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Globalization Futures

Author: Guy M. Robinson

Affiliation: The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia

Organization/Publisher: Research in Globalization

Date/Place: Dec, 2023/NM 

Type of Literature: Journal Article 

Number of Pages: 8

Link: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.resglo.2023.100146 

 

Keywords: Covid-19, Protectionism, Russia–Ukraine conflict, Regionalization, New World Order

 

Brief:

This article argues against premature claims of the death of globalization, while still acknowledging the emergence of post-globalization trends. It highlights challenges to established world trade, international relations, and the global order, emphasizing the impact of recent events like the Covid-19 pandemic and the Russia–Ukraine conflict. The pandemic exposed vulnerabilities in globalization, revealing delays in medical supply chains and a shift toward national responses over global coordination. The invasion of a sovereign European nation by another prompts questions about the existing world order, suggesting increased regional political groupings and challenges to the rules-based order underlying globalization. The paper concludes by proposing the Research in Globalization platform in order to capture new research and diverse contributions on globalization’s demise, reshaping, or transformation, suggesting potential future research foci.


  • Introduction: The Demise of Gobalization? 

Robinson discusses the impact of media, specialized links, and digital trends like TikTok on the globalized digital economy, accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. He explores the symbiotic relationship and interplay between the local and global, questioning how this dynamic evolves as globalization retreats. The discussion addresses the significance of global culture and the evolving nature of globalization in local contexts. The paper challenges claims of globalization’s demise and suggests an agenda for future research in globalization, drawing on lessons from history and considering ongoing challenges to the trajectory of globalization.

 

  1. Responding to the Covid-19 Pandemic:

This section discusses how O’Sullivan’s book, published before the Covid-19 outbreak, explores the pandemic’s impact on globalization. It highlights how the interconnectedness of a globalized world facilitated the virus’s spread. The immediate economic threats due to lockdowns disrupted production, supply chains, and significantly impacted the informal economy. The pandemic exposed vulnerabilities in global health governance and supply chains, with winners and losers in different countries. Covid’s long-term consequences of on globalization include increased inequalities, populism, nationalism, and rising protectionism. Some argue that the pandemic weakened globalization, while others see it as an opportunity for a global reset, shifting economic power to Asia. The varied responses to the Covid-19 pandemic and the uncertainty in international relations may influence protectionist tendencies in the future. The text concludes with different perspectives on the post-Covid world, ranging from the need for global solidarity to address sustainability concerns to the challenges in reaching a harmonized global response. 

The article also discusses the impact of Covid-19 on the travel and tourism industry, highlighting its various effects on different countries. Portugal’s nature tourism, less reliant on international tourists, suffered a milder impact. The Balearics experienced a transformation in tourism, moving away from traditional sun-and-beach tourism. Similar changes have been noted in Croatia, focusing on ‘slow’ tourism and escapism. It emphasizes the importance of reviving tourism in the post-Covid period for economic growth, with positive impacts on services, agriculture, and employment. Some countries, particularly small island developing states, are highly vulnerable to the loss of tourism revenues. The pandemic has led to a more regionally fragmented global economy, impacting globalization with expected long-term effects on inequality and economic gaps between the Global North and South. The article also highlights the asymmetric experiences within countries, such as the digital divide, and discusses differing views on global development paths. It notes the potentially severe economic consequences of the pandemic, with a gloomy outlook for exports. It further acknowledges the unpredictability of global events, citing the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 as an unforeseen factor.

 

  1. The Russia–Ukraine Conflict:

In this section, the author discusses the impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on globalization. The conflict has led to reduced global economic growth forecasts, increased costs due to refugees and sanctions, and disruptions to global food supplies, particularly from Ukraine and Russia. The text notes how this contradicts the popular belief that economic interconnectedness fosters peace, citing the ongoing military build-ups by China and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. It suggests that some aspects of globalization contribute to unstable international relations, exemplified by companies suspending operations in Russia. The conflict’s immediate effects include major price rises in commodities, affecting inflation and sparking strikes in the UK. The geopolitical landscape is evolving, with potential economic divisions mirroring political divisions. The text explores how China’s policies, such as the Belt and Road Initiative, may impact globalization, with the possibility of a bipolar world order emerging. The ongoing conflict is expected to lower global economic growth and increase inflation, with repercussions on commodity production. The text also discusses obstacles to the Belt and Road Initiative and potential pushback from Western countries. The article considers the impact of the conflict on China’s role in globalization, with China facing major challenges, such as economic decline and an aging population, despite being a major beneficiary of globalization.

 

  1. An Agenda for Research in Globalization:

The article explores three possible scenarios for globalization amid the Covid pandemic: a backlash with restrictions and growing authoritarianism, a re-emergence of neo-liberalism (Globalization 4.0), and a standoff between nationalism and market globalism. It advocates for new, inclusive, and sustainable solutions guided by ethical globalism. The author discusses the impact of technology, exemplified by concerns over Huawei and TikTok, highlighting potential barriers in high-tech areas. He examines global migration challenges, the significance of regional economic groupings, and the dominance of three mega-regions. The text anticipates that Research in Globalization will focus on regional issues, expanding beyond Africa to Latin America and the Caribbean. It emphasizes the need to explore China’s evolving role, India’s influence, and the impact of climate change policies on global trade. He notes the governance shift, exemplified by outsourcing policy implementation, with an emphasis on studying global responses to climate change and the UN’s sustainable development goals. It highlights the relationship between globalization and sustainability, regional polarity, and the potential decline of global collaboration forums, posing questions about the future of transnational governance and green movements in a more segmented world. The text suggests opportunities for special issues addressing these evolving dynamics.

 

Conclusion:

The conclusion explores the impact of technology on globalization, particularly the role of the internet in creating a borderless world. It highlights the influence of emerging digital phenomena, especially among those under thirty, questioning how this aspect shapes lives and fosters global connections. The author anticipates examining the next wave of technological advancements and their profound effects on human behavior. The text notes the widespread familiarity with mobile phones, online information access, and seamless computer-mediated interactions, prompting speculation about the future and their potential positive and negative impacts. Overall, the author emphasizes the rich analytical territory of papers covering the comprehensive relationship between transformative technology and human society.

 

By: Nabil Kahlouche, CIGA Strategic Researcher

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