Rethinking Globalisation 2.0 in the post-Covid-19 world

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The term globalisation has gained importance post-1991. Globalisation refers to advanced technologies, communication, and connectivity in the simplest form. The more advanced the technology gets the more channels for communication open, leading to enhanced connectivity worldwide. 

“Globalization can be defined as a historical stage of accelerated expansion of market capitalism, like the one experienced in the 19th century with the industrial revolution. It is a fundamental transformation in societies because of the recent technological revolution which has led to a recombining of the economic and social forces on a new territorial dimension.”

Pascal Lamy, Former director-general, wto

Globalisation: A Brief History

Look at the keywords used while describing “Globalisation”, such as exchange or trade. This predicts that globalisation has existed since the beginning of human history, with its nature constantly evolving. 

While interlinking it with societies, globalisation has gradually evolved with the growing and exchanging trade among human societies. Cultural and economic phenomena and commercial trade routes contributed to the era of globalisation in ancient times. 

The ancient Silk Road.
The route is an integral part of globalisation’s evolution as it connected the West with the Middle East and Asia through trade and cultural exchanges.
Image courtesy- National Geographic Society

However, the term gained significance in the late second half of the 20th century. Globalisation intensified through advanced technologies and enhanced transport infrastructure. This further led to accelerated world trade in diversified streams, and ‘globalisation’ began to be used more frequently than before. Today, we all are familiar with this concept. 

Globalisation is a much broader and diversified field and has numerous dimensions. The nature of this expression is constantly changing according to the context. Post-Cold War, we were somehow aware of majorly economic, political and cultural globalisation. However, today, multiple sub-disciplines have been added to the list, like ecological, technological and even digital globalisation. 

Globalisation’s Ripple Effects 

Today, to some extent, whether it is heavy or not, globalisation’s ripple effects can be evidenced in all sectors of activity. On the one hand, the transitional phase sometimes leads to a more sustainable and resilient conclusion. While on the other, it backfires, and thus the plan leads to adversaries. 

Multiple influential leaders and policymakers have emphasised globalisation. At the same time, some focus on the positive effects that it is a seamless entity that provides us with an excellent opportunity for networking due to the technology and comprehensively integrated system. Meanwhile, the other focuses on the negative impacts, such as a need for a multilateral situation that creates a win-win situation.

Despite the arguments for and against, technological advancements accelerates globalisation.

Scope of globalisation

Over the last few decades, the scale and the scope of global interconnectedness have accelerated in every field. The transition of powers, dramatic growth in transnational and global forms of government, rule-making and regulation are the most prominent. Globalisation has led to increased intensification of worldwide social relations, which further link distinct localities so that events occurring miles away shapes the local events. It is a process that involves a great deal more than just simply enhancing the interdependence between states. 

Along with being wide-ranging, the effects of globalisation are multifaceted and politically charged. In the same way, as technological advances benefit society as a whole, globalisation hurts certain groups. Understanding the relative costs and benefits can help alleviate problems and sustain broader gains.

The road to globalisation

Globalisation today is extensively interpreted as a global integration driven by technology, communication, and transportation, increasing interconnectedness. The flow of knowledge, goods and people across borders has contributed to globalisation. Labour Markets are also one of the essential parameters where the economic interlinkages exists. Many people have to leave their manufacturing jobs, while some factories only depend on migrant workers.

The world has shrunken to a global village with the binding of globalisation with modern technology.

The increased interdependence influences almost every aspect of human lives, and globalisation has gradually evolved at its own pace. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly disrupted multiple sectors while, on the other hand, the connectedness has also benefited many people. 

COVID-19 & Globalisation’s Impacts and Effects

The rise of the global pandemic has fluctuated the world order. Vulnerabilities have been highlighted in the global chains, whether the supply chain disruption or ban on global travel. 

The challenges faced both drifted the countries apart and even brought them together to find a solution and work inclusively. Furthermore, globalisation served as a significant mechanism of disease transmission.

How Covid-19 has impacted the world, and what are its effects? 

  • World Economy

The world economy faced an unprecedented burden. This primarily includes events cancellation, employment workforce, food chain, academia, travel, health, and healthcare capacity. While on the other hand, technologies like Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning have emerged and gained significance and played an extensive role in the healthcare industry in developing vaccines, infection detection, and data analysis.

