can be described as
a widening, deepening and speeding
up of worldwide interconnectedness in all aspects of contemporary
social life, from the cultural to the criminal, the financial to
the spiritual (Held and McGrew 1999: 2).
In these pages
we portray some aspects of economic globalization, meaning
the greater global connectedness of livelihoods, and of the production
of goods and services.
trade is the cross-border trade in goods and services. On these
pages, it is measured by the sum of imports and exports, divided
by the GDP of a national economy. The growth of international trade
is a straightforward indication of economic globalization. When
US residents, for example, read labels on their clothes showing
they are made in China, Malaysia or Mexico, or decide to purchase
a car made in South Korea, their sense of global connectedness is
the conversion of money into some form of property from which an
income or profit is expected to be derived. Foreign direct
investments (FDI) are flows of money into a country that purchase
a lasting stake in an enterprise for a foreign investor. These investments
are direct in the sense that the investor purchases ownership rights
in a specific company, rather than in a portfolio of stocks held
by a broker, say. FDI does not include short-term investments, portfolio
investments or currency flows.
Investment is an indication of growing transnational ownership of
production assets. It is a leading edge of economic globalization
in the sense that increasing foreign ownership of productive may
give direct influence over livelihoods and production. The implications
of foreign ownership of production may include both positive and
negative elements, depending on the perspective of the observer.
Foreign investment has often been an important avenue for the transfer
of skills and technology. At the same time, foreign investment puts
workers under foreign control, and leads to foreign appropriation