Geography - globalisation


The EU

  • changed from a trade bloc to a multi-governmental organisation
  • own currency (Euro)
  • member states are eligible for EU Structural Funds to help develop their economies
  • helps cities gain a global reputation by awarding prestigious titles
  • only group of nations that grants all citizens of member states freedom agreement (Schengen Agreement 1985)
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  • the Association of South East Asian Nations 
  • 10 member states
  • established 1967
  • founding members include Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines
  • worked to eliminate tariffs in favour of free trade
  • ASEAN market has helped Indonesia's manufacturing industries to thrive
  • ASEAN expected to develop further into a single market called the ASEAN Economic Community - will operate along similar lines to the EU allowing free movement of labour and capital
  • ASEAN agreement promotes peace and stabiliy - members have pledged to not have nuclear weapons
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China's Open Door Policy

  • China was a poor and politically isolated country 'switched off' from the global economy
  • millions died from famine when under communist leadership 
  • Open Door Policy allowed China to embrace globalisation while remaining under one-party authoritarian rule
  • agricultural communes dismantled and farmers were allowed to make a small profit for the first time
  • strict controls on the number of children to curb population growth
  • China's transformation into urban, industrialised nation gained rapid momentum
  • over the next 30 years the largest migration in human history took place
  • 300 million people left rural areas in search of a better life in cities
  • urbanisation fuelled the growth of the low-wage factories that gave China the nickname 'workshop of the world'
  • world's largest TNCs 
  • Chinese economy has matured quickly
  • 2015 - many workers earning us$40 a day or more making quality goods e.g. iphones for employers like Foxxconn in the Schenzhen SEZ (special economic zone - an industrial area where favourable conditions are created to attract foreign TNCs. The conditions iclude low tax rates and exemption from tariffs and export duties)
  • today China is the world's alrgest economy
  • 400 million people have escaped poverty 
  • China is still not entirely open to global flows
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  • changing the design of products to meet local tastes or laws
  • increasingly common strategy used by TNCs in an attempt to conquer new markets
  • makes business sense because of geographical variations in; people's tastes (Cadbury's makes chocolate sweeter in China as the people prefer it that way), religion and culture (Domino's pizza only offers vegetarian food in India's Hindu neighbourhoods, MTV avoids showing overtly sexual music videos on its Middle Eastern channel), laws (the driving seats should be positioned differently for cars sold in US and UK markets), local interest (reality TV shows e.g. Big Brother, Jersey Shore, gain larger audiences if they are refilmed using local people in different countries), lack of availability of raw materials (SABMiller, a major TNC, uses cassava to brew beer in Africa cutting the cost of importing barely but changes the taste too).
  • Walt Disney (disneyfication) - 2009 Disney released its first Russian film based on a Russian fairytale using local talent. Disney acquired 'Marvel' in 2009, gaining the rights to superhero characters that have sometimes been glocalised (e.g. Spiderman India)
  • McDonalds (McDonaldisation) - 2012 McDonald's had established 35,000 restaurants in 119 countries. In India McDonald's caters for Hindu's, Sikhs and muslims, who are veggie or don't eat pork
  • Lego - has not glocalised its products. Exports identical products to all global markets. Like Apple and Samsung, Lego makes products with a genuine global appeal
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Switched off places - North Korea

  • North Korea has been ruled as an autocracy (governed by one person or family of absolute power) by a single power
  • have chosen to be politcally isolated from the rest of the world
  • ordinary citizens do not have any access to social media or internet
  • there are no undersea data cables connecting North Korea with anywhere else
  • a visiting journalist observed it was the only country he had ever travelled to where nobody knew the song 'Yesterday' by the Beatles.
  • divided from South Korea in 1948 - South has since become developed (home to Samsung). Comparing the two countries, their policies and governments shows how political decision making affects globalisation
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Switched off places - the Sahel region

