Globalisation and the world economy

The unstoppable forward march of globalisation has slowed recently, if not totally stopped.

Globalisation as an economic philosophy is usually projected as the opposite of protectionism. Though it eludes a precise definition, globalisation has had a long history. Scholars find it tough to agree about a single period regarding the birth of globalisation. Some opine that it began with the earliest human migratory routes, while others view it as a more contemporary phenomenon born out of colonial impulses. There are still others who debunk all of this, and construe it as a purely modern phenomenon.

Historical studies indicate that various parts of the world have always influenced other disconnected parts, through whatever communication means possible, and the current state of globalisation is merely a progression from earlier stages. We can look at the earliest migration of primitive humans out of Africa and the establishment of the Indian and Chinese silk trade routes as links in that journey.

However, globalisation in its current form started in the post second World War period, in the late 1940s, when the United States established itself as the undisputed world superpower. It was only briefly challenged by the Soviet  bloc till the 1980s. Globalisation of today is a work of the powerful multinational corporations who have, by virtue of massive resources and reach, made a huge cultural and material impact globally. For a common citizen, the sheer ease of global travel and modern communication means have immensely simplified life and business.


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The process of globalisation was at its peak in the last two decades of the twentieth century when global economic activity increased in an unprecedented manner, integrating most parts of the modern world. Trade, financial and cultural globalization seemed unstoppable. 

Globalisation has its dark side, as we all experience during downturns and while reading news about protests like ‘We are the 99%’. But among its bright aspects are increased employment opportunities through seamless integration of talent and opportunities across borders using online portals. Trade in goods too has become far more competitive, resulting in better quality of goods and services at comparatively lower prices. Consumers have choice. Socially and culturally, people become more tolerant and open towards others.



Distractors argue that globalisation has
made the rich impossibly richer and widened social disparities recklessly. Resources are exploited by only a handful members belonging to the rich population. Multinationals have been accused of unfair working conditions, large scale environmental pollution, ecological damage and natural resources mismanagement.

Here is an introductory session (bilingual - English +Hindi) on the political-historical-social aspects of globalisation in 20th century. Learn and enjoy. For more serious learners, click here to know more about, and enrol in Bodhi Booster Premium for a wealth of content.

(Session created in 2013, audio not entirely perfect) 





Trade blocs and agreements have often undergone dramatic shifts during the process of globalisation. Multiple regional economic blocks emerged on the world economic scene in the form of economic unions, regional free-trade zones and trade blocks. But not all are doing good. The European Union seems to be gradually disintegrating, though that is disputable. WTO does not seem to be moving fast enough to help free enough opportunities to justify globalization. TPP and TTIP like agreements threaten free trade through creation of newer global trade coteries.

Where is the tumultuous journey headed? Much like mankind’s future, this remains an open question. We will create many Bodhis on this interesting theme in the coming months. Keep reading. And do share your views in the Comments thread below. It gives us motivation to see that readers have benefited, and further adds value to this Bodhi.


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    • Bodhi Links (for deeper study; Caution: some may be external links, some large PDFs)
      •  ##chevron-right## A quick guide to globalisation’s history here ##chevron-right## Learning about globalization  here ##chevron-right## We are the 99 percent movement here ##chevron-right## Excellent data presentation on globalization and India pdf here




Bodhi Shruti available here (English)


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Bodhi Booster: Globalisation and the world economy
Globalisation and the world economy
The unstoppable forward march of globalisation has slowed recently, if not totally stopped.
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