are often located in global hubs (a city, like London, Dubai or New York, with an unusually high density of transport, business, political and cultural connections to the rest of the world), so high-paid professional workers (lawyers, stock-market traders, bankers) are attracted to these places and this creates huge wealth
  • These global elite migrants often employ maids, drivers, nannies and gardeners
  • This attracts low skills migrants such as Indian and Bangladeshi migrants moving to the United Arab Emirates or Filipinos migrating to Saudi Arabia
  • Further low skills, low wage migrants are used as construction workers for office and apartment blocks in global hubs
  • Some cities, like London and New York attract exceptionally wealthy migrants. E.g. Russian oligarch billionaires investing in property in London and living there some of the time. This happens partly so the oligarchs can send their children to the UK's elite private schools, and partly to move money out of Russia and invest it in London property.
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Enquiry question 2

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Enquiry question 2

  • Globalisation has often been said to have spread a 'westernised' global culture which originates in North America and Europe. This is a culture based on:
  • Wealth creation, earning money in order to buy consumer goods and high levels of consumption
  • Private enterprise, where people own businesses rather than the government owning them
  • Success, which is measured by how wealthy you are and how much 'stuff' you buy
  • Fashion, technology and trends, which are important in western culture
  • An attitude that the physical environment should be exploited for its natural resources to create wealth
  • Western culture has spread by cultural diffusion (the exchange of ideas between different people as they mix and interact as a result of globalisation). Migration dramatically increases cultural diffusion as it brings different people into contact with each other. Other factors are important too:
  • Tourism brings people into contact with new cultures
  • TNCs spread their brands and products around the world
  • Global media organisations like Disney, CNN and the BBC spread a western view of world events
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Enquiry question 2

  • Western culture can be viewed as having both positive and negative impacts on the physical environment and people:
  • The spread of a western diet (high fat, high sugar, fast food based) is changing diets around the world, especially in Asian cities, with the spread of McDonald's, KFC and other fast food. This has been linked to rising obesity and diabetes in many emerging countries.
  • A fast-food, consumer culture is also very wasteful in terms of resources such as discarded fast food packaging and fashion items worn only once or twice. This can be linked to deforestation and excessive water use in industry, as well as air and water pollution.
  • On the other hand western culture has tended to improve opportunities for some traditionally disadvantaged and discriminated against groups such as women, the disabled and LGBT groups. 
  • Global media coverage of the Paralympics, Gay Pride marches and high profile cases of sex discrimination may help erode discrimination and prejudice in developing and emerging countries.
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Enquiry question 2

  • The spread of western culture is strongly opposed by some groups, broadly called the anti-globalisation movement. Protest groups such as Occupy Wall Street and the Global Justice Movement argue that globalisation has:
  • Dramatically increased resource consumption through exploiting the natural environment, leading to problems like deforestation, water pollution, global warming and biodiversity loss
  • Exploited workers, especially in emerging countries, who suffer low wages, dangerous working conditions and lack any form of union representation
  • Passed political and economic power into the hands of TNCs and uncaring governments, at the expense of ordinary people
  • Created increased inequality, i.e. a small group of very rich, powerful people (the '1%'), at the expense of others
  • Caused cultural erosion, meaning that traditional lifestyles are degraded by the spread of western culture, and local dress, art and architectural styles are lost.
  • Arctic Inuit, tribal groups in Papua New Guinea and Amazonia, and mountain people in Nepal and Bhutan now all experience tourism and exposure to global media. Their traditional foods, music, language, clothes and social relations are all being eroded, or else being turned into a 'show' for tourists.
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Enquiry question 3

WHAT ARE THE CONSEQUENCES OF GLOBALISATION FOR DEVELOPMENT AND THE ENVIRONMENT AND HOW SHOULD DIFFERENT PLAYERS RESPOND TO ITS CHALLENGES?

  • Globalisation had led to increased development in some countries, but has also widened the gap between rich and poor in some cases (the development gap). The development gap can be:
  • Between countries 
  • Within countries
  • Measuring the gap between rich and poor is not easy. Geographers use single measures like life expectancy or GDP per capita because they give an easy to use and understand 'headline' measure of development. However, single measures are not very accurate.
  • Composite measures combine several data points into an index. The most well known is the combination of life expectancy, income and years in education used to produce the Human Development Index (HDI). 
  • The Gender Inequality Index (GII) combines the reproductive health of women, their participation in the workforce and empowerment (women in higher education and politics) to measure gender aspects of development.
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Enquiry question 3

  • These indices focus on social development as well as economic development and are usually viewed as a better reflection of development progress.
  • Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) GDP per capita has become a popular way of comparing economic development between countries because unlike nominal GDP it takes into account the cost of living within countries.
  • A 2016 report from Oxfam stated that the wealth of the world's richest 1% of people is equivalent to the wealth of the other 99%.
  • Within countries income inequality is measured using the Gini Coefficient with income divided into quantiles plotted as a Lorenz curve.
  • Haiti is the most unequal country as the richest 20% of people have 65% of the wealth, compared to under 40% in Sweden.
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Enquiry question 3

Globalisation's winners:

  • There were about 1800 billionaires worldwide in 2016; most have made their wealth through the ownership of TNCs
  • Developed countries have proved very good at maintaining their wealth, despite the rise of countries like China
  • The rising middle class of factory and call centre workers in Asia, whose incomes have risen as they have gained outsourced and offshored jobs
  • People who work for TNCs in developed countries who have a high income and reasonable job security, although lead high-stress lives

Globalisation's losers:

  • Isolated, rural populations in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa where subsistence farming still dominates and global connections are thin
  • Workers (especially male) in old industrial cities in the developed world who have generally lost jobs 
  • Workers in sweatshop factories in emerging countries; they suffer exploitation 
  • Slum dwellers in developing world megacities like Lagos
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Enquiry question 3

