Comparing Globalization between Europe and East Asia

Globalization is a term that we interact with in many cases. The idea of globalization is widespread in society today and is one of the phenomena that knows no boundaries and permeates rapidly across communities. Globalization impact the vast global values of human life, ranging from economic to political to social values. Therefore, globalization encompasses three core aspects: economic, political, and socio-cultural. From the geographical perspective, globalization is a set of processes, including economic, socio-cultural, and political, that impact society and people worldwide. The present paper evaluates the impact of location across the three core aspects of globalization, economic, political, and socio-cultural, comparing globalization between Europe and East Asia

Economic Aspects

This section explores the intensity of economic integration amidst globalization in a comparative context, focusing on Europe and East-Asia regions. East Asia belongs to the broader Asia-Pacific economic block, bringing together the Southeast, South Asia, and Oceania, and comprise countries such as China, Japan, Taiwan, North Korea, South Korea, and Mongolia.   Europe, on the one hand, belongs to the European Union economic Integration. Europe and Asia have been the cradle for civilization over the past two millennia, shaping the modern world and ways of life. As for Europe, its imprint on the global affair has extraordinarily surged following the discovery of geographies, which began in the 15th century through to the time of colonization to modern times in the last few decades. Likewise, East Asia has been rising very fast as if the Kondratieff cycle or the expansion phases of a strong long wave in the modern days, while Europe seems to have paused if not declining economic wise (Dent, Christopher 12). The trends are replicated in different aspects of society, from economics to technology.

Comparing the Asian and European approaches to economic globalization or regionalism or economic integration finds varying challenges and comparable experiences. Regionalism or economic globalization has progressed much further in Europe than in the Asian region. The devastation inflicted by the two world wars influenced European countries of the significance of working together to bind their economies within regional structures, hence the beginning of regionalism. They realized that merging their sovereignty and economic power with their neighbors, developing a robust institution that advances economic integration, could help achieve more than working alone, hence the emergence of the European Union (EU). The European Union has produced significant economic gains, sharply reducing the income gaps among the member states. The EU governments also work closely in security and foreign policy and home and justice affairs. EU companies receive access to new and expanding markets and technology, and sources of finance efficiently. EU consumers also have easier access to a variety of goods at lower prices. Other potential gains include higher productivity levels and real wages. Similarly, the Asian regions also embrace economic integration, thought from a different angle.


Economic globalization in East Asia has been driven primarily by free-market forces leading to economic integration and interdependence than by the governments, unlike in Europe. The economic cooperation across the East Asia national authorities has played a less significant role (Didier, Montanes and Schmukler, 105). However, the market forces took the lead in creating economic integration. The government initiatives quickly followed to reap the outcomes of regional economic integration and compensate for market failures. The individual countries have relied significantly on national economic policies as the key factor for development strategies until recently regional priorities began to emerge, specifically after the Asia region was hard hit by the 1997/98 financial crisis. The crisis forced the region to develop collective response mechanisms. The Asia market-driven integration, which has only received intergovernmental policy support following the financial crisis, defines its difference with European economic integration in terms of nature, sequence, and timing of the regionalization process ((Dent, Christopher 25). Even the cooperation among the East Asia governments is more recent and not very intimate, and mainly focused on economic issues and reluctant formal institutions.

In the 1950s through to 1970s, the Asian economies’ intraregional interdependence was low as individual countries strategically focused their export on developed markets in Europe and the United States instead of producing for other regional markets. However, East Asian economies have been strengthening interdependence for the past two decades, establishing production networks that link the regions’ countries (Dent, Christopher 34). The growth of automobile and electronic industries, which rely on several components and large parts in the final stage of production, has prompted the development of regional production networks to produce intermediate and final products across different locations.

Political Aspects

From a political perspective, globalization refers to the political cooperation existing among countries at the global level. It also denotes the growth of the international political systems in complexity and size, including intergovernmental and governmental organizations. Similar to economic globalization, comparing political globalization in East Asia and Europe also has similar experiences and equally differences. East Asia comprises some of the world’s most essential and distinctive political economies, including China, Japan, and South Korea (Beeson, 6). There are signs that the substantial economic and strategic weight of East Asian Countries is progressively being institutionalized in emerging regionally-based economic blocks or organizations with the potential to change the world’s distribution of power and influence. The trend is part of the complex adjustment of the East Asia countries, which have been economically and politically independent of each other for a long time. There are pressure and power influences, primarily emerging from domestic actors in the process of shaping the national policy to their advantage. The distinctive aspect of this process is that it is pronouncing a regional dimension that might alter the global power system (Didier, Montanes and Schmukler, 94).The East Asian countries had discovered benefits and potential utility of cooperation with their immediate neighbors, something that happened in Europe way back after World War II when European countries discovered the need to pool their resources and economies to increase their power and influence globally geopolitics.

