Name for the process of increasing the connectivity and interdependence of the world's markets and businesses.
This process has speeded up dramatically in the last few decades as technological advances make it easier for people to travel, communicate, and do business internationally. Two major recent driving forces are advances in telecommunications infrastructure and the growth of the internet. In general, as economies become more connected to other economies, they have increased opportunity but also increased competition. Thus, as globalization becomes a more and more common feature of world economics, powerful pro-globalization and anti-globalization lobbies have arisen.
The pro-globalization lobby argues that globalization brings about much increased opportunities for almost everyone, and increased competition is a good thing since it makes agents of production more efficient. The two most prominent pro-globalization organizations are the World Trade Organization and the World Economic Forum.
- The World Trade Organization is a pan-governmental entity (which currently has 159 members) that was set up to formulate a set of rules to govern global trade and capital flows through the process of member consensus, and to supervise their member countries to ensure that the rules are being followed.
- The World Economic Forum, a private foundation, does not have decision-making power but enjoys a great deal of importance since it has been effective as a powerful networking forum for many of the world's business, government and not-profit leaders.
The anti-globalization group argues that certain groups of people who are deprived in terms of resources are not currently capable of functioning within the increased competitive pressure that will be brought about by allowing their economies to be more connected to the rest of the world. Important anti-globalization organizations include environmental groups like Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace; international aid organizations like Oxfam; third world government organizations like the G-77; business organizations and trade unions whose competitiveness is threatened by globalization like the U.S. textiles and European farm lobby, as well as the Australian and U.S. trade union movements.