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According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word “globalization” was first employed in a publication entitled Towards New Education in 1930, to denote a holistic view of human experience in education. An early description of globalization was penned by the founder of the Bible Student movement Charles Taze Russell who coined the term ‘corporate giants’ in 1897, although it was not until the 1960s that the term began to be widely used by economists and other social scientists.

The term has since then achieved widespread use in the mainstream press by the later-half of the 1980s. Since its inception, the concept of globalization has inspired numerous competing definitions and interpretations, with antecedents dating back to the great movements of trade and empire across Asia and the Indian Ocean from the 15th century onwards.

The United Nations ESCWA says 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 labor… although considerable barriers remain to the flow of labor… Globalization is not a new phenomenon.

It began towards the end of the nineteenth century, but it slowed down 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 inward-looking policies pursued by a number of countries in order to protect their respective industries… however, the pace of globalization picked up rapidly during the fourth quarter of the twentieth century…”

Globalization refers to the increasing unification of the world’s economic order through reduction of such barriers to international trade as tariffs, export fees, and import quotas.

The goal is to increase material wealth, goods, and services through an international division of labor by efficiencies catalyzed by international relations, specialization and competition. It describes the process by which regional economies, societies, and cultures have become integrated through communication, transportation, and trade.

The term is most closely associated with the term economic globalization: the integration of national economies into the international economy through trade, foreign direct investment, capital flows, migration, the spread of technology, and military presence.

However, globalization is usually recognized as being driven by a combination of economic, technological, sociocultural, political, and biological factors. The term can also refer to the transnational circulation of ideas, languages, or popular culture through acculturation. An aspect of the world which has gone through the process can be said to be globalized.