  • The environmental impact of development and globalisation is often measured using ecological footprints (a measure of the resources used by a country or person over the course of a year, measured in global hectares), whereas one way of measuring economic development is using income per capita.
  • E.g. Sweden's income per person has grown hugely, but its ecological footprint has not. This suggests that economic development in Sweden has not affected the quality of the environment and that environmental management maintains biodiversity, water and air quality.
  • E.g. China's ecological footprint has steadily risen. Since 2001, rising Chinese incomes correlate with very large increases in ecological footprint. This suggests that economic development in China has very high environmental costs.
  • In summary: some countries can take advantage of globalisation without damaging their environment, while others cannot.
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Enquiry question 3

  • Globalisation has contributed to large immigrant populations and there are now large diasporas (the dispersal of a population overseas) from many countries resident in other countries. Several factors have increased the pace of migration:
  • Open borders to migration within the EU since 1995
  • FDI, encouraging TNC workers to move overseas
  • Deregulation of some job markets, allowing foreign qualified workers
  • Humanitarian crises, like the Syrian civil war and war with Islamic State, which have seen large numbers of reguees flee to Europe since 2011
  • Most EU countries, as well as many other developed countries, now have culturally mixed populations. At a certain rate of immigration housing, jobs, education and other services will come under strain and this risks a rise in tensions with some of the host country population who may view the migration as 'too many, too fast'.
  • There is evidence in Europe that migration has increased social and political tensions and even led to a rise in extremism:
  • The UK 'Brexit' vote in 2016 to leave the EU had the scale and pace of immigration as a key area of debate
  • In 2014, 51% of Swiss voted in favour of stopping mass immigration in a national referendum
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Enquiry question 3

  • Anti-immigration political parties have been rising in popularity since 2010, e.g. UKIP in the UK, the Front National in France, the Dutch Party for Freedom, and Freedom Party of Austria
  • Some countries have attempted to limit the impact of globalisation using government policy:
    The internet is banned in North Korea, because the Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un does not want his people to have access to 'western' ideas.
  • In China, the internet was very widely used by 52% of the population in 2016, but it is censored; some searches for politically sensitive topics get no results because the Chinese Communist Party seeks to prevent 'unhelpful' discussion.
  • Since 2010 the UK has sought to reduce immigration using a points system, but with only limited results because EU immigration cannot be controlled.
  • Other countries like Australia also use points-based immigration systems to match immigrants to actual economic needs and job vacancies.
  • Trade protectionism is still common: oil exports are banned in the USA so all domestically produced oil must be used in the USA; India restricts foreign companies investing in its retail sector to protect Indian small shopkeepers from competition
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Enquiry question 3

  • One indigenous group, the First Nations of Canada, attempts to retain its cultural identity and prevent it from being eroded by cultural globalisation.
  • The First Nations are the orignal population of Canada, existing before European immigration. 
  • An assembly of First Nations promotes the rights and needs of First Nations at national level within Canada
  • After decades of being taught to be 'Canadian' in boarding schools, modern First Nation schools teach native languages and traditions
  • Within Indian Reservation territories, bands are largely self-governing, allowing them to make key decisions about their future
  • Festivals and other meetings help preserve the First Nations tradition of oral histories and other traditions
  • There are about 100 First Nation and Inuit Cultural Education Centres funded by the Canadian Government to help preserve and develop First Nation cultures and traditions
  • To some extent, tourism helps preserve some aspects of First Nation culture but also risks diluting it
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Enquiry question 3

  • Globalisation has led to a number of ethical and environmental concerns:
  • Fears that consumer goods have been made using exploited labour
  • Concerns that imported food products like tea, coffee, bananas and cocoa do not provide their farmers with a decent income due to low prices
  • Concerns that consumer goods use excessive resources during their production, packaging, transport and use
  • Worries that our consumer culture is contributing to global warming as ecological footprints rise
  • There are several different responses to the social and environmental ethical issues raised by globalisation and globalised consumer products.
  • A key response in developed countries has been a move towards localism (the idea that food and goods should be grown locally, supporting local jobs and reducing transport, rather than being sourced globally), ie. buying local products, trying to trade with other local businesses and building local community movements around sustainability issues
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Enquiry question 3

Transition towns

  • Founded in 2006 the NGO 'Transition Network' encourages towns to grow their own food in community gardens (not import it) and reduce energy used in transport, e.g. cycling and recycle waste/reuse materials. 
  • Some towns like Totnes, Exeter and Stroud even have their own local currencies to encourage local trade.
  • These initiatives are small scale, but some elements like 'grow your own' could have a big impact if widely adopted and promoting local sourcing became more widepspread

Fair Trade

  • Pays farmers in developing countries a guaranteed price for their produce plus a 'fair trade premium' payment. This attempts to reduce the inequalities of global trade.
  • The aim is to make incomes sustainable for farming families, and use some of the additional money to support community facilities like wells, schools and clinics.
  • The downsides are that the extra income is small, and fair trade products are more expensive for consumers.
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Enquiry question 3

Ethical consumption schemes

  • Founded in 1993 in Germany the NGO FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) uses its FSC logo on wood products that are sourced from sustainable forests thus helping consumers ensure that products are not contributing to environmental degradation.
  • Its criteria include that forestry must respect the land rights of indigenous people and that forestry workers are well treated and paid.
  • FSC has become well known globally but has been criticised for being too brand-focused

Recycling

  • Local councils in the UK play a key role in reducing waste and ecological footprints through recycling and councils' waste collection services.
  • Recycling of household waste increased from 17% to 44% between 2003 and 2013
  • Recycling does reduce waste, but different councils have different schemes with different results and reducing packaging might be a better way forward.
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