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Global Interactions (HL)

What is Globalisation


“The growing interdependence of countries worldwide through the increasing volume and variety of cross-border transactions in goods and services and of international capital flows, and through the more rapid and widespread diffusion of technology” (source: IMF).

Video 1.8 Introduction to Globalisation

Measuring Global Interactions

The KOF Index

Objective: Be able to describe how the KOF index is calculated and its spatial representation.


  1. Go to the KOF homepage, What is the KOF index?
  2. Follow the method of calculation link (right hand side of the page) and summarise how each of the 3 factors is calculated.
  3. Follow the "detailed rankings" link. Screen shot the top 10 rows and the bottom 10 country rows.
  4. Describe the spatial variation for the top countries and suggest reasons.
  5. Describe the spatial variations for the bottom countries and suggest reasons.

Friction of Distance

Time–space convergence

What is Time-Space Convergence?

The reduction in the time taken to travel between two places due to improvements in transportation or communication technology.

Over the last century travel times have reduced drastically as the supply of and demand for commercial flights has boomed.

On a more local scale, car ownership has also drastically increased, roads have been improved and vehicles have got faster & more efficient.

BBC article - looking at aspects of the shrinking world & timescales

Friction of Distance

This is based on the idea there are obstacles or barriers that make travel more difficult (friction).

  • The cost of travel
  • the need for visas/paperwork
  • the actual effort of travel
  • jet lag etc

The longer the journey – generally the more friction & so we make longer journeys less frequently.

Reducing the Friction of Distance

Developments in transport have:

  • Reduced the time it takes to travel to a place.
  • Reduced the cost of travelling.
  • Increases in efficiency & vehicle size allow us to travel further without stopping.
  • Increased the comfort of travelling.

These developments have reduced some of the friction of distance & led to time-space convergence.

Changing Notion of Distance

These developments are changing the way we think about distance & travel.

The time it takes to get to a place is now often more important/significant than the actual distance it is.

In this sense, since travel times have decreased, places have essentialy become closer – the world has shrunk!

Its not just in the transportation of people that we have the effect of a shrinking world. Goods and services are also experiencing this.

Video ; BBC, Shrinking World

Extension and density of networks


Containerisation has revolutionised the way that goods are transported and been one of the main factors in the emergence of global supply chains.

  1. Read this article about the importance and scale of containerisation in the modern word.
  2. Read this article about the new port being established in the Thames Gateway development.
  3. Watch this BBC clip about the new larger container ships and the impact that they have on the cost of transport.
  4. Describe the ways in which containerisation has reduced the cost of transportation (mention economies of scale).
  5. Explain the following benefits that containers have:
    • durable
    • versatile
    • secure
  6. Use Figure to describe the global pattern of shipping routes.
  7. Comment on the importance of the Panama and Suez Canals in relation to shipping routes.
  8. Look at Figure . Describe the location of the worlds busiest cargo ports.
  9. Explain why the busiest container ports are in Eastern Asia.
Video: The birth of containerisation
Figure HL2: Global Shipping Routes source

Growth of the Internet & the Digital Divides

What is the Internet?

You should have an understanding of what the internet actually is, and its reliance on a physical infrastructure.

The physical infrastructure and its cost of installation is a major factor in disparities of access to the internet on a variety of scales (global, regional and national).

Digital divides often exacerbate inequalities in wealth.

Video :What is the internet?
Video :Animated Undersea Cable Map

Digital Divides

Digital Divides

•Despite the internets rapid emergence as a global communication tool it is still out of reach of many of the worlds population.

•The expensive infra-structure needed to provide fast broadband has led to richer countries leaping ahead in the digital world.

•Mobile phone technology & coverage is rapidly improving but many phones cannot access the internet & the cost is high & phones screens are generally too small

The digital divide website

The digital divide- Mexico (Guardian 2011)

National Divisions: Rich-Poor

A trend is emerging in both rich & poor countries in relation to internet access/use.

The cost & commitment of monthly payments for broadband provision is meaning:

  • Richer people/middle classes are much more likely to have broadband connections:
  • Students who are computer literate tend to perform better at school.
  • Employers increasingly seek computer skilled people.
  • Populations with broadband can increasingly save time & money through services offered online by employers, councils/governments, shops, banks, schools etc.

Income & education levels are creating a digital divide. The UK digital divide - factfile

National Divisions: Rural-Urban

•Urban areas have much higher proportions of people connected to broadband services & offer much faster speeds. The cost of installing the cables has meant rural areas rely on:

  • satellite connections (expensive & affected by weather)
  • dial up services on existing phone lines (very slow & often expensive).

•This is an issue that is affecting MEDCS & LEDCs.