  • most people in poverty
  • mismanagement of natural resources and human resources has played a role
  • LDCs lacking a coastline (Chad) may struggle to attract FDI (Foreign Direct Investment)
  • arid conditions and desertification - further development challenges
  • extreme environmental conditions increase the cost of providing infrastructure (e.g. railways, ICT networks)
  • when people connect with other countries - subsistence farmers may become dependent on flows of food aid from charities
  • some farmers grow cash crops for TNCs (e.g. cotton producers in Mali)
  • wages are low - global brands do not yet view these places as viable markets, leaving them switched off from consumer networks
  • change may happen soon - rapid economic growth is happening in neighbouring countries (e.g Nigeria)
  • a minority of Sahelian people do interact with the rest of the world through; Mali's folk musicians on Youtube and conflicts in the region involve groups linked with Al Qaeda's global terror network.
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Global outsourcing of services to India

  • by 2040, India is expected to be the 2nd largest economy in the world
  • call centres in India have provided locals with jobs
  • many Indian citizens are fluent English speakers - legacy of British rule which ended in 1947 - gives India a comparative advanatge when marketing call centre services to the English speaking world
  • broadband capacity is unusually high in Banglaore - long established technology hub due to early investment by domestic companies and TNCs
  • Dell, Intel, Yahoo have business call centres here
  • some call centre workers complain they are exploited
  • their work can be highly repetative. Business is often conducted at night - time difference - sometimes in 10 hour shifts, 6 days a week
  • gap between rich and poor has widened. India has more billionaires than the UK, yet it also has more people living in absolute poverty than all of Africa. In 2015, half a billion Indians lived in homes that lacked a toilet
  • workers earn good middle-class wages by Indian standards. Nightclubs and 24 hour shopping malls in Bangalore testify to the relatively high purchasing power of new Indian 'techno-elite' typically earning 400 rupees (£40) a week
  • Indian outsourcing companies have become extremely profitable
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Global outsourcing of manufacturing to China

  • global shift of manufacturing has played an important role in extreme povery in China 
  • China first gained its reputation as the 'workshop of the world' in the 1990s - cities e.g. Shenzhen offered foregin investors a massive pool of low-cost migrant labour. Chinese workers working in factory conditions during this time
  • between 2000 - 2010 conditions improved. In 2010, workers walked off production lines for Honda, Toyota, Carlsberg and other global brands. These actions led to wage increases between 30 - 65% 
  • since 2010 strategic planning by China's government has helped some companies move further up the manufacturing value chain. 
  • economy maturing rapidly
  • 'high-tech' manufacturing is booming, bringing improved pay for skilled workers
  • high-value products such as iphones are made in China
  • many less desirable 'sweatfish' jobs have migrated to Bangladesh where labour costs remain much lower 
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China's 'workshop of the world' status


  • in early years many workers were exploited in sweatshops
  • around 2500 lost a limb or finger each year due to dangerous factory concditions
  • conditions have since improved
  • environment suffers - air pollution in cities reduces Chinese life expectancy by 5 years


  • as conditons improve, people are enjoying large income gains
  • more people can now afford smartphones and fridges
  • car ownership has grown 
  • China's economic growth is driven by domestic consumption
  • a transfer of technology has taken place since the early days of manufacturing-led industrialisation 
  • local companies adopted technologies and management techniques brought to China by TNCs
  • Chinese companies are developing their own products
  • Chinese banks are not some of the world's larget TNCs
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Mumbai - rapid megacity growth

  • population almost doubled since 1970 (2015)
  • urban employment covers a range of economic sectors and skill levels
  • global brands e.g. Hilton and Starbucks are in Mumbai
  • in retail areas, large numbers of local people work selling goods to the country's rising middle class
  • some wealthy people living in Mumbai (e.g. Bollywood actors and the senior management of large TNCs) are billionaires - their spending helps drive up housing prices in affluent areas
  • slum housing is also still found
  • rising land prices across Mumbai mean there is a great pressure to redevelop slum areas
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Karachi - rapid megacity growth

