Human and physical influences of global interactions

Political factors that affect global interactions:

Multi-governmental Organizations

MGOs are organizations or countries that come together to form a single entity mostly for trading purposes. Eg.

  • EU- European Union
  • USMCA- United States Mexico Canada Agreement
  • SADEC- South African Dev`t committee
  • UEMOA-West African Economic Monetary of Africa
  • ASEAN-

MGOs allow state boundaries to be crossed feely in order to facilitate the free movement of goods, services, finance, ideas. Members are encouraged to abolish tariffs and promote the exchange of ideas in areas of security, trade, etc

 In that case they promote global interactions since they are encouraging different people to become one

Multi-governmental Organizations and their role in increasing global interactions

MGOs are organizations or countries that come together to form a single entity mostly for trading purposes. Eg.

  • EU- European Union
  • USMCA- United States Mexico Canada Agreement
  • SADEC- South African Dev`t committee
  • UEMOA-West African Economic Monetary of Africa
  • ASEAN-

 MGOs allow state boundaries to be crossed feely in order to facilitate the free movement of goods, services, finance, ideas. Members are encouraged to abolish tariffs and promote the exchange of ideas in areas of security, trade, etc. In that case they promote global interactions since they are encouraging different people to become one.

Ways by which MGOS can promote global interactions

  1. They promote the free movement of people between countries. For instance, in the EU and ECOWAS people can move freely thereby we can say they are practising globalization.
  2. Free trade allows the free movement of goods between member countries. It promotes global interactions because it leads to the development of homogeneous landscape-saving brands, banks, etc.
  3. Some of the MGOs use a common currency, which allows the free flow of goods and services. This common currency unites those countries, such as the Euro-using countries, financially.
  4. MGOs sometimes have common policies that facilitate global interactions. For instance CAP (Common Agricultural Policies) in the EU helps farmers in all EU countries to increase agricultural output by receiving support in the form of subsidies from the EU and guaranteed market.
  5. Membership in MGOs facilities global interactions through the free movement of capital between member countries. Meaning banks can transfer money at no cost from one country to the other.
  6. Free movement of ideas between members as a result of the Internet. For instance, if you are a member of the EU, you cannot be charged for roaming charges if you visit another EU country.

This does not always lead to global interaction because:

  1. Joining groups like the EU means you would be unable to be independent as their currency is even controlled by the EU’s central back.
  2. Foreigners would dominate the countries.

How can export-processing zones facilitate global interactions?

  1. Export processing zones allow countries to have access to goods that they cannot produce on their own at relatively low prices.
  2. Free zones also help in global interactions because it helps in the transfer of skills from advanced countries to developing countries through the training of workers.
  3. Free zones help to stabilize a country’s currency against other countries’ currencies. This improves global interactions because the country would be able to trade with another country, like the US, and get a lot of the foreign currency into their country.
  4. Export processing zones lead to bilateral and multilateral relations between countries, which enable manufacturing companies to sell their goods to different parts of the world.

The export processing zones do not always lead to global interactions because:

  1. The companies do not directly interact with the people of the given country with the exception of the workers.

Ways in which the government of the US is controlling migration

  1. Visa Requirements by immigrants entering America.
  2. Introduction of the American green card system to allow for the selection of migrants with the required skills to enter America.
  3. Scholarship packages for needy but brilliant people from developing countries.
  4. The Mexican Wall
  5. Army patrol at the American Boarder
  6. Random checks.
  7. Einstein Scholarship
  8. Visa (Green) Lottery Method

Using examples, analyse how economic and political factors affect global
migration flows

The Shrinking World (Time-Space Convergence)

The Friction Effect of Distance suggests that areas closer together are more likely to interact with each other whereas areas further away from each other are less likely to interact with each other. Time-Space convergence is the reduction in the time taken to travel between two places due to improvements in transportation or communication technology.

Transport systems refer to the various ways through which goods and people are transported from one place to another. Communication systems are the means by which information or ideas are transmitted between two places.

The figure provides an example of space/time convergence between two locations and time periods.

In 1950, it took 6.2 hours to travel between A and B. By 2000, this travel time was reduced to 2.6 hours. Consequently, STC is 0.072 hours per year- or 4.32 minutes per year. The value is negative because the time value is being reduced. If the values were positive, a space/time divergence would be observed.

Another way of understanding the concept of time space convergent is to examine the time taken to travel to the same place using different modes of transportation eg-

The shrinking world


By 1970 improvement in air transport saw the development of faster aircraft like the Concorde which would move as fast as 1400 km/hr which is almost twice the speed of sound. The most recent development of road and road transport has led to reduction of road and rail transport has led to a reduction in the time taken to travel between 2 places eg the bullet train can move as fast as 300km/hr and the recent development of the jet car means that in future time-space convergent would take place at a rapid rate.

The Concorde airplane

Even though development in transport has helped reduce the time to travel between 2 places there are still some parts of the world where it is taking time to catch up. Eg. The Amazonian forest of Brazil and the central part of Africa where the road network is bad and the time taken to travel between 2 places is still high

The improvement in transport infrastructure

Air Transport

Improvement in air transport/travel has helped to significantly reduce the friction of distance between two places. This has taken place in two ways:

  1. Planes have been equipped with jet engines, which makes them travel at a speed of 700-800km/hr.
  2. Planes have also been improved in the number of passengers that can be carried within a specific time. This has made it possible for people to travel in their numbers within a shorter period of time. This has also made it possible for goods to be transported in large quantities i.e cargo planes transport perishable goods e.g DHL.
  3. Air travel has also made it possible for the cost of travel to be significantly reduced which makes it possible for large numbers of people to travel.


  1. It is safer as compared to other modes of transport but the sea.
  2. It is faster over long distances.
  3. There is limited congestion compared to road transport.
  4. It is good for transporting valuable items and perishable goods.


  1. Large chunks of land are usually required to construct airport terminals.
  2. High noise and visual pollution in terms of greenhouse pollution
  3. Aircrafts are difficult to build and expensive to maintain
  4. There is no flexibility in routes.

Road Transport

Improvement in road transport over the years has also helped to significantly reduce the friction of distance between places eg the use of fossil fuels to replace coal and steam-powered vehicles has significantly improved the relative speed with which most cars or lorries travel from one place to another, for example, most cars today can travel at 200kn/hr.

Again, the development of bigger cars like buses that can carry as many as 86 passengers have helped to improve the capacity of road transportation thereby reducing the friction of distance.


  1. It is cheaper.
  2. It is cost-effective in terms of maintenance.
  3. It is cheaper over long distance
  4. It is convenient for carrying goods to remote places.


  1. It is limited in terms of the goods it can carry.
  2. It is dangerous compared to air and sea.
  3. It relies heavily on crude oil, which is the number one contributor to greenhouse gases.
  4. Vehicular congestion can sometimes increase the friction of distance/ time-space divergence

Alongside transport improvement in ICT has transformed the way people interact. This has come about as a result of increasing innovation driven by TNCs to expand their market into different parts of the world, breakthroughs in the electronic sectors by researchers such as the development of the internet and telephone (wireless) among many others

Important elements in the growth of ICT

1. Telephone and Telegraph

The first telegraph cables were laid in the 1860s. This replaced a 3-week boat journey with instantaneous communication. The telephone, the telegraph’s successor remained a core technology for communication across distances.

2. Computers and the internet

Developments such as the user-friendly interface technology developed by Microsoft to replace the DOS operating system have led to the development of portable computers such as laptops, iPads, today small hand-held computers are now connected to the internet and this increases the speed with which people communicate with one another

3. Broadband and fibre optics

The emergence of broadband internet has made it possible for large amounts of data to be moved quickly through cyberspace. Today fibre optic cables have been laid in the sea to connect almost every continent to the internet.

4. GIS and GPS

The global positioning system (GPS) satellite was launched in the 1970s and they broadcast data positions continuously throughout the world

Patterns and trends in communication infrastructure and use

ICT has influenced different aspects of globalisation

In terms of political globalization, government websites have been developed to provide information about the various departments and agencies in the country. Social networks have also created awareness of political instabilities in a country. ICT has also been used to create awareness in elections, policies and government proceedings. Due to the development of ICT now online election is able to take time which limits the time taken for the entire election process, and which is also more secure. United Nations and other world organizations have websites that contain databases to educate a global audience on their activities.

In terms of economic globalization, online transactions such as online banking as been made possible due to the development of ICT. Outsourcing is now possible as responsibilities can be extended to other workers in the same line of work but in different places. In Kenya, the use of M-PESA has helped in the transfer of remittances from urban to rural areas. Media can be used to advertise products, especially foreign products in a country

ICT has also contributed to social globalization due to the emergence of social media such as Twitter, snap chat, YouTube, Facebook, etc.

In terms of cultural globalization,

The use of mobile phones in E-banking in developing countries

ICT has helped in the transfer of money i.e. M-PESA in Kenya. Mobile phones have helped farmers in rural areas in many parts of Africa to check the price of goods before marketing their products. Women also secured loans from development banks by using phones to transfer money from and into the bank.

The physical environment and global interactions

The physical environment plays a key role in determining the level of globalization in a country. Countries that have access to natural resources tend to be more globalized than countries that do not have natural resources. However, this is not always the case, as some resource-rich countries are still very poor e.g. DR Congo. On the other hand, some countries are resource-poor, yet their level of globalisation is a very high example, UAE.

How can Resource Availability affect globalization?

  1. Countries rich in resources such as gold, and diamond attract TNCs and foreign direct investment which increases their level of globalization
  2. Countries with large populations tend to have increased globalisation such as China, Indonesia and India
  3.  Coastal countries tend to have higher levels of global interactions, due to foreign ships docking at their harbours
  4. Countries located on flat and fertile lands attract high levels of global interactions. e. g they attract farmers and agricultural workers. This improves globalization.

On the other hand geographic isolation can have a negative impact on the level of globalization

  1. Some land locked countries tend to have lover levels of globalization than coastal countries
  2. Mountainous areas can also suffer lower levels of globalization i.e. the Himalayas which is very difficult to construct roads and settlements limits its level of global interactions.
  3. Remote islands such as Greenland are disconnected from the rest of the world due to the extremely cold temperatures however, islands such as Hawaii are highly globalized