Globalization refers to a process of increased interconnectivity between people around the world. This interconnectivity creates greater interdependence, with this global interdependence then forming the foundations to some form of global organization. As such globalization should be understood not simply as increased connectivity but ultimately refer instead to the formation of a global system of organization. Once this global interdependence has emerged the question then inevitably turns to how to manage this combined organization, what are the rules for this new level of organization? What principles are these rules based upon and who gets to make them? This is clearly going to be a very contentious issue. The central challenge of globalization today is, though, the formation of some form of institutional structure for the management of this global system of organization that has emerged.
In the absence of a compelling and unified vision for the development of a global system of organization its development has been driven by the local incentives of individual people, organizations, and nations. With some of those individuals and organizations perceiving benefits from it, while others see threats, the result being a heated debate about the winners and losers and competition over the perceived division of the pie. Globalization may represent a millennia old abstract evolution in the complexity of our systems of organization and such an evolution can not be said to be good or bad - evolution is simply a process that generates new levels of complexity - however that process of evolution can be managed and developed in an effective way, or in an ineffective way. Thus it is not for us to debate whether the process of globalization is good or bad, but it is up for debate how that process is managed. Often this management process has been distorted around those with the power to guide it towards advancing their interests at the expense of others, and this story has marred the development of the process of globalization to date.
The result is that the rules that have been written for the development of globalization over the past few decades have been undemocratic and distorted along many dimensions, both social, economic and environmental. This remains a critical challenge facing the development of the global economy today.