Basic Course 2: The Dimensions of Globalisation
The dimensions are very closely
When differentiating between dimensions in the case
of Figure Five, it is important to see that these are very difficult to
isolate clearly. To name just one example, isolating environmental
problems from the dimensions of 'economics' or 'politics' is impossible.
The global networking of not just players, but also subject areas here,
counts as a particular feature of globalisation.
various dimensions involved form interfaces of various sizes with 'globalisation,
since it is important to envisage all factors that are a part of
globalisation, and the fact that these factors are in no way exhausted in
economic processes, even if economic globalisation makes up the cause and
is an important driving force. What is just as important is recognising
that not everything is a part of globalisation, nor determined by it in
Globalisation also has its limits. It is important to keep this in mind as
a further step towards differentiated thinking. Interfaces - which,
depending on the dimension, adopt various sizes- are concerned on the one
hand, while on the other, the task involves distancing oneself from the
term and its omnipresent use, in order to consider its limitations
(refer to the
section on "Regionalisation" on a separate page").
of each dimension can easily be found in the daily press, whereby the
economic dimension is normally placed in the foreground (enormous growth
in trade or direct investments, globalisation of the financial markets as
a prime example, transnational integrated production, location competition
of states and regions, end of national economies).
Here, it is frequently pointed out that these processes are wrongly
labelled as 'globalisation', since the process is essentially reduced to
North America, Europe and South-East Asia (Japan), or what are referred to
as the Triads. The term 'triadisation' is therefore more appropriate.
(Refer to section
on "Triadisation" on a separate page).
as a Dimension...
problems such as the warming of the earth's atmosphere, the ozone hole,
and the deforestation of the tropical rain forests best illustrate
globalisation, since global problems are clearly being dealt with
which need to be approached on a global level. Despite this, regional and
local problems also exist concerning the environment, even if they
demonstrate cross-border character, such as the pollution of rivers.
Furthermore, 'debordered' dependencies beyond space and time are made
clear we realise that the survival of several distant tiny island states,
which have joined to form AOSIS, and which are threatened in their
existence by a continued rise in sea level, is dependent on the past and
future behaviour of humanity, and in particular the populations of the
highly developed industrial nations.
As a result, it is not surprising that the first in a series of world
conferences in the 90s,
Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, was
dedicated to exactly these problems.
The Social Dimension...
The world is turning into a 'global village', new
communication societies (chat, e-mail) communicating across great
distances are being added to traditional societies such as the family or
neighbourhood. However, they are not replacing these traditional areas of
communication, to name just one example from the social dimension.
The Cultural Dimension...
Hollywood productions can be seen worldwide, not to
deny an 'Americanisation' of culture. However, local and regional cultures
do not become extinct because of this. On the contrary, the reflection on
such cultures counts a one of the accompanying characteristics of
globalisation, which is why the term 'glocalisation' has been introduced
to the debate.
has to battle enormous problems. Globalisation and location competition
limit the amount of leeway retained by national politics. Many problems
can only be dealt with in a measured way at an international or global
level. New forms of politics and arenas need to be found. European
integration is seen here as a promising response to the challenges of
What is still essentially territorial politics organised within the
national framework increasingly lags behind the increasingly
internationally or globally organised economy, devoid of borders or excess
ballast. The social-state’s 'embedding' of capitalism threatens to fail
due to this basic disproportion.
But globalisation is not actually guilty of everything that it is made out
to be. Frequently, it serves politicians as a scapegoat and all-purpose
weapon for argumentation. This aspect becomes clear as soon as examples
from politics are taken, which do not count as interfaces to globalisation.
[Author: Ragnar Müller]
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