The End of Globalization?

containershipsAn interesting short video clip from CNN’s Fareed Zakaria GPS asks whether we are witnessing the “end of globalization”?

For much of the last thirty years there has been a steady trend in commerce: global trade has expanded at about twice the pace of the global economy. For example, between 1988 and 2007, global trade grew on average by 6.2 percent a year according to the World Trade Organization. During the same period, the world’