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HomeGlobal Perspective & Critical ResearchDeglobalization and Its Discontents

Deglobalization and Its Discontents

Author: Richard N. Haass

Affiliation: The Council on Foreign Relations

Organization/Publisher: Project Syndicate

Date/Place: May 12, 2020/ USA

Type of Literature: Analysis/Commentary 

Word Count: 1000


Keywords: Deglobalization, Threats of Globalization, Collective Action 


Great powers’ competitions and how well (or not) they were managed shaped a great deal of history in the past few centuries. Globalization has been a crucial feature of today’s world, increasing and deepening worldwide interconnectivity through rising trans-border movement of people, goods and services, drugs, technologies, terrorists, weapons, finance, and pandemic viruses (both biological and cyber). Most of the time, governments viewed globalization as a net benefit and facilitated its course. However, globalization can be destructive as well as constructive. In recent years, the hitherto optimistic views held towards globalization have been changed as an increasing number of governments and people around the world start to view it with suspicion, or as a net risk, especially in reference to global challenges: climate change, pandemics diseases, and terrorism, all of which have been exacerbated by globalization. Globalization also hosts critics in other areas—often supported by sophisticated explanations—including trade imbalance and financial flows, the easy spread of information as a source of instability, cyber-attacks, and nuclear proliferation. All these have led towards shifting to deglobalization, a process of diminishing global interaction and interdependence. However, deglobalization is not a phenomenon without costs and limits. For example, blocking imports can bring inflation, create import restrictions from other partners, reduce consumer choice, slow the pace or otherwise repress innovation, and blocking people’s movement prevents skilled human powers and needed workers from contributing to economies of the host nations. Collective action and governance (not necessarily government) is the effective way to respond to the risks and threats of globalization as no single country can self-secure. Globalization is not a burden for governments to bear; rather, it is a reality to be managed. 

By: Jemal Muhamed, CIGA Research Associate



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