How Globalized is Germany?

Globalization is the process in which goods, ideas, and beliefs are spread across the world with the aid of modern communication and transportation technologies, it stimulates economic growth and increases the interdependency between nations. Things that contribute to the rise of globalization are factors such as increase in trade which means two or more countries are connected. Travel also causes globalization, if people move around the world, ideas and people are spread. Now, it is much cheaper and easier than former times to travel. Distance decay is effected because the relative distance is decreased.

angela merkel, chinese relations

Chinese Primies Li Keqiang and Angela Merkel meet in Berlin to discuss trade.

 

Globalization can be measured and each country has it’s own ranking of how globalized it is. Germany ranks 26th on the KOF Globalization Index and has a globalization index of 79.47. 26th is very high compared to the rest of the world. It isn’t the highest though; other countries that are near or next to it have even higher rankings. For example: Poland (25th), Italy (22nd), France (21st), Luxembourg (15th), or Belgium (2nd). Despite being the biggest economy in the European Union and the 4th in the whole world, Germany does not lead the way in being most globalized.

There are various factors that cause this. According to DB research, only one fifth of Germany’s population welcomes globalization. The rest look at Globalization critically and don’t welcome it. This is probably because after WWII the people who benefited from globalization (economic wise) are the businesspeople – the poor did not benefit. Large groups in the population are negatively affected through this process. Factory workers for example, demand higher wages compared to other countries. This causes companies to move their factories to other countries where they can get cheap labor.

German soccer fans

German soccer fans proudly waving the German flag.

 

Another reason that Germans probably don’t want to be globalized because ever since WWII they have a hard time feeling proud of their country. People in Germany feel sad and guilty for what happened during that harsh time. “Patriotism” was considered a bad idea to many Germans because they are afraid it’s a step toward “nationalism” and then “Nazism” again. This started to change after their reunification of east and west Germany. President Bush from the United States asked the German Chancellor to join the invasion of Iraq. Chancellor Gerhart Schroeder said no. For the first time, Germans felt that they were independent and separate from the world.

forest protection

A large portion of Germany’s forests are under protection. This is the famous Black Forest in the Baden Württemberg region in southwestern Germany.

The third reason that Germany might not like globalization is because globalization has a drastic effect on the environment. With globalization comes big franchises. Again, Mcdonald’s being the biggest of them all takes up a lot of space. One McDonald’s store might be small, but McDonald’s needs lots of space for their meat, plant, and wheat production. This causes a lot of forests to be cut down for space. Germany is one of the world’s leading countries in forest and environmental protection. People would not be very happy when trees have to be cut down. This makes people not want globalization.

Mcdonald's Germany

A McDonald’s in Dortmund Germany

 

In conclusion, although Germany is one of the world’s leading economies it isn’t as globalized as you would think. It ranks 26th in the KOF Globalization Index; ranking lower than many other European countries. There are many reasons that Germany isn’t highest ranking. One is that not all people benefit from globalization therefore they don’t like it. The second reason is Germany’s new pride in their country. The third reason is environmental and has to do with Germany’s forest and environmental protection.

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