For me, the major factors involved when looking at globalization as a new phenomenon where when the world moved to a floating exchange rate and the development of the World Trade Organisation, who were committed to lowering trade barriers. However, it is because barriers on trade still exist and many countries have their backs turned to the capitalist west that globalization has not yet reached its full potential but it is still growing. However, even if globalization is not a new trend, is their any way in which its future can be seen?
It is quite clear to see that current trends suggest that countries are not just out to obtain free trade but regional trade treaties with the idea of globalization still being a figurehead as an economic and political goal. Despite this, regionalism is also kept on a high agenda with the European Union, the North American Free Trade Agreement and the African Union being examples of regionalism. Thus the question remains open about whether globalization goes back centuries or whether it is a more recent phenomenon with the idea of globalization still growing.
There is nothing particularly new about the existence of globalization; its recent emergence can be due to the way in which globalization has recently gone through a period of rapid escalation. Otherwise it is hard to see any clear defining qualities that globalization holds that has not been present in the previous centuries. One reason that could explain this is due to the fact that in the early twentieth century through to the 1950's, globalization had in effect gone into reverse causing its re-emergence to be seen as a 'new wave' of globalization.
It is in my opinion, that although there were many early signs of globalization in the sixteenth through to the eighteenth century, there was never enough to say that globalization was a real factor and was only starting to develop the potential to become one. However, by the nineteenth century there were many things to suggest globalization was in full swing. This is because people where travelling the world as was goods and money, the lives of people where beginning to change, cultures and political ideas where too exchanged.
Also, many forms of communication networks were being set up paving the way for even more trading and political exchanges, with Britain leading the way with the adoption of a free trade policy. Although globalization is arguably more dominant now than ever before with more influential factors, the basis of it has existed for over 200 years picking up speed and development with the occasional relapse along the way. In effect globalization now is felt more in the way more countries are affected by it and more MNC's have emerged, a factor that was not really seen for the most part of globalizations development.
"Globalization has thus not been a sudden novelty. It goes back to the three last centuries, and went through different stages"8 1 K Waltz. Man, the State and War 2 K Waltz. Man, the State and War 3 (Andre Gunder Frank) Philippe Legrain Open World: The Truth About Globalization 4 Robert O. Keohane and Joseph S. Nye Jr. Globalization: What's New? What's Not? (And So What? ) 5 Joseph S. Nye, Jr. Governance in a Globalizing World 6 (Kevin O'Rourke. Jeffrey Williamson) Phillipe Legrain Open World: The Truth About Globalization 7 John Baylis Globalization of World Politics 8 R. Robertson Globalization: Social Theory and Global Culture