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What Is Globalisation


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What is globalisation and to what extent is the contemporary world actually globalised?

To answer the question this essay will begin by attempting to provide a definition to the sometimes elusive meaning of the term ‘globalisation’. The essay will then take this definition and move on to use it to outline three different perspectives on what globalisation is. The three perspectives that will be used are the hyperglobalist, the transformationalist and the sceptical (Held et al, 2000, p10). Each of these perspectives on globalisation will in turn attempt to answer the question of what is globalisation. Within outlining each of these perspective’s views on globalisation, each perspective’s views on the extent the contemporary world is actually globalised will also be outlined. After this the essay will compare and contrast each of the three perspectives to gain an understanding of which of them provides the best or strongest answer to how much the contemporary world is actually globalised, before concluding with a summary of its main points and by pointing out that each perspective shares a general agreement that the capitalist system is the driving force of what globalisation is, but each differs in its views on to what extent the world is actually globalised.

The term globalisation is one that is used with ever increasing frequency as if it had a universally accepted meaning and definition. According to Modelski, globalisation is a historical process which is characterised by a growing engagement between peoples on all corners of the globe (Modelski, 2003, pp.55-59). However, as Heywood points out, it can refer to various things such as processes, policies, strategies, an occurrence or an ideology. He suggests, its elusive meaning lays in the fact that it “is not so much an it as a them” (2007, p.143). The reason for the elusiveness of the term is

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