Globalization (globalisation) in its literal sense is the process of transformation of local or regional phenomena into global ones. It can be described as a process by which the people of the world are unified into a single society and function together.
This process is a combination of economic, technological, sociocultural and political forces. Globalization is often used to refer to economic globalization, that is, integration of national economies into the international economy through trade, foreign direct investment, capital flows, migration, and the spread of technology.
The United Nations ESCWA has written that globalization "is a widely-used term that can be defined in a number of different ways. When used in an economic context, it refers to the reduction and removal of barriers between national borders in order to facilitate the flow of goods, capital, services and labour...although considerable barriers remain to the flow of labour...Globalization is not a new phenomenon. It began in the late nineteenth century, but its spread slowed during the period from the start of the First World War until the third quarter of the twentieth century. This slowdown can be attributed to the inwardlooking policies pursued by a number of countries in order to protect their respective industries...The pace of globalization picked up rapidly during the fourth quarter of the twentieth century..."
Tom G. Palmer of the Cato Institute defines globalization as "the diminution or elimination of state-enforced restrictions on exchanges across borders and the increasingly integrated and complex global system of production and exchange that has emerged as a result."
Thomas L. Friedman "examines the impact of the 'flattening' of the globe", and argues that globalized trade, outsourcing, supply-chaining, and political forces have changed the world permanently, for both better and worse. He also argues that the pace of globalization is quickening and will...