Criticisms of globalization

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Criticism of globalization is skepticism of the claimed benefits of globalization. Many of these views are held by the anti-globalization movement. However, other groups are also critical of globalization. Political scientist and author Claus Leggewie has divided the critics into six groups: leftists, radical leftists, the academic left, reformers from the business world, critics with a religious base and right-winged opponents.[1]

Economic effects[edit]

Limitations on growth[edit]

The founder of Local Futures (formerly the International Society for Ecology and Culture), Helena Norberg-Hodge, has suggested that globalization does not work for all the economies that it affects, and that it does not always deliver the economic growth that is expected of it.[2]

Globalization has been described as an "uneven process" in Africa due to the global integration of some groups happening alongside the marginalization or exclusion of others.[3] Tensions resulting from this were a cause of the conflict in the Niger Delta.

Power of transnational corporations[edit]

Globalization has fueled the rise of transnational corporations, and their power has vaulted to the point where they can now rival many nation states. Of the world's one hundred largest economies, forty-two of them are corporations.[4] Many of these transnational corporations now hold sway over many nation states, as their fates are intertwined with the nations that they are located in. Based in Finland, Nokia represents nearly two-thirds of the stock market's value, and provides a large share of the nation's tax revenue. With this much power, managers of the company have unprecedented influence in the politics of Finland.[5]

Also, though transnational corporations could offer massive influence regarding the Third World, and bring about more pressure to help increase worker salaries and working conditions in sweatshops, this has not happened to a great extent,[6] emphasized by the 2013 Savar building collapse, where over one thousand workers died having been producing garments to be exported across the world in unsafe working conditions.

Given that the scale on which these corporations operate is so large, problems that they create can be difficult for elected politicians to deal with.[7]

Environmental effects[edit]

Damage from transnational corporations[edit]

The exacerbation of environmental problems in Nigeria including air pollution, water pollution, noise pollution, land degradation and erosion has been attributed to the presence of the international petroleum industry as a result of globalization.[8]

Infectious diseases[edit]

Infectious diseases, such as SARS and Ebola, have traveled across the world due to increased world trade and tourism.[9]

Invasive organisms[edit]

The spread of invasive species has been accelerated by globalization.[9]

Social effects[edit]

Growing inequality[edit]

The Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, put forward globalization as a factor of an increase in the inequality of outcomes in societies.[10]

Loss of languages[edit]

Acceleration in language death has been attributed to globalization, and is predicted to continue.[11]


Professor Conor Gearty, of the London School of Economics, has suggested that global freedom of movement, brought on by globalization, has increased the scope for prejudice within societies.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Strength in Numbers for Globalization's Critics". 
  2. ^ Norberg-Hodge, Helena (1992). Ancient futures : learning from Ladakh (Sierra Club Books pbk. ed.). San Francisco: Sierra Club Books. ISBN 0871566435. 
  3. ^ "Globalization and Restructuring of African Commodity Flows" (PDF). Nordic Africa Institute. Retrieved 20 January 2015. 
  4. ^ "Corporations - Fortune Magazine". Archived from the original on February 7, 2013. Retrieved 3 March 2013. 
  5. ^ Steger, Manfred (2009). "Globalization: A Very Short Introduction". Oxford University Press. 
  6. ^ "Globalisation and its critics". The Economist. 29 September 2001. Retrieved 4 March 2013. 
  7. ^ a b "How do we go about saving democracy?". BBC News Online. Retrieved 20 January 2015. 
  8. ^ "Volume 7 No. 3 July 2011" (PDF). Global South, Sephis e-Magazine. Retrieved 20 January 2015. 
  9. ^ a b Nikiforuk, Andrew (2007). Pandemonium: how globalization and trade are putting the world at risk. Brisbane: University of Queensland Press. ISBN 0-7022-3618-7. 
  10. ^ "Carney urges bankers to adopt 'high ethical standards'". BBC News Online. Retrieved 27 May 2014. 
  11. ^ Cronin, Michael (2003). Translation and globalization. New York: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-27065-0.