I aim to discuss the meaning and conceptualization behind globalisation and my view of the concept and how that stands in modern economics. Then in my own view, determine if globalisation is of relatively new origin or not. To then look upon factors that were present in a proposed 'beginning' of globalisation, the nineteenth century, and discuss how these features compare with current view of globalisation. We could start by saying that globalisation is the continuing process of greater interdependence among nations and that of their citizens, but in truth I could also be correct to say that 'it is the integration of economic, political and cultural systems across the world' or that it is the 'Americanization of world culture'. In defining globalisation, the difficulty lies in the varying answers to the question 'what does globalisation mean?'. The answers only really reflect what it means to the individual, hence in my opinion resulting in a not very useful concept, analytically due to the lack of trends that can be made.
For example trade is a action that can be analysed, it has particular effects on particular countries, and different effects on others. There is no generalisation to be made about the effects of trade on countries, where one country, trade effects it one way, migration a different way, and again with capital flows. Then to solidify, the immigration of unskilled workers entering a country will have a singular effect on the income distribution of a wealthy country, where a lot of unskilled labourers entered, there can be the assumption of that this will have a negative effect for native unskilled workers. That of immigration of skilled workers into the same economy, there will be a completely different effect, hence the broadening out even further makes it a almost useless concept within modern economics more a convenient 'shorthand'. Then how can we date such a broad concept, it has to depend on the given definition of the term. For example if it is thought of as in the way of trade, and the affects that these had on income distribution, then it is arguable that only since the nineteenth century could the process occur (Kevin O'Rouke). The reason behind this is due to transport costs being so high, lowering of the cost resulted in an increase in the trade of commodities such as grain, iron and steel between nations. From the nineteenth century onwards it could be said that a worker in one country could be affected by the trading policy of another. So globalisation in that sense can be pin pointed at the nineteenth century. In contrast Adam Smith argues that 1492 ( Christopher Columbus discovers the Americas) and 1498 ( Vasco da Gama makes an end-run around Africa and snatches monopoly rents away from Arab spice traders) were the 'the two most important events in recorded history' (Tracy 1990) and that this was ' a genuinely global epoch of world history' (Bentley 1996). Which was the belief of trade, as in the previous point, but that simply because it was 'long distance' trade, it became significant hence constituting a form of globalisation, others would argue that Smith was perhaps relying on a over-broad definition of the term of globalisation such as James Tracy.
Other economists believed that globalisation occurs even further back, the like of Andre Gunder Frank who argued that a form of globalisation was taking place from a trade link between Sumer and the Indus Valley Civilization over five thousand years ago.
Please continue to Part 2.