Saturday, July 30


Different Meaning of Globalization

Anthony Giddens;
“Intensification of worldwide relations which link distant localities in such a way that local happening are shaped by events occurring many mile away and visa versa.”

Roland Robertso;
“A process by which the world is becoming more and more “a single place”.

The two definitions point to two axes around which globalization revolves. The first axes are connectedness the second is that of space.

Martin Albrow 1990;
“All those processes by which the peoples of the world are incorporated into a single world society, global society”.

David Held et al 1999
“Globalization can be thought of as a process which embodies a transformation of the spatial organization of social relations and transactions.”

Robert Cox 1994
“The characteristics of the globalization trend include the internationalizing of production, the new international division of labor, new migratory movements from South to North, the new competitive environment that accelerates these processes and the internationalizing of the state making states into agencies of the globalizing world”.

Martin Khor 1995
“Globalization is what we in the Third World have for several centuries called colonization.

Q: what is globalization?
A: the physical expansion of the geographical domain of the global -- that is, the increase in the scale and volume of global flows -- and the increasing impact of global forces of all kinds on local life. Moments and forces of expansion mark the major turning points and landmarks in the history of globalization

Different Usages of Globalization.

Critics have rightly objected that the term globalization is often used vaguely and inconsistently. For example there are five general usages of the word globalization which are as follows:
1. The word globalization has often been taken to mean “internationalization”, that is, an intensification of cross-border interactions and interdependence between countries.
2. The second usage is globalization as “liberalization”, that is, a process of removing government-imposed restrictions on movements between countries in order to create an ‘open’,’ integrated’ world economy.
3. A third conception has viewed globalization in terms of “universalization”, that is, the spread of various objects and experiences to people at all corners of the earth.
4. Many people have defined globalization as “westernization” especially in an Americanized form.
5. Others have identified globalization “deterritorialization” that is, a shift in geography whereby territorial places, territorial distances and territorial borders lose some of their previously overriding influence.

Globalization offers extensive opportunities for truly worldwide development but it is not progressing evenly. Some countries are becoming integrated into the global economy more quickly than others. Countries that have been able to integrate are seeing faster growth and reduced poverty. Outward-oriented policies brought dynamism and greater prosperity to much of East Asia, transforming it from one of the poorest areas of the world 40 years ago. And as living standards rose, it became possible to make progress on democracy and economic issues such as the environment and work standards.

By contrast, in the 1970s and 1980s when many countries in Latin America and Africa pursued inward-oriented policies, leads to their economic stagnation or declining of their economy, the increasing of poverty and high inflation become normal for then, but in many cases, especially Africa, adverse external developments made the problems worse, and since these region changed their policies, their incomes have begun rise it, is the best course for promoting growth, development and poverty reduction.

The crises in the emerging markets in the 1990s have made it quite evident that the opportunities of globalization do not come without risks—risks arising from volatile capital movements and the risks of social, economic, and environmental degradation created by poverty. This is not a reason to reverse direction, but for all concerned—in developing countries, in the advanced countries, and of course investors—to embrace policy changes to build strong economies and a stronger world financial system that will produce more rapid growth and ensure that poverty is reduced.


The Effect of Globalization is many folds and interconnected. We have seen how local and indigenous communities, state and even nations has have had their autonomy and independence diminished and how their political and economic power is transferred to transnational institutions and corporations. This reinforces what has been called the economic colonialization of countries and has widened the disparities between the rich and poor nations all the more and widens the division between the South and the North.

“It would appear that many of the effects of globalization are the same as those of colonialism, peoples are robbed of their sovereignty, they loose control of their natural resources, their ways of life are disrupted by cultural requirements laid upon them from outside, and their lives are dictated by distant centers of power... In the effects of globalization, the lives of those affected maybe little different from what life was under colonializers two generations ago. From the side of the receivers, therefore, it makes little difference whether you call it globalization of colonialism; the effects are the same.”

With changing economic relationships, we witness large demographic shifts within whole populations throughout the world; urbanization and migration are common phenomena in most third world countries. There are now more that four hundred cities in the world which have a population of more that one million inhabitants. Human beings are compressed into spaces which cannot sustain them at any level of humanness.

As countries accept a liberal market economy determined by competition and production, it has become necessary for larger numbers of people to migrate in order to seek employment. It is most striking that in recent years many of these economic migrants are women and not an insignificant amount are children. All of these working in badly paying jobs and have little protection or rights. Feminist Joan Chisttister challenges the patriarchal structures that have led to the formation of this global village.