However, the earlier success of the EU contributed to the paradox shift where once more resilient, robust and independent economies such as those of East Asia are increasingly exploring cooperation approaches at the regional instead of the global level. While European Union has not consistently demonstrated capable of playing the sort of intelligible and vital role that its strategic political and economic weight suggest, it has obviously been superior to the sum of its constituents. This was ideally of the original motive for the development of ASEAN and the initiation of collaboration among East Asian economic and political powerhouses, including China, South Korea, and Japan (Bersick and Werner 1). However, the collaboration among the East Asian countries aggressively avoided institutional integration and sovereignty pooling that has been the hallmark of the European Union. The East Asia collaboration has always been linked primarily to “de facto regionalism” as “opposed to de jure regionalism,” which is the characteristic of the European Union. De facto regionalism is a way of thinking concerning the potential for regional cooperation flowing from what scholars describe as the “real region” (Beeson, 11).

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One of the commonly noted characteristics of East Asia, and the fundamental reasons why prospects of European Union-style of regional cooperation creates skepticism, is the utter diversity of the region’s countries. There are clearly significant differences underlying the political strength and economic power of the member states. Critical demographic diversities range from China’s enormous population of over a billion people to the micro-countries of Brunei and Singapore. There are also other significant circumstantial differences confronting the region, including the sharp contrast between Japan’s aging population and countries such as Indonesia, experiencing rapid population growth. Consequently, East Asia lacks commonalities, political cooperation, and sovereignty-pooling eminent in the EU, which accounted for the immense success of the EU projects during its heyday. However, scholars argue that the emergence of ASEAN+3 is influenced by historical experience, including Japan’s military and economic impact on the Cold War regions (Bersick and Werner 1). The shared cultural traits and the distinctive nature of Asia’s political relations and business are also factors to the political regionalization of East Asia.

Socio-Cultural Factors

Globalization is exclusively linked to global economic integration and the rise of borderless global markets. Nevertheless, globalization also sweeps changes across the social and cultural terrains. With globalization at the center of both the private and public spheres, Europe and East Asia’s local culture has significantly changed or suffered over time. Transculturation has become a disturbingly rapid and noticeable trend worldwide. Because globalization is considered a problem to sovereignty and national culture, East Asian countries respond to globalization effects by strengthening regionalization (Bersick and Werner 2). Regionalization is a logical consequence of fractured globalization and serves as a counter-response to globalization, serving to control the region’s institutional values, social and cultural systems. Globalization exerts pressure on domestic value systems and cultures even though it has long-term economic and political integration impacts.

However, study shows that non-Western cultures, including East Asia, are more affected by globalization challenge more severely the same way modernization had done over a century ago. East Asian countries have been subjected to globalization as internationalization, characterized by the free flow of culture, particularly western culture and values, goods and services, and social problems including pollution and cultural erosions (Ullah and Ming 5). The pattern majorly impacts weaker nations such as Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand challenging to control the flow of commodities and values. In globalization, the cultures and values of the western civilization, which began in Europe, have dispersed globally. Underlying this dispersion is the West-centrism, the meta-ideology. West-centrism is the attitude considering the world-views, institutions, practices, and values of the western civilization as the supreme and universal (Ullah and Ming 3). .

The paper has explored the impact of location across the three core aspects of globalization, economic, political, and socio-cultural, comparing globalization between Europe and East Asia. From the essay, the economic aspect has been considered the increase in global economies’ interdependence due to growing cross-border trade. Political factors refer to the growth of political corporations among countries (Ullah and Ming 3). Socio-cultural globalization is the sharing or exchange of cultures, ideas, values, and meanings worldwide.

My Perspective of Globalization Based On the Findings

From the findings, it is eminent that the impact of globalization on economic, political, and socio-cultural aspects varies from countries or geography to another, with some similarities shared in between. From the economic and political perspective, both western and non-western countries share similarities in their response to globalization, considering regional integration. The non-western countries have experienced the most impact of cultural and value erosion due to globalization as the trend is mainly influenced by western culture. 

Works Cited

Beeson, Mark. Regionalism and globalization in East Asia: politics, security and economic development. Macmillan International Higher Education, 2014.

Bersick, Sebastian, and Werner Pascha. “East Asia and the European Union: Partners in Global Economic Governance.” (2019): 1-2.

Dent, Christopher M. East Asian Regionalism. Routledge, 2016.

Didier, Tatiana, Ruth Llovet Montanes, and Sergio L. Schmukler. International financial integration of East Asia and Pacific. The World Bank, 2016. Ullah, AKM Ahsan, and Hannah Ming Yit Ho. “Globalisation and Cultures in Southeast Asia: Demise, Fragmentation, and Transformation.” Global Society (2020): 1-16