Globalisation is the process by which the movement of people, goods, money and information is increasingly unhindered by national borders and distances. This process is not taking place at the same pace everywhere in the world.

Look at map E3 on page 247 (54th edition) or map B3 of page 268 (55th edition) of the Bosatlas.
1) In which part of the world is globalisation most advanced?

Globalisation has its good sides for us. Here are a few examples: In a supermarket, you have a wide choice of products from many countries. The Internet, radio, TV and other media provide information from all over the world at lightning speed.

Globalisation means that more and more countries trade with each other. It increases mutual dependence. For example, the Netherlands is highly dependent on Germany because Germany is our most important trading partner. Dependence has disadvantages:

  • If the economy of your most important trading partner(s) is doing badly, it has consequences for your own economy. A common expression is: when Germany sneezes, the Netherlands catches a cold.
  • Western European countries rely heavily on Russia and the Middle East for their energy supply. If Russia, for whatever reason, turns off the gas tap, Western Europe has a serious problem. When, in 1973, various Arab oil producers refused to supply oil to countries such as the Netherlands, this had major economic consequences. For a few months, no cars were even allowed to drive on Sundays.
  • The consequences are not only for the recipients. The suppliers themselves are also experiencing major problems. Russia cannot simply turn off its gas tap, because it would lose a large part of its income, and the Arab oil producers could not sustain the boycott for long either. It simply cost them too much money.
  • When Russia and Ukraine had a dispute over payment of gas bills, Russia turned off the gas tap to Ukraine for a while. The gas pipeline to Ukraine also carries the gas to Western Europe and here too, due to the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, no gas was received for several days.

The increased interdependence also has advantages. The chance of countries fighting each other and resolving conflicts with their weapons decreases as globalisation increases..


2) How can you tell from the range of TV channels offered by your cable company that there is free movement of information between the Netherlands and the rest of the world?
3) Why would Russia itself also be affected if the gas pipeline through the Ukraine were to be closed for a long period of time?
4) Would the Netherlands be hard hit if the gas pipeline through the Ukraine were to be closed for a long time? Why?