  • used to be the capital of Pakistan
  • found in Pakistan's centre of fincance, industry and trade
  • people moved to the city for work from rural areas
  • work found in a range of industrial sectors; shipping, banking, retailing and manufacturing
  • population increase because of internal migration as well as migrants from South Asia
  • famous university city producing skilled graduates who have helped it to become a hub for media and software companies
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Low wage international migration


  • over 2 million Indian migrants live in the UAE making up to 30% of the total population
  • many live in Abu Dhabi and Dubai
  • estimated us$15 billion is returned to India annually as remittances 
  • most migrants work in transport, construction and manufacturing industries


  • around 1.5 million migrants from the Philippines arrived in Saudi since 1973 when rising oil prices first began to bring enormous wealth to the country
  • some work in construction and transport industries, others as doctors and nurses
  • around us$7 billion is returned to the Philippines annually as remittances
  • reports of ill treatment of some migrants
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Changing diets in Asia

  • traditional Asian diets are often low in meat and high in vegetables
  • healthy mix is giving more meat and fast food among the emerging middle classes, especially in China
  • China became the world's biggest market for processed food
  • physical environment is affected at a global and local scale
  • livestock farming has become the new focus of Asian agriculture, bringing a steep rise in emissions of methane (GHG)
  • crops imported from across the world to feed China's farm animals
  • a lot of the Amazonian rainforest has been cleared to make space for soya cultivation to feed Chinese cattle
  • food demands will continue to grow as more people escape poverty
  • Chinese government has embarked on a programme of land acquisition in poorer countries (e.g. Cuba and Kazakhstan)
  • rising affluence puts pressure on a certain plant and animal species if their use or consumption is culturally linked with social prestige
  • shark fin soup is an important but expensive dish consumed at Chinese weddings by those who could afford it
  • incomes have risen - the number of sharks killed worldwide to meet growing demand has doubled
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Indigenous people of Amazonia and Papua New Guinea

  • Amazonia and Papua New Guinea's tropical rainforest tribes are among the world's last isolated groups of indegenous people
  • ethnic groups have occupied the place where they live for thousands of years without interruption
  • more members of rainforest tribes are becoming aware of Western cultures and lifestyles
  • due to the tropical climate, Indigenous people traditionally wore little in the way of clothing
  • many Amazonians and New Guineans are wearing modern, westernised clothing
  • many young Amazonians are moving from the rainforest to urban areas leaving behind their traditional thatched homes, often built on stilts 
  • outside view - indigenous people no longer value local ecosystems the way they used to, on account of cultural erosion
  • they want income, education and health improvements for their children 
  • social goals are becoming more important and this can drive indigenous pepole to hunt endangered species for food or to sell - e.g. Papua New Guinea's Tree Kangaroo is under threat, Peru's jaguars are also under threat
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Rio 2016 Paralympic Games

  • cultural attitudes changing towards disability 
  • UN Conventuon on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities seeks to bring cultural change on a global scale in line with huma rights
  • disabled people did not always have equal rights
  • in the USA, sterilisation programmes that sometimes targeted disabled people lasted into the 20th century
  • shift in cuktural attitudes has taken place in the USA and elsewhere
  • global media has helped turn the Paralympic Games into one of the world's biggest sporting events by celebrating the physical achievements of elite athletes with disabilities
  • first Paralympic games help in Rome - WW2 veterans
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Extremism in Europe

  • ins ome EU states, nationalism (a political movement focused on national independence or the abandonment of policies that are viewed by some people as a threat to national sovereignty or national culture) parites command significant support
  • nationalist parties often oppose immigration - some reject multiculturalism and openly embrace fascism
  • 1990s - British National party voiced its opposition to the continuing presence of post-colonial migrants (people who moved ot European countries from former colonies during the 1950s, 60s and 70s) and their families
  • race relations in the UK have improved over time
  • tensions between some different communities has risen in some areas of Europe e.g. Charlie Hebdo workers were killed by gunmen of Algerian descent - said their Islamic faith had been mocked
  • extreme events are rare but deomonstrate tensions in multicultural Europe
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Tensions over water in south-east Asia

