Globalization, or globalisation (Commonwealth English; see spelling differences), is the process of interaction and integration among people, companies, and governments worldwide. Globalization has accelerated since the 18th century due to advances in transportation and communication technology. This increase in global interactions has caused a growth in international trade and the exchange of ideas, beliefs, and culture. Globalization is primarily an economic process of interaction and integration that is associated with social and cultural aspects. However, disputes and diplomacy are also large parts of the history of globalization, and of modern globalization.

Economically, globalization involves goods, services, data, technology, and the economic resources of capital.[1] The expansion of global markets liberalizes the economic activities of the exchange of goods and funds. Removal of cross-border trade barriers has made the formation of global markets more feasible.[2] Advances in transportation, like the steam locomotive, steamship, jet engine, and container ships, and developments in telecommunication infrastructure, like the telegraph, Internet, and mobile phones, have been major factors in globalization and have generated further interdependence of economic and cultural activities around the globe.[3][4][5]

Though many scholars place the origins of globalization in modern times, others trace its history to long before the European Age of Discovery and voyages to the New World, and some even to the third millennium BCE.[6] The term globalization first appeared in the early 20th century (supplanting an earlier French term mondialization), developed its current meaning some time in the second half of the 20th century, and came into popular use in the 1990s.[7] Large-scale globalization began in the 1820s, and in the late 19th century and early 20th century drove a rapid expansion in the connectivity of the world's economies and cultures.[8]

In 2000, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) identified four basic aspects of globalization: trade and transactions, capital and investment movements, migration and movement of people, and the dissemination of knowledge.[9] Globalizing processes affect and are affected by business and work organization, economics, sociocultural resources, and the natural environment. Academic literature commonly divides globalization into three major areas: economic globalization, cultural globalization, and political globalization.[10]