Historic changes are transforming the lives of people in the developed countries and most developing ones. National economies and even national cultures are globalizing. Globalization means more competition, not just with other companies in the same city or the same region. Globalization also means that national borders do not limit a nation’s investment, production, and innovation. Everything, including relations among family and friends, is rapidly becoming organized around a much more compressed view of space and time. Companies in Europe, the United States, and Japan can produce chips in Singapore, keypunch data in India or the Peoples’ Republic of China, out source clerical work to Ireland or Mexico, and sell worldwide, barely concerned about the long distances or the variety of cultures involved. Swatch now sells a watch that tells “Internet time,” a continuous time that is the same everywhere in the world. Even children watching television or listening to radio are re-conceptualizing their “world,” in terms of the meanings that they attach to music, the environment, sports, or race and ethnicity.
Two of the main bases of globalization are information and innovation, and they, in turn, are highly knowledge intensive. Internationalized and fast-growing information industries produce knowledge goods and services. Today’s massive movements of capital depend on information, communication, and knowledge in global markets. And because knowledge is highly portable, it lends itself easily to globalization.