The Need for De-globalization

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    In Context

    • Worries about the inadequacies of global governance and weakening multilateralism have heightened in recent years.

    About Globalization

    • Globalization is the word that describes the growing interdependence of the world’s economies, cultures, and populations, brought about by cross-border trade in goods and services, technology, and flows of investment, people, and information. 
    • Countries have built economic partnerships to facilitate these movements over many centuries. 
      • The wide-ranging effects of globalization are complex and politically charged. As with major technological advances, globalization benefits society as a whole, while harming certain groups.

    The Benefits of Globalization

    • Economic benefits:
      • The most visible impacts of globalization are definitely the ones affecting the economic world. 
      • This acceleration of economic exchanges has led to strong global economic growth. 
      • It fostered as well a rapid global industrial development that allowed the rapid development of many of the technologies and commodities we have available nowadays.
    • Cultural benefits:
      • The multiplication of economic and financial exchanges has been followed by an increase in human exchanges such as migration, expatriation or traveling. These human exchanges have contributed to the development of cultural exchanges. 
      • This means that different customs and habits shared among local communities have been shared among communities that (used to) have different procedures and even different beliefs. 
      • At the same time, books, movies, and music are now instantaneously available all around the world thanks to the development of the digital world and the power of the internet.

    The Negative Effects of Globalization 

    • Disappearing cultures:
      • Apart from all the benefits globalization has had on allowing cultural exchanges it also homogenized the world’s cultures. 
      • That’s why specific cultural characteristics from some countries are disappearing.
      • From languages to traditions or even specific industries. That’s why according to UNESCO, the mix between the benefits of globalization and the protection of local culture’s uniqueness requires a careful approach.
    • Rising inequalities:
      • The consequences of globalization are far from homogeneous: income inequalities, disproportional wealth and trades that benefit parties differently. 
      • In the end, one of the criticisms is that some actors (countries, companies, individuals) benefit more from the phenomena of globalization, while others are sometimes perceived as the “losers” of globalization
      • As a matter of fact, a recent report from Oxfam says that 82% of the world’s generated wealth goes to 1% of the population.
    • Environmental pollution:
      • Many critics have also pointed out that globalization has negative effects on the environment. 
      • Thus, the massive development of transport that has been the basis of globalization is also responsible for serious environmental problems such as greenhouse gas emissions, global warming or air pollution.
      • At the same time, global economic growth and industrial productivity are both the driving force and the major consequences of globalization. 
        • They also have big environmental consequences as they contribute to the depletion of natural resources, deforestation and the destruction of ecosystems and loss of biodiversity. 
      • The worldwide distribution of goods is also creating a big garbage problem, especially on what concerns plastic pollution.

    The need for de-globalization

    • What is de-globalization?
      • Deglobalization is a movement towards a less connected world, characterized by powerful nation states, local solutions, and border controls rather than global institutions, treaties, and free movement.
    • Unilateral approaches:
      • Unilateral approaches have dominated trade, industrial policies, and the climate transition
      • It is often advocated that, In a world in which national governments focused on their own sustainable prosperity and social cohesion, the global economy would do just fine. 
      • Upon closer scrutiny, the case for global economic governance turns out to be considerably weaker than is commonly presupposed.
    • Economic interconnectedness & global cooperation:
      • We live in a world that is economically interconnected, goes the usual argument. What one country does often affects others
        • If governments do not coordinate their policies and reach agreement on common rules, these spillovers could leave everyone worse off. 
      • The mere existence of spillovers may not be an adequate justification for global coordination. 
      • In the overwhelming majority of cases where economic policies generate cross-border spillovers, national governments legitimately retain full autonomy—with little apparent detriment to the world economy.
    • Limits on national policy autonomy:
      • Too many limits on national policy autonomy can also produce a backlash against the global economy. 
      • One consequence of the erosion of national sovereignty under hyper-globalization was an increase in economic anxiety and the sense of a loss of control among many citizens.

    Way ahead

    • When governments pursue more inclusive economic, social, and environmental agendas, they provide a further benefit to the world economy. 
    • Well-governed economies where prosperity is widely shared are more likely to welcome expanded international trade, investment and immigration.
    • As economics teaches, it is the home economy that reaps the bulk of the benefits from openness to the world economy, provided the benefits are distributed equitably. When countries help themselves, they help the global economy. 

     

    Daily Mains Question

    [Q] When countries help themselves, they help the global economy. Analyse in the context of inadequacies of global governance and rising advocacy for de-globalization.