GLOBALIZATION HAS MANY DEFINITIONS AND UNDERSTANDINGS.
1. Oxford English Dictionary (OED)
Globalization is “the act of globalizing“; from the noun “global“ meaning “pertaining to or involving the
whole world“, “worldwide“; “universal“ .
Oxford English Dictionary - 2nd edition [electronic edition]. Oxford, : Oxford University Press; c2000
[cited 2009 Dec 1]. http://www.oed.com/
2. International Forum on Globalization (IFG)
“Globalization is the present worldwide drive toward a globalized economic system dominated by
supranational corporate trade and banking institutions that are not accountable to democratic
processes or national governments“.
International Forum on Globalization [cited 2009 Dec 31]. http://www.ifg.org/analysis.htm
3. World Trade Organization (WTO) Director-General, Pascal Lamy
“Globalization can be defined as a historical stage of accelerated expansion of market capitalism, like
the one experienced in the 19th century with the industrial revolution. It is a fundamental
transformation in societies because of the recent technological revolution which has led to a
recombining of the economic and social forces on a new territorial dimension“ .
Pascal Lamy, Humanising globalization, Geneva, Switzerland [cited 2009 Dec 31].
4. The World Bank
“Globalization - the growing integration of economies and societies around the world...“ .
World Bank [cited 2009 Dec 31]. http://www1.worldbank.org/economicpolicy/globalization/
5. United Nations Poverty and Development Division
“While the definition of globalization varies with the context of analysis, it generally refers to an
increasing interaction across national boundaries that affects many aspects of life: economic, social,
cultural and political. In the context of this study, in order to keep the analysis within reasonable
bounds, the focus is only on the economic aspects, with particular emphasis on the role of ICT
[information and communications technologies]. As such, globalization narrowly refers to the growing
economic interdependence of countries worldwide. This includes increases in the international division
of labour caused by swelling international flows of FBI [foreign-based investment], accompanied by an
increasing volume and variety of cross-border transactions in goods and services, international capital
flows, international migration and the more rapid and widespread diffusion of technology. This should
not be construed to imply that social, cultural and other forms of globalization are unimportant, only
1 that they are less germane to discussions of economic security and development“ .
United Nations Poverty and Development Division. Economic and social survey of Asia and the Pacific,
1999. New York: The United Nations; c1999 [updated 1999 Dec 20; cited 2009 Dec 31].
6. World Health Organization
“Globalization, or the increased interconnectedness and interdependence of people and countries, is
generally understood to include two interrelated elements: the opening of borders to increasingly fast
flows of goods, services, finance, people and ideas across international borders; and the changes in
institutional and policy regimes at the international and national levels that facilitate or promote such
flows. It is recognized that globalization has both positive and negative impacts on development“
World Health Organization [cited 2009 Dec 31].
Definitions are provided by, for instance
1. Political Left and political Right.
2. Various ideologies (for example, neoliberalism)
3. Political regions (for example, Europe)
4. Various economic entities and interests (for example, finance capital)
This makes globalization an imprecise term. Other examples of imprecise terms: capitalism, beauty.
The meaning of globalization is in the mind of the one who defines it.
Many understandings of globalization
1. Globalization as internationalization - another adjective to describe cross-border relations
between countries (Hirst and Peters, 1996, 8 and 10)
2. Globalization as liberalization - `a process of removing government-imposed restr