"The deep integration of the 1990s and 2000s was not inevitable and nor may it prove irreversible"by Duncan Weldon / May 17, 2017 / Leave a comment
Grave New World: The End of Globalization, the Return of History, by Stephen D King (Yale University Press, £20)
In the three decades or so until 2008, the global economy became much more integrated as services, goods, people and capital crossed borders at an ever increasing rate.
The vast majority of economists and most mainstream politicians saw this as inevitable and almost irreversible. Today, though, things look rather different. The election of President Donald Trump on an “America First” platform, Britain’s vote to leave the EU and the rise of populist, anti-globalisation forces on both the left and the right have put into question the future of the world economy.
Stephen King, a Senior Economic Adviser to HSBC, has written a timely book called Grave New World, which is an excellent guide to this new global landscape. The combination of up to the minute economic analysis with a long look back at the lessons of economic history is written in an easy to follow and (mostly) jargon free manner.
King argues that the globalisation of the past few decades could easily be reversed. The division of the spoils from globalisation, both within and between countries, has been far from equal.
Western policymakers have rested on their laurels for too long, putting their faith in markets and technology and ignoring growing concerns about a lack of democratic accountability in global governance and the impact of rising inequality.
The history of the global economy, as the book clearly sets out, is a series of episodes of globalisation followed by deglobalisation. The deep integration of the 1990s and 2000s was not inevitable and nor may it prove irreversible.