Thinking Geographically about Globalization
Global processes, local effects
1. Main questions
•What is globalization? What processes does it involve?
•What is significant about understanding global processes?
•What is thinking geographically?
•What does a geographical perspective have to offer?
No single definition but some agreement that it involves:
•global economic integration, i.e. joining different economic activities in different places into a
•global economic system, i.e. organization of elements of the global economy into a single system
•global interdependence and interconnectivity, i.e. elements of the system are dependent on each
other and involve high levels of interconnection on an increasingly global scale
•global culture: idea of global community, common global values, global village. Example, globalization
of TV programs.
3. Significance of global processes (globalization)
•It’s really happening and won’t go away
•It affects us all
•It generates big arguments about its impacts
4. Ideologies and discourses of globalization
•Pro-globalization: good for the economy and therefore good for people. Increases trade and
integration into the global economy, therefore encourages economic growth which will trickle down even
to poorer countries.
•Anti-globalization: increases disparities, environmental degradation, reduces national sovereignty.
Benefits of any global economic growth will trickle up to richer countries, financiers, global corporations.
Plus “Alter-globalization” (Murray, p.13) – the idea that globalization can result in positive and negative
outcomes depending on how it’s constructed, this would involve changing rather than dismantling
globalization. We’ll return to this idea at the end of the course.
5. Geographical perspective: thinking geographically
What’s so geographical about globalization? Think about thus question in terms of how the main concepts
of human geography apply to globalization.
What does geography have to offer to the study of globalization?