Transnational Corporations: Fragmentation Amidst Integration

By Grazia Ietto-Gillies | Go to book overview

9

TNCs as a dominant causeof the globalisation process

9.1Introduction

Chapter one introduced the globalisation process and its characteristics. It also touched on the role that the information and communication technologies and the transnational companies play in it. The latter's role in international transactions and therefore in some of the main aspects of international integration and globalisation, were dealt with at greater length in chapter two.

I am now going to reconsider the globalisation process from a more theoretical perspective and in relation to two specific interrelated issues. First, I will present and analyse alternative theoretical perspectives and the related theses that have been put forward in the literature to explain the nature of globalisation and its policy implications. Second, the chapter will put forward a causal theory of globalisation which sees the information and communication technologies and the transnational companies as the dominant causes of the globalisation process. In dealing with the latter issue reference will be made to the analysis developed in chapter six and to the empirical evidence of chapters two, four and five. Moreover, the causal analysis is relevant for the policy implications discussed in the next chapter.

The next section considers some attempts at defining globalisation. It is followed by two sections which present different theses on the process. Section 9.5 analyses the theses. Sections 9.6 and 9.7 develop the causality theory that links globalisation with the ICTs and TNCs. Section 9.8 concludes.


9.2Defining globalisation

Globalisation is a complex phenomenon which covers much more than the strictly economic sphere. 'Globalization is political, technological and cultural, as well as, economic' (Giddens, 1999:2). The term is indeed used in a variety of connotations and approaches as noted in Milberg (1998). He writes, specifically, that the term often '… refers to the emergence of a new international division of labour alongside greater geographical

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