“The globe is no here to be wrung dry by the people with enough guns, enough money, enough power to destroy the rain forests and colonize the moon. People are not here to shack the socio-economic pyramid so that the people at the top can stand on the backs of those on the bottom.”

2 Alienation

We live in a media saturated world. The market economy assisted by the media and entertainment industries, paraded before us each day, “must have’s”, (Prada shoes, Tiffany diamonds and McDonalds French fries) that are redefining what it means to be human in terms of being a consumer. In forming “global icons of culture” globalization promotes the world wide homogenization of diverse, local and indigenous cultures, social economic forms and values. Living patterns especially among the youth in different parts of the world and among very diverse cultures are being transformed to reflect a growing new global monoculture and homogenization. Language, cultural practices, religious rituals, ancient wisdom are being discarded by many indigenous peoples particularly those more exposed to foreign influences. There is a growing alienation from ancient roots and spirituality’s.

“The video machine has affected everything among a big segment of the African population; from the attitude of shame attached to the back color of one’s skin and texture of one’s hair, through sexual behavior and even orientation, to the attitude towards one’s elders and ancestors. What the TV/video has done in a decade to alienate Africa from itself is probably worse that what colonialism did in the same area in more than a century.”

1. Thinking Globally Acting Locally

Two concepts help us as to understand our task better in global technological context, rediscovery of the “local” and sustainability. The local can fight back and claim a new identity. There is a need for local cultures, indigenous peoples, and communities, groups to re-imagine their identities in terms of global participation and to challenge others to do likewise. This reclaiming of the identity, power and rights of the “local” can be done in a way that protects the rights of the “whole”, in ways that are sustainable and inclusive. This reflects a vision shared by those seeking a deeper appreciation of environmental and ecological integrity. In such a vision sustainability is more than mere survival it is about a future for everyone. “It is about wholeness and inclusion; participation and responsibility; social access, concern for resources and the quality of life.”

2. Commitment to the poor and the powerless
Within the past number of years there has been growth in the number of organizations that seek to reflect on Globalization, and offer their protest at the growing dominance of market capitalism. These in recognizing the dangers involved in aligning themselves with structures of oppression, give voice to the growing dissent and dissatisfaction with a society in which the needs of the majority are not met and where the most vulnerable suffer greater powerlessness. Their formation and protest amounts to a commitment to the poor and the powerless.

Indian Church F Wilfred writes,
“The present day development taking places in the country are bound to look different when they are seen through the eyes of the poor. Seeing societies through the eyes of the poor and to convert to their cause in the age of globalization is the need of the hour, the call of the gospel.”

The International Forum of Globalization which brings together, economists, intellectuals and resource people to provide reflection and resource on the Globalization outline their particular principals and plans as follows. “We advocate the revitalization of local communities by promoting maximum self reliance, economic and political control and environmental sustainability. The establishment of economic enterprise and accompanying institutions that enhance people’s ability to exercise democratic control over all the decisions that affect them, while promoting meaningful and sustainable livelihoods for all. The recognition of the rights and sovereignty of indigenous peoples, the encouragement of biodiversity, cultural diversity and diversity of social, economic and political forms.”

We can recognize the recurring theme of empowerment. Where the rights of those who are most vulnerable are sought after and where those who are powerless and voiceless are given a voice. The recognition of the value and dignity of indigenous people and their local situation is essential. It points to a respect for the wisdom and integrity of people within their own local context and their ability to solve their own problems. Such empowerment is never dominating of demeaning but life-giving and respectful.

3. Contribution of the Missionary Societies and Missionary Congregations.
Missionary congregations and societies are uniquely placed to respond creatively and imaginatively to the challenges of a globalize world. They have been able to establish presence’s in many parts of the world, among local communities and diverse cultures, that has been in the main respectful, sympathetic and compassionate to the local situation. They can provide reliable sources of information, from areas of conflict, oppression and injustice. They can provide links and networks of solidarity with “home based” NGO’s and action groups who are in need of animation and resources. Missionary societies and religious congregations acting in harmony and speaking with a unified voice offer a challenge to Multinational Corporations and Governments to act in a ways that takes account of the dignity and value of the local community, situation and human person.

In becoming aware of the context our context and in the way that globalization is shaping our world we can better prepare ourselves and other missionary groups to think and act in ways that are sustainable and holistic. We can then seek to put in place adequate structures that reflect this engagement.

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Mama Hilda