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Based on this point, this study aims to explore the driving forces, action mechanisms, manifestations, and influences of the contemporary globalization process in a more comprehensive way, particularly focusing on the dynamic mechanisms of globalization other than capitalism, and trying to explain the interaction between various dynamic mechanisms. Overall, this paper summarizes three major but not all dynamic mechanisms of the contemporary globalization: capital-driven, state-driven, and inter-state cooperation-driven.

These three dynamic mechanisms act on different spaces in different ways, exert different influences, and have profound interactive relations on the process of globalization.

By showing a more comprehensive picture of globalization, this study attempts to explain the existing alternatives to capital-driven globalization, and encourages a more in-depth discussion of anti-globalization and regional integration as alternative options for globalization from the perspective of internal operation mechanism. Introduction The process of globalization and its impact on the world have become one of the most controversial topics nowadays. Globalization is understood not only as a political and economic term but also as a process of interrelated world development and a controversial political agenda.

In general, globalization is seen as a capital-driven process of global interdependence that encourages greater integration of global markets and deregulation. However, in the face of the widening regional development gap, the ongoing global economic crisis, and other challenges of global development and governance, the approach to globalization espoused by western capitalism especially neoliberalism is facing increasing skepticism and forcing the world, especially the periphery region and also the inner core of capitalism where the deep structural crisis is severe, to look more urgently for alternatives to globalization.

Although most of the existing studies have focused on the globalization of western capitalism, another way of globalization, mainly in emerging economies, which is known as state capitalism has also attracted much attention.


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To some extent, these non-western and non-capitalist globalization approaches have become the alternatives to the western capitalist globalization, and are especially important for the countries or regions that are still on the edge of globalization. On the surface, the globalization strategies and characteristics of almost all countries or regions show highly mixed characteristics, and during this process, various actors governments, enterprises, organizations, individuals, etc. At the same time, due to the profound interaction among various globalization approaches, there are obvious linkage effects among various factors and strategies in the globalization process.

As such, classification research is more convenient and effective in dealing with such complex problems. Through the discussion of classification and interactive relations, we can more clearly understand the causes and effects of various globalization approaches. Through categorical research, this paper focuses on but is not limited to the driving forces, action mechanisms, manifestations, and influences of the contemporary globalization process, especially the non-western and non-capitalist globalization process, and the interaction between various dynamic mechanisms of globalization.

Specifically, this paper firstly reviewed the connotation of globalization in the current literature. Based on reviewing the existing literature on the driving forces and development process of globalization, the main part of this paper summarized the three major dynamic mechanisms of the contemporary globalization from the aspects of driving forces, action mechanisms, manifestations, and influences: capital-driven globalization, state-driven globalization, and inter-state cooperation-driven globalization.

Then, by focusing on the capital-state relationships and the interaction of various elements in the process of inter-state cooperation-driven globalization, this paper discussed the interaction between different dynamic mechanisms of globalization. Finally, in the conclusion and discussion section, we compared and summarized the influences of these three dynamic mechanisms on different regions of the world, and discussed the shortcomings of this study and future research prospects.

Globalization is a process of extension, acceleration, and intensification of economic, political and social interconnections worldwide [ 1 ]. The meaning of globalization can be interpreted from at least three aspects: globalization as a process, globalization as a keyword of world politics and economy, and globalization as a political agenda. First of all, as a process, globalization is not a new phenomenon, but an evolving historical process.


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  • The globalization of this period was manifested in long-distance trade and cross-space power projection among the agricultural civilization centers of Eurasia, Africa, and America. The subsequent stages of globalization include Early Modern globalization — , Modern globalization — , and Contemporary globalization — [ 2 ]. Other scholars also have different classification methods, for example, Murray is more concerned on the globalization that developed after , and he created a framework to represent the globalization stages and their characteristics. The framework begins with the rise of the Spanish empire in the early 16th century, and then the process of globalization is divided into two waves: Colonial globalization — and Post-colonial globalization — , each wave was further decomposed into two stages.

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    The first wave included the Mercantilist phase — and the Industrialist phase — , the second wave consists of the Modernization phase — and the Neoliberal phase — [ 3 ]. Most of these studies, which regard globalization as a development process, are typical historical analyses, emphasizing the historical continuity and staged features of globalization. This focus on globalization stems from the key changes of industry, finance, and technology which took place in the s and s.

    These innovations and advances in different fields have contributed to different forms of global interdependence and the collective impact of globalization, such as the influences on finance, trade, migration, communications, media, political organization, and even on the spread of new diseases [ 1 ]. Therefore, it arouses public concern and made globalization into a hot keyword of world politics and the economy. Put differently, it is the economic globalization of neoliberalism advocating the governance model of political deregulation , which is driven by the global competition between the United States and the Soviet Union after world war II and the creation of a series of global governance institutions, especially after the oil crisis in [ 3 ].

    In general, these three different explanations for globalization shows the complexity of this phenomenon itself. As a process, globalization advocates understanding the space-time process from a distant historical perspective. And as a key term in world politics and economy, globalization emphasizes the process and influences of the contemporary global interdependence. However, globalization as a political agenda derives from the need for expansion of capital-driven globalization which will be explored in-depth in the next section.

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    The dynamic mechanisms or causation of globalization is one of the key debates in the study of globalization [ 3 ]. Most scholars believe that globalization is mainly driven by capitalism [ 5 ], while some believe that it is driven by technology [ 6 ] or that multiple interlocking factors in the fields of culture, politics, economy, and technology are related. A more detailed study explores the different dynamic characteristics of globalization in different periods.

    For example, Murray believes that the impetus for Colonial globalization — came from the search for resources and locations for the investment of surplus capital, and the resulting colonialism and other overt political means. In the Modernization phase — , globalization was driven by national developmentalism, especially the promotion of transnational corporations.

    However, after the oil crisis and the debt crisis Neoliberal stage, after , the power of the state was challenged by global institutions and civil society. The main driving force of globalization came from the spread of capitalist culture, that is, through the development of time-space compression technology to reduce the capital turnover time [ 3 ]. Thus, globalization does not have an inevitable trajectory. It is the result of human collective action, agenda, desire, and perception.

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    Under the agency of different actors generally governments, organizations, companies or individuals, etc. It is worth noting that multiple dynamic mechanisms of globalization always work together within a country or region, so that globalization presents a mixed complex appearance and even a tendency of convergence.

    But the dynamics of globalization are fundamentally different more on this later. At the same time, due to the different levels of development, history, culture, political system, and other aspects, different parts of the world have different ways to integrate into globalization. But most of the existing studies focus on the globalization process of western capitalist countries, ignoring the process and mode of globalization in other regions.

    Besides, although previous studies have dealt more or less with all kinds of driving forces most attention is paid to the globalization process of capitalism , there is a lack of comparison of the principles, forms, and influences of various driving forces, and less attention is paid to the interaction between these driving forces. Because of this, the categorization study offers the possibility of a clearer representation of globalization, which is also the starting point of this paper. So as to provide a reference for understanding various measures taken by different actors to integrate into globalization.

    It is also pointed out that the mixed characteristics of different driving forces of globalization can provide more alternatives for the development trend of the globalized world to some extent.

    by Simon Glezos

    Specifically, according to the characteristics of the cross-border flow of resources in the process of globalization, combined with the purpose and influences of different actors and their initiatives, this paper distinguishes three main but not all dynamic mechanisms of globalization Table 1. Through literature analysis and case study, the principles and characteristics of the three dynamic mechanisms of globalization are discussed qualitatively. Besides, this paper pays particular attention to the comparative analysis of the principles of the three dynamic mechanisms of globalization, their modes of action and influences in different regions of the world, as well as the internal relations of the three dynamic mechanisms.

    The first and most influential driving force of globalization is the establishment of a global circuit of capital based on the nature of profit-pursuing [ 5 ], which is the process of globalization in a general sense. The rise of this globalization process is closely related to the development and expansion of the capitalist economic system [ 3 ] and it is considered as the main driving force of the interdependence of global society since the 16th century.

    In particular, while the inherent economic characteristics of the capitalist led to a growing number of global connections, including through the Internet [ 1 ]. Under the influence of Marxism, the process of globalization is interpreted as the global expansion of surplus capital to complete the process of capital circulation. Specifically, it can be divided into three types: the commodity capital circuit is realized through global trade, the currency capital circuit is realized through transnational investment, and the production capital circuit is realized through the global production network and a chain of transnational corporations [ 3 ].

    Since capital urgently needs to pursue profit maximization in the shortest time by accelerating the turnaround time of the capital cycle , at the same time, the pressure of competition leads to the need to constantly look for ways to reduce costs and obtain higher profits. These possibilities include the search for global raw materials, labor, and markets, as well as technological means to speed transportation and overcome distance remove spatial barriers [ 1 , 7 ], which results in the compression of time-space and the capital-driven globalization [ 5 ].

    The spread of privatization, market economy, competition, free trade, and western democracy are the main characteristics of capital-driven globalization generally can be summarized as the neoliberalism trend after the Washington consensus. Capitalism is seen as a moral good and it is believed that privatization and market competition by improving efficiency and quality while reducing cost not only directly provides consumers with cheaper goods and services, but also indirectly reduces the tax burden [ 8 ], and leads to an increase in global well-being [ 3 ]. Capital-driven globalization is seen as an inevitable part of modernity, progress, and human evolution, in which citizens and states, for better or worse, will have to learn to participate [ 3 ].

    Since the degree of neoliberalism has become the measure of a good business environment and become the key to determine the success of countries in the competition, it has forced most countries around the world to gradually promote neoliberal reforms [ 8 ]. A more radical view of capital-driven globalization the hyper globalists is that the world economy is borderless, facilitated by circuits of capital, characterized by a single global market operating through transnational networks of production, trade, and finance, and that new global borderless elites are created by the forces of market economy [ 3 ].

    In the capital-driven globalized economic system, the challenge for countries is to compete as effectively as possible in a more integrated and interdependent economic environment, and enterprises are also confronted with worldwide competition and constant restructuring [ 12 ]. This liberal and open capital-driven globalization have indeed brought benefits to some countries, but these benefits have been strictly limited geographically [ 12 ] and, more seriously, have resulted in the persistence of growing inequality between the core region and the periphery region [ 3 ] and between the different classes.

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    The development of capitalism in core areas is likely to weaken the possibility of marginal space to develop in the same way [ 13 ]. Every major meeting of the IMF, the World Bank, and the WTO is now a venue for conflict and turmoil [ 3 ], while the more general daily resistance to globalization and neoliberalism persists in the lives of many marginalized people [ 14 ]. This means that alternatives to capital-driven globalization are necessary for the disadvantaged periphery [ 13 ]. At the same time, the deep structural crisis of capitalism also makes the core area face more and more tests, as the rapid growth and equitable income distribution of Fordism have given way to a neoliberal era of secular stagnation, high levels of inequality, instability, and stagnant or declining living standards of the working class.

    The deterioration of living standards and the failure to bring about a satisfactory improvement in the living standards of the majority [ 15 ] are major determinants of the growth of populism and the radical right, and the serious consequence is the rise of populist uprisings represented by Brexit and Trump [ 16 ], which are supposed to change the global economic order [ 17 ].

    In addition to the global flow of capital, the worldwide migration of humans driven by economic factors is also an important impetus of globalization. This human-driven globalization can largely be seen as a variant of capital-driven globalization. However, it is worth noting that in addition to economic consideration, human-driven globalization is more influenced by the factors that lead to individual migration, such as marriage, education, war, disaster, disease, and so on.

    The driving force of human-driven globalization comes from the practice of individuals relying on the global network of relations, which emphasizes the importance of social network relations based on family, community, ethnic group, religion, and class to the process of globalization. As actor-network theory emphasizes [ 18 ] that the global economy is made up of social actors engaged in various networks of spatial relationships, the intentional behaviors of actors driven by individual needs for survival and development and the relationships among actors in the network are embedded or occur in a specific space, and the interdependency pattern of the world system namely the process of globalization is constantly promoted and remolded through the relationship network.

    According to the characteristics of actors and networks, human-driven globalization can be divided into elite-driven globalization and transnational labor-driven globalization.