The nature of globalisation. Global actors and driving forces

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Václav Mezřický

What is globalisation?

Globalisation is a spontaneous, uncontrolled process of ever more intense integration of the world’s countries in a single economic system. This is probably the only criterion agreed upon by theoreticians who deal with the phenomenon without giving up the option to let the term encompass entire scores of other social, political, cultural, socio-psychological, and other relations associated with globalisation. The definition of globalisation by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is therefore apt: a growing economic interdependence of countries world-wide as a consequence of the increasing volume and nature of transboundary transactions in goods and services and flow of international capital as well as the faster and wider spread of technologies. However, this characterisation ignores the key importance of communications, especially the internet, and mass media, above all television. It is the continuous stream of information that leads to the acceleration of all social processes, and a transformation of time and space. Remote facts, economic or other, have an ever stronger influence on the lives of people primarily in countries directly involved in the globalisation processes.

Main features of the globalisation processes

  • An unprecedented growth in the volume of internationally tradable goods and services connected to an ongoing trade liberalisation process. Ever more countries are being involved in the process of goods exchange.
  • Significant changes have occurred in the geographical distribution of countries and the structure of products present in international trade. Former developing countries have increased their share in international trade, and the share of products for export has increased from 47% to 83% over the recent years.
  • The growth in the volume, speed and complexity of financial and direct investment flows has been even faster. These flows have again involved developing countries and led to their increased integration in the global economy.

Changes in the structures of manufacturing and services have been the side-effects. This is especially true of the digression from goods manufacturing and provision of certain kinds of services within the economies of OECD countries, while goods manufacturing has been growing in developing countries. At the same time, production processes have been fragmented, which has helped to increase valuation of capital by optimising the use of both manufacturing experience in various countries, meaning the expert skills of the labour force, and of other comparative advantages, primarily lower wage costs.

Where the globalisation processes started

The process of globalisation was initiated by numerous circumstances. The primary stimulus was the deregulation of dependency of national currencies on the dollar, which took place in 1971-1973. Until then, based on the Bretton Woods Treaties of 1944, there had been a system of fixed exchange rates of the world’s main currencies dependent on the US dollar. The deregulation of the dependency resulted in a transition to the system of so-called free-floating exchange rates, valid to date. Along with the oil crisis of 1973, the transition led to the establishment of multinational corporations and their expansion to new markets seeking new manufacturing opportunities, especially in developing countries, aiming at profit maximisation and capital accumulation. The deregulation of control over capital movement and the possibility to use the above mentioned comparative advantages primarily in developing countries have led to the ever growing numbers of multinational corporations (MNCs).



  • Václav Mezřický. The nature of globalisation. Global actors and driving forces. In: Dlouhá, J., Dlouhý, J., Mezřický, V. (eds.) (2006) Globalizace a globální problémy. Sborník textů k celouniverzitnímu kurzu 2005 – 2007. Univerzita Karlova v Praze, COŽP. ISBN 80-87076-01-X.

World economy players

Intellectual Property and Globalisation


Example of Student's Work

Annotation of the Globalization Theme

The main features of the globalization process, its primary stimulus, and positive and negative aspects of globalization are presented in this paper. The problems of globalization, by Richard, who divides them into three groups, are also presented. An unemployment and ageing of populations, as serious problems of global nature, are mentioned. Future prospects, development trends and possible scenarios are surveyed. In addition, proposal for solving global problems, knowing as Global Marshall Plan concept, and the role of the UN and of the International Law, are presented. A Sustainable development strategy, the most important form of maintaining and establishing global stability, is presented in the end of the paper. Solutions to global problems remain our main and common responsibility and Europeans should work hard within the European Union in order to achieve more sustainable future.