•Private companies are profit motivated & less likely to invest heavily in small rural connections

Rural broadband: digital divide is widening (Telegraph 2010)

Global Flows of Capital

Organisation Involved in Transfers of Capital

There are various forms of capital transfers on a global scale:

  1. Debt repayment
  2. Remittances
  3. FDI & Repatriation of Profits
  4. Loans

You should have an understanding of the role of the following institutions/organisations in financial flows (and loans): IMF, World Bank, WTO.

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Figure HL1; Global Capital Flow Summary

Financial Flows

The World Bank

  1. Read this BBC article & make notes about what the World Bank is & what it does.
  2. Read the articles in the links below and:
  3. Describe the project that is being funded
  4. State why you think the World Bank has chosen to fund this project
  5. Discuss whether you think the project will bring long-term economic and living standard improvements.
  6. Mozambique rail & Pakistan floods

The World Trade Organisation

1) Read this BBC article & make notes about what the WTO is & what it does. 2) What are the criticisms of the WTO?

Repatriation of Profits

  1. Read this Bloomberg article.
  2. Describe the value of Apples overseas cash.
  3. Why does Apple have so much cash overseas?
  4. What doesn´t the company bring the cash back to the USA
  5. Read this Bloomberg article.
  6. What is the value of American firms profits held overseas?
  7. What % tax do firms have to pay on repatriating profits?
  8. What impact does this have on the US economy?

Global Remittances

These are flows of money sent back by migrants to their home country.

Remittances go directly to the intended recipient and can be used how they choose to improve their quality of life (rather than through governments or agencies).

High fees unfairly penalise the poorest workers. Migrants sending small sums of money home get charged the highest %s. Also sending money to the poorest regions (African countries) also often carry higher fees.


  1. Using Video 1.10:
  2. Describe the value of remittances globally.
  3. Explain why the poorest people are the ones penalised the most by remittance charges.
Video Global Remittance Flows

Information Flows

Global Outsourcing

Objective: be able to describe patterns of global outsourcing and suggest reasons for the top outsourcing destinations. Be able to explain the role it plays in global transfers of capital.


  1. Read page 82 (Global Interactions textbook), define outsourcing.
  2. How much was the outsourcing industry worth in 2008?
  3. Get this pdf, screenshot P2 showing the top outsourcing destinations. Add comments to suggest reasons why these are successful at attracting outsourced work.
  4. Watch video 1.8.
  5. Where is the outsourcing taking place.
  6. What are the benefits of outsourcing to firms.
  7. Why are the Philippines a successful outsourcing destination?

Case Study: Bangalore, India

  1. Read pages 87-89 (Global Interactions textbook).
  2. Watch Video 1.9.
  3. Describe the types of outsourcing that Bangalore has been involved in.
  4. What benefits has it brought to the economy?
  5. What investment was needed to establish to Bangalore as an outsourcing destination.
Video Outsourcing in the Philippines
Video India; Bangalore Outsourcing

Labour Flows

Concentric Ring Model

Figure G ; Hoyt Sector Model

Degradation through raw material production

Food Miles


  1. Explain why food is transported over such long distances.
  2. Read this article & watch the video 1.11. Make notes about the negative impacts of food miles.
  3. Read this article & this article & make notes about why food miles might not always be so bad.
  4. Answer this exam style question in essay form. You should includes examples to support your arguments.
    • "Discuss whether the environmental impact of food miles means that we should always buy local produce" [10]
Video Outsourcing in the Philippines


Modern food production systems are being increasingly industrialised. Increasing the scale of production, mechanising many of the processes, increasing efficiency and using scientific techniques are reducing the cost of food.

Whilst the monetary cost of production may have fallen, the cost to the environment has been increasing:

  • Intensive cattle ranching in the US results in signiifcant pollution of freshwater due to animal waste runoff.
  • Increasing use of pesticides, herbicides, fertilisers and irrigation in large scale arable farming are leading to falling water tables, leaching of nutrients into rivers and subsequent pollution/eutrophication.
  • Monoculture plantations of crops such as palm oil are destroying natural habitats and providing very limited opportunities for other wildlife to exist in them.

Negative Impacts of Agro-industrialisation


  1. Watch video 1.12 to the right and make notes about the main concerns about the industrialisation of food production:
  2. What is agro-industrialisation?
  3. Why has this revolution happened?
  4. What are the impacts on the environment?
  5. The industrialisation of agriculture is most evident in the United States, but as MNCs are increasingly purchasing land in developing countries for food production, these techniques are spreading.

Benefits of Agro-industrialisation

Despite the many negative impacts on the environment that the industrialisation of food production has caused, there are also many opportunities for it to actually be of benefit.


