The World is Flat

OliviaStarred Page By Olivia, 20th Feb 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Columns & Opinions

The world is flattening - according to renowned economist Thomas Friedman! This article will give you credible insight into the phenomenon of a 'flat world' embodied within globalisation, and why overseas opportunities are more within our reach than ever before...

Background of a Globalised World

Globalisation and its external growth have ignited an internal feud amongst economists in recent years. Depicted views juxtapose the way in which core economic growth is triggered; consequently questioning its global distribution. Importantly, the limits of globalisation that have helped to drive academics back to geography; a phenomenon named the, ‘spatial turn’. The notion of a fixation upon landscape has been supported by globalisation observations rooted within geography; thus an emerging argument is that, “macro phenomena are deeply rooted in micro foundations” (according to Perez).

What does Friedman Say?

Friedman’s, ‘World is Flat’ thesis depicts the way in which global collaboration and competition are now more viable, ‘for more people from more corners of the earth than at any other time in the history of the world’, supported to an extent by the hyper globalisers’ view of a, ‘borderless’ world. Conversely, paradigmatic criticism to Friedman’s approach depicted in Richard Florida’s, the world is ‘spikey’ thesis suggests the ways in which political, social and cultural dimensions direct an uneven geographic framework in which the world economy wholly participates. Cultivated by further economists’ investigations regarding the fragmentation of production processes, agglomeration of skills in cities, the nature of innovation, changes to financial markets and capital mobility ultimately influence the international policy-making environment; primarily undermining Friedman’s, ‘world is flat’ thesis.

Do I Think the World is 'Flat' or 'Spikey'?

Through Friedman’s fundamental use of the three, ‘Phases of Globalisation’, ‘Ten Flatteners’ and, the ‘Triple Convergence’ approach one can contextually analyse the credibility of his, ‘flat world’ thesis. It is true that the world is more intimately connected that ever before; however Friedman’s thesis lacks recognition of both a distinctive nature and continuity between an emerging level global playing field and microeconomic areas in which the distribution of skills and labour mobility geographically fragment macroeconomic economies. Thus the, “geographic unevenness of growth in the global economy fundamentally undermine Thomas Friedman’s ‘world is flat’ thesis”. Though there are significant opportunities for LECD’s in emerging markets, political, social and cultural dimensions will ultimately direct international economic policymakers to propose regional integration incentives; flattening uneven domestic trends and leveling the global playing field.

Is There Another Path to Choose?

Aside from Friedman's 'flat' thesis and Florida's 'spikey' thesis, there are other economists who suggest a different approach to the globalised world, suggesting a continuity between the two. This is insightful, suggesting that we will have to fight for our jobs in the future from overseas individuals - see Friedman's speech in which he suggests "There is no such thins as an American job anymore". Similarly, agglomeration can aid a flat world in vast networks of sophistocated links across a wider area - not just isolating itself to clustering networks. There is much analysis on this, so please do have a look - it is truly inspiring!

Where Can I Find Out More?

Online articles essential cover more information both in support and arguing against Friedman's work - look at the MIT website to view past presentations that Friedman has embodied - they serve for an invaluable insight into the 'flat world' and ignite potential resistance from individuals.

So what do you think? Is the world getting flatter or not? I would love to hear your comments so please, let me know!


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author avatar Olivia
My writing will encapsulate the things I value in life and what I not only enjoy writing about but what I believe in. I hope you enjoy my work and look forward to reading your interesting articles!

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author avatar ittech
20th Feb 2012 (#)


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author avatar Buzz
20th Feb 2012 (#)

Excellent post. Very pleased to meet you here, Olivia.

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author avatar Funom Makama
20th Feb 2012 (#)

I love your deep thoughts here.. What an excellent piece!

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author avatar Tranquilpen
20th Feb 2012 (#)

Be it flat or spikey, the debate will continue way after you and I will have said our final good byes. It has been a controversial issue for a very long time, (see pre- spacial turn and the return of academics to geography), long before Thomas Friedland and Richard Florida's two opposing theories. Thank you for sharing.

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author avatar Denise O
7th Sep 2012 (#)

No matter what is actually truth or not ( this is for sure not my field) this is an interesting read. Thank you for sharing. Congrats on the star page, it is well deserved. Thank you for sharing.:)

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author avatar SaigonDeManila
26th Apr 2016 (#)

excellent article

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