  • World Trade

World trade has faced a decline as it is difficult for the country to meet the requirements of the receiver countries. However, the trade in the health sector has increased as vaccines and health equipment were imported and exported. India, China, USA, and Russia are some of the significant contributors. Under the Vaccine Maitri initiative, India has delivered over 15 crore vaccines to the countries. 

Exports and imports of COVID-19 vaccines and other medical supplies, including masks and PPE kits, have
skyrocketed since the onset of the pandemic.
  • Technological Advancements

We cannot deny that the gap has increased between the nations due to technological advancements. Nevertheless, the emerging technologies also acted as a boon in tackling the disease by sharing accurate data to facilitate vaccine development and map the mutation of the virus.

  • Travel Industry

The travel industry has experienced an enormous jolt. The infectious nature of the disease made the governments impose heavy restrictions. Strict restrictions halted the movement which used to take place in tourism, travel, and business for the time being. Especially the countries dependent on tourism faced a beating as even a single international arrival creates multiple opportunities for the local vendors.

It was the first time in the history of globalisation that the world halted due to hardline travel restrictions.
Image courtesy- Reuters
  • Education Sector

The Education Sector has faced both challenges and opened a pool of opportunities. Pandemic led to a halt in the functioning of colleges, schools and other institutions. International students had to return home. The classes shifted online. While the introduction of concepts like Digital University is a silver lining. One such example is Coursera. Such platforms introduced several full-time remote Master’s courses. The flexibility of the classes made these popular. Huge Giants such as Google introduced upskilling courses to unleash the true potential. 

  • Digital Currencies

Another important aspect here we can think of is the emergence of digital currencies. We live in a Borderless society, and due to the well accumulated and integrated economies, The ‘Great Divide’ fiction is difficult to maintain.

COVID-19 and the world order

The disruption in some North Pole countries will affect the South Pole country even after being poles apart describes the uncertainty and unpredictability of globalisation. COVID-19 impacted the globalised world order, and the loss is even difficult to describe in fixed numbers due to the constant change in the everyday data as it is still an ongoing challenge for the countries to fight the disease. 

Read the exciting article on the impact of the COVID pandemic on global trade here!

Virtual Globalisation: An Emerging Concept

The emerging concept of Metaverse and digital currencies will further act as significant game-changing elements in globalisation. Political, Economic and Digital Globalisation will develop accordingly to take a new shape in the virtual world. Numerous games and entertainment companies have introduced metaverse cultures or online currency systems. Globalisation will change fundamentally due to a shift towards NFTs and Cryptos.

Technological advancements like metaverse and digital currency can further remove the trade barriers, thus raising
the pace of globalisation
.

E-Sports can be a subdivision as the gaming Metaverse will introduce a new wave of globalisation. There will be some fundamental changes as to the functioning of the world. It will further shape power relations and economic ties along with digital advancements. This will lead to more excellent political, economic, and digital dimensions in the virtual means of global order.

Conclusion 

Over the years, globalisation has witnessed both successes and failures. Through globalisation, many nations have elevated their status by boosting their exports to industrialised economies. However, there has been an uneven distribution among the countries as well. 

“To meet the needs in this ever-evolving world, Globalisation 2.0 has to be more fast-paced and resilient.”

The countries would have to come and work together to avoid political ramifications and keep a check on the balance of power in the policies, whether it be data, technology, health or climate change. With the steady advancements, greater risks and concerns with the system, it also needs to be looked after and solved accordingly.

Even during the pandemic, there have been numerous stances where all the world leaders made efforts jointly to emerge from the crisis. Whether data sharing, mapping, or vaccine development, the situation has been tackled successfully. If implemented and executed strategically, Globalisation 2.0 can be proven more beneficial to the world with more minor ambiguities.     

Written by Aakriti Verma 

About the Author

AAKRITI VERMA

Aakriti Verma is a fun-loving person, Apart from being a budding reader and a content writer, she has an extreme interest in Socialising. An Extrovert who has literally adopted introverts around her. She is currently pursuing a Master’s in International Relations.

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