  • trans-boundary water conflict in south-east Asia - often linked with globalisation
  • globalisation has brought foreign investment to India while also helping indian based TNCs e.g. Tata to thrive
  • industries put pressure on water supplies
  • in drought-prone Indian state - Kerala, an aquifer lies close to one of the villages - in 2000 Coca-Cola's subsidary firm 'Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages' established a bottling plant nearby - 6 wells dug tapping into groundwater store - shortages soon reported
  • India's integration into global systems helps explain the income rise for hundreds of millions of Indians who enjoy flushing toilets and showers
  • if other areas of India are introduced to showers and flushing toilets - water insecutiry will increase
  • india's total demand for water is expected to exceed all current sources of supply - country is set to become water scarce by 2025 - could also lead to conflicts with China for example
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Migration controls in the UK

  • since 2010, a five-tier point system has been in place in the UK deigned to help control immigration by checking that economic migrants have skills or resources that the UK economy needs
  • tier 1 migrants must be prepared to invest more than £2 million in the UK or possess 'exceptional talent' 
  • rules do not apply to EU migrants - they are allowed free movement
  • incoming UK government of 2010 pledged to cut net migration (the overall balance between immigration and emigration) to 100,000 people a year
  • the targe has not been met
  • fewer British citizens have left the UK to live overseas since the 2008 financial crisis - pound-euro exchange rate has weakened so the cost of living in the Eurozone has risen for UK citizens
  • government has no control over EU migrants wanting to work in the EU
  • refugees are allowd to remain in the UK under human rights law
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First Nations in Canada

  • home to 6 groups of indigenous people - known as the first nations
  • some first nations people oppose the attempts of global oil companies to 'switch on' their region
  • some areas have already experienced negative impacts of globalisation and petroleum development near the settlement of Norman Wells
  • over 200 million barrels of conventional oil has beene extracted since 1920 (in Normal Wells)
  • the death of trout and other fish in oil polluted lakes 
  • the effects of alcohol and drugs (brought by oil workers) on the behabour of young people
  • oil TNCs (Shell, ExxonMobil etc) are now exploring the surorunding Canol shale and assessing the potential for shale oil
  • shale 'fracking' in other places has been linked with water pollution
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Totnes - transition town

  • rransition towns encourage towns to grow their own food in community gardens instead of importing it, and reducing enegy used in transport by cycling and walking more
  • Totnes have its own local curremcy to encourage local trade
  • initiatives are small scale but some elemts like 'grow your own' could have a big impact if widely adopted and promoting local sourcing became more widespread
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Censorship in China + North Korea

  • China - ruled by communist party
  • 1988 - Chinese students demonstrated against communism - 100s thought to have died - people don't actually known what happened due to strict censorship of the press and internet
  • google withdrew its services from China in 2010 when the Chinese government insisted that the search engine results should be censored to hide information they didnt want people to know
  • Facebook, Twitter and Youtube remain unavailable due to the 'great firewall of China' more than 400 million Chinese citizens interact with local social media sites
  • North Koreans have no access to the internet as a result of state controls 
  • CHINA - restricted on a national scale
  • NORTH KOREA - restricted on a personal scale
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UK government actions

  • local authorities in the UK run their own recycling schemes 
  • in 2011 the Welsh Aseembly banned shops in Wales from giving away free plastic bags - 5p fee introduced on both paper and plastic bags - charge considered to be large enough to influence the behaviour of the shopper without harming trade for retailers
  • cosumers avoid paying for bags by reusing the ones they already have
  • in 2013 Northern Ireland introduced a similar ban and charging scheme
  • Scotalnd introduced the shceme in 2014
  • England introduced the scheme in 2015
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