  1. Watch videos 1.13 and 1.14:
  2. Explain how the capital inputs allow such large output from a small area of land.
  3. Describe the ways in which the system is attempting to be more environmentally sustainable.
Video Food Inc
Video Thanet Earth
Video Thanet Earth

The effects of transnational manufacturing and services

Trafigura, Ivory Coast

  • What happened?
  • What were the effects of the pollution?
  • Why was the ship not cleaned in Europe?
  • Do you think the fine will stop this happening again?
Video Thanet Earth

Union Carbide; Bhopal, India


  1. Use the following links and Video?? to develop case study notes that detail the devastating accident at the Union Carbide plant
    • Where?
    • What?
    • Effects?
    • Why was the plant located here & who owns it?
  2. Bhopal - 25 years on (Telegraph 2009)
  3. MNCs double standards (Guardian 2010)
Video : Bhopal Gas Disaster

Transboundary Pollution

Chernobyl Nuclear Accident

Objective: describe one major pollution event affecting more than one country and examine the consequences of and responses to this event.


  1. Use slideshow HL1 to;
  2. Describe the causes of the Chernobyl nuclear accident.
  3. What were the effects of the radiation on:
    • the environment
    • people
  4. To what extent did the radiation affect other countries?
  5. How was the accident dealt with:
    • short term
    • long term
Slideshow HL1: Chernobyl Causes and Effects

Cultural diffusion: the process

Consumerism and culture

Americanisation Vs Globalisation

Objective: describe the role of TNCs and the media in spreading consumer culture. Select two different branded commodities and examine the spatial and temporal pattern of adoption on a global scale.

Americanisation or Globalisation?

  1. What does the term Americanisation mean?
  2. Make notes about some of the examples given.
  3. What is your opinion about Americanisation, is it happening in your culture?
  4. Watch the video opposite, comment on the dominance of American brands. Despite Chinas huge economy why are there so few Chinese brands & how well do you recognise them?

KFC in China (2012)

Video Global Brands

McDonalds Global Spread


Use the link below and the infographic opposite to make Case Study notes about:

  1. The global spread of McDonalds
  2. How the Franchise system has allowed it to expand so rapidly.
  3. The impact that it has on changing changing the culture of cuisine in other countries

McDonalds; Time Magazine

Wikipedia Page

Wikimedia Map

Slideshow HL1: Spatial Adoption of McDonalds

Starbucks Global Spread


Starbucks spread their coffee culture in China

Wikipedia Page

Wikimedia map

The Coffee empire

A business needs to have plenty of competitive advantages to become an empire.
First, Starbucks directly controls every important step of its business, from buying high-quality coffee beans to designing its franchise decor. This allows Starbucks to minimize its operating risks. For example, by being one of the most important buyers of coffee arabica in the world, the company has enormous influence over its suppliers and it can ensure competitive prices, superior quality, and the necessary quantities at the right time.
Second, Starbucks creates a unique atmosphere surrounding its products based on four key factors: quality, service, ambiance, and culture.
The company maximizes quality not only by buying high-quality coffee beans, but also by equipping its coffee houses with excellent coffee machines.
To ensure perfect service, the company trains its baristas for over 30 hours. Baristas become very professional, not only at making coffee, but also at handling as many as 200 customers per hour.
In terms of ambiance, Starbucks has carefully chosen its color combination, couches, and lights to create a great place for coffee-lovers. The company keeps its customer loyalty high by promoting a genuine passion for coffee that goes beyond a cup of cappuccino. Starbucks promotes coffee rituals, love for organic ingredients, environmental friendship, and millennial values.
Finally, Starbucks is constantly innovating its menu and starting new businesses, such as selling energy drinks or coffee machines. The company has recently focused on strengthening its sandwiches and bakery business. That's why last year the company shelled out $100 million to acquire La Boulange Bakery, which specializes in traditional pastries. More recently, the company launched a £2 breakfast offer in the U.K. to capture price-sensitive customers.

Embed Figure: Starbucks Global Influence

Sociocultural integration


Diasporas: the dispersal of a population away from their homelands. It may be forced or voluntary.

Italian diaspora in New YorK

Between the late 1800s and the early 1900s millions of Italains migrated to the United States. Poverty in Italy and the notion of opportunity in the US drove this large scale migration.

The cultural impact of this Italian diaspora can still be recognised in the culture of modern day New York. The Italians established communities and retained their traditional customs of which some became part of the wider society.


Use this link to answer the following questions

  1. What is meant by the term "Little Italies"?
  2. Describe the integration of Italian cuisine into New York
  3. How did the languages adopt traits from each other.

Read the "Life in a New World" section on this page.

  1. Summarise the ways in which Italian culture was retained by the immigrants.

Indian diaspora in the UK


  • Describe the location of the main concentrations of Indians in the UK.
  • Causes of the Indian Diaspora into the UK (why have so many settled there?).
  • Retention of original culture
  • Integration into the wider society (diffusion of own culture).
  • Indian Cuisine in UK Culture

Cultural Imperialism

Cultural Imperialism the promotion of a countries culture onto another country.

Cultural imperialism has occured throughout history. Early civilisations as the expanded actively imposed their cultures on the the new regions that they controlled. The Roman empire imposed language, cuisine, and architecture as it expanded throughout Europe.

More recently the British and Spanish empires practised cultural imperialism on their colonies.

Australia and New Zealand retain many traits of the UK and still have strong political links. Rail networks were installed in many colonial African countries and through India. English is also widely spoken in many parts of India.

The Spanish empire resulted in Central America speaking Spanish, having similar traditional dance styles and costumes.

The last century has witnesssed the global dominance of certain brands and they have played a role in promoting cuisine, music and dress in other countries.

McDonalds, Coca Cola, Nike have actively promoted American styles and tastes in foreign places, not just through their products but also through the style/music of their adverts. In recent years they have been making more effort to adapt their producst to reflect the cultural traits of the countries that they operate in.

Embed Figure:

Loss of sovereignty

Globalisation has enabled companies to sell to global markets, vastly increasing their customer base both in actual numbers and geographical locations. This expansion has generated enormous profits for a number of companies with many of them generating more revenue than entire countries.


  1. Use this page to make notes about 3 examples of TNCs which generate more income than countries (use ones which you know a little about - country location, brand, products etc).
  2. Essay Question: TNCs are becoming more powerful than many nation states, discuss [10 marks]
Embed Figure:

E.U. Case Study

Syllabus requirement: Discuss the links between the diminishing effectiveness of political borders and the flow of goods, capital, labour and ideas, and the role of one multi‑governmental organization such as the European Union (EU)


  1. The Nation State & the Regional State: identify the difference.
  2. Describe the loss of nation state powers to the EU Regional State (European Parliament, European Central Bank, European Commission).
  3. How does the establishment of the EU lead to freer flow of labour, capital and ideas?
Video: Why the UK voted out of Europe
Brext pros and cons

Responses to Loss of Sovereignty

Syllabus requirement: Examine the resurgence of nationalism in one country as it attempts to retain control of its resources and culture.

Neo-nationalism & the EU

Neo-nationalism threatens Europe (2010)



The start of this century has witnessed an increasing concern about the impact of globalisation, particularly in relation to inequality, the power of MNCs and the environment.

Protests have accompanied most meetings of world leaders, particularly in relation to the WTO, IMF and World Bank. The internet and social media are enabling these protests to take on global dimensions and significance with large scale, international co-ordinated gatherings/actions.

Watch Videos to the right and complete the tasks below.

  1. Read this article and describe the negative aspects of globalisation that are mentioned.

  2. Read this article, to answer the following:
    • What were the Seattle protests about?
    • The Seattle protest was a global news story, suggest why?

  3. The Occupy Movement hit global news headlines during the global financial crisis in late 2008. Use their site to make notes about:
    • who are they?
    • What are their goals/aims
    • What methods of protest do they use?

  4. Watch Video, describe the way in which mobile technology is revolutionising the ways in which groups can organise and record protest events/movements.

Occupy protests

Voices of protest (2012)

Video Seattle WTO Protests 1999
Video Occupy Wall St summary
Video The Arab Spring

Migration Control: United States


Good review of migration control

Read this article & make notes about:

  • - the reasons for and against immigration into the USA.
  • -the feelings of some illegal immigrants that are alreading in the states.
  • -the feeling of some Ammerican workers towards immigrant workers.

US/ Mexico border fence`

patrolling the fence

Read this article and describe the methods being used to control Mexican immigration into the USA through the land border.

interactive chart showing data about border control

Using the information from this graphic discuss the reasons behind the control of the border. Do you think it is mainly to stop illiegal workers or is the drug trade a big factor?


Defnition: A term that was invented to emphasize that the globalization of a product is more likely to succeed when the product or service is adapted specifically to each locality or culture in which it is marketed.


Read through gthe following articles and make notes about the ways in which firms glocalise their products and the motivations behind these strategies.

BBC: Glocalisation and the adaptation of webpages to local audiences

BBC 2013: Multinationals & adapting to local working customs


The increasing presence of McDonald’s restaurants worldwide is an example of globalization, while changes made to the menus of the restaurant chain, in an attempt to appeal to local tastes, are an example of glocalization.

Top 10 Foreign McDonalds Menu Items

BBC: How McDonalds conquered India

Video: How Starbuck connect locally with the community
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