What Are the Drivers of Globalization?

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The primary drivers of globalization are rapid advancements in technology, culture, economics and politics. With each passing year, the speed at which transactions take place and the spreading influence of cultural forces serve to integrate international societies. The most prominent driver of this trend is the advancement of technology.

On a large time scale, the world has been on a gradual, but accelerating, track of globalization for the last thousand years. Advancements in transportation technology enabled intercontinental trade, and this led to the exchange of goods, ideas and cultural influences over large portions of the planet. By the 17th century, explorers and merchants were capable of circumnavigating the globe; this was the first time the world became a single, contained system of politics and economics.

In more recent times, the advancement of technology has accelerated the trend of globalization. For instance, telecommunications technology allows for instantaneous exchange of information around the world in the form of telephone calls, emails and video conferences. Digital technology allows for distribution of information content around the world, so European music or American films can reach remote villages in Asia and Africa within minutes. This advancing technology allows for commercial opportunities on broader market scales as well as exchanges of cultural elements to an unprecedented degree. As a result, children growing up anywhere in the world can experience the same culture and pursue the same economic opportunities as they mature. Political forces around the world are also serving to open up trade between nations and facilitate cooperative development of commercial opportunities.