Global & Local

Global & Local

Globalisation is the driving force behind human evolution. Trade leading to wealth has been intrinsic to our evolution.

Evidence for globalisation can be seen as starting as early as 4000 years ago. When technologies enabled travel between emerging cities to start. Goods were then carried from one place to another allowing. Merchants then demanded quicker routes to market. Whether that be pushing for the invention of the wheel to allow traffic to move quickly or using beasts of burden to carry goods rather than expensive humans. Of course, once technology had advanced enough, cities could be bypassed and markets could be established in strategically located areas. Allowing the spread of commerce and nascent globalisation to continue.

Markets or areas that were set aside for trading allowed people to come together and buy goods in a more focussed efficient manner. These markets can be seen to evolve into a hub at the centre of a trading “wheel” with spokes emanating out to customers and suppliers who interact in the middle.

 

Constantinople trading routes
Constantinople trading routes

 

Istanbul (or it’s classical

name Byzantium or even Constantinople) has a deserved reputation as a major trading hub: “over the last two millennia because of its unique strategic location as a bridge between Europe and Asia” (Clark, 2016).  As also evidenced by the fact that while Rome was seen as the centre of the Roman Empire which in itself was an early successful attempt at globalisation, in fact, “all roads were made to artificially lead to Rome for a stated period of history, whereas they have always led naturally to Constantinople” (Dominian, 1917, p. 57).

Aside from commerce, media ownership and communication has become globalised. With horizontal news publishers such as BBC World broadcasting across the globe. These publishers are not constrained by national borders or national interests. The consumption of what is seen as foreign news has increased as populations move across the planet These populations are interested in news that comes from the home country, even though they may be located in another country “interest in foreign news may also reflect people’s sense of interconnectedness, the degree to which affairs abroad are likely to impact on them directly, or for which they feel some affinity” (Levy, 2012).

David Harvey’s term “time and space compression” signifies how globalisation reduces the time it takes to disseminate information and virtually eliminates space as a barrier to this news propagation. This leads to Marshall McLuhan’s view of the global village. McLuhan explained this himself an interview with CBC in 1960 when he explained that “the world is now like a continually sounding tribal drum. Where everybody gets the message all the time” (Explorations, 1960).

The globalisation of the news and its horizontal emphasis seem borne out by Castell’s Network Concept that says everything is interconnected and that “Communication networks are largely owned and managed by global multimedia corporate networks.” (Castells, 2011, p.12).

However, this global public sphere may be changing. We now inhabit an era dominated by US President Donald Trump views of global politics. These cause us to rethink protectionism and some even embrace it.

Zuckerberg
Mark Zuckerberg

However, there seems to be an emerging hunger for more local news. As evidenced by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s view that “Local news helps build community — both on and offline” (Zuckerberg, 2018). So perhaps, we are witnessing the beginnings of a pullback from McLuhan’s global village. Maybe we want to know more about our own villages. Maybe we are now coming to the realisation that our own villages aren’t as dull as we thought they were. And that these villages also need some attention.

References

Castells, M. (2011). A Network Theory of Power. International Journal of Communication, [online] 5, p.12. Available at: http://ijoc.org/index.php/ijoc/article/view/1136/553 [Accessed 12 May 2018].

Clark, G. (2016). How cities took over the world: a history of globalisation spanning 4,000 years. [online] the Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2016/dec/01/how-cities-took-over-the-world-a-history-of-globalisation-spanning-4000-years [Accessed 12 May 2018].

Dominian, L. (1917). The Site of Constantinople: A Factor of Historical Value. Journal of the American Oriental Society, [online] 37, p.57. Available at: https://www.jstor.org/stable/592905 [Accessed 12 May 2018].

Economics Discussion. (n.d.). Forces Behind Globalization (With Diagram). [online] Available at: http://www.economicsdiscussion.net/international-economics/forces-behind-globalization-with-diagram/4217 [Accessed 12 May 2018].

Explorations, (1960). [TV programme] CBC.

Levy, D. (2012). Evidence on Interest in and Consumption of Foreign News. [online] Digital News Report. Available at: http://www.digitalnewsreport.org/essays/2012/evidence-on-interest-in-and-consumption-of-foreign-news/#fnref-134-3 [Accessed 12 May 2018].

Millar, A., O’Leary, J. and McLuhan, M. (1960). Marshall McLuhan’s theory of the global village – CBC Archives. [online] Cbc.ca. Available at: http://www.cbc.ca/archives/entry/marshall-mcluhan-the-global-village [Accessed 12 May 2018].

YouTube. (2017). What is Globalisation?. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZNejKHKSbl0 [Accessed 12 May 2018].

Zuckerberg, M. (2018). Mark Zuckerberg. [online] Facebook.com. Available at: https://www.facebook.com/zuck/posts/10104493997365051 [Accessed 12 May 2018].

 

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