The economic, political and cultural manifestations of globalisation are distinguishable from its underlying causes. The definition of globalisation used in this paper focuses on 'the reduction of obstacles to trade'. A function of both economic policy and technological advance, trade barriers, financial regulations and cross-border communications have been liberalised. These are contributing to change in the composition, control and locus of livelihoods, the skill requirements of livelihoods, and life chances and social mobility of livelihood seekers more generally. Educational qualifications and assessments mediate livelihood creation and livelihood seeking, to different degrees in different contexts. The role of assessment in the certification and selection for jobs interacts with economic globalisation in two main ways. The first is through the impact of globalisation on the composition and volume of livelihoods and the demand of both livelihood creators and livelihood seekers for qualifications. The second is through the reduction of trade and communication barriers on the internationalisation and commercialisation of the assessment and qualification business. The paper concludes with a research agenda that explores these two strands and emphasises the interactions between global, national and local contexts and influences.
Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy & Practice (2000) 7 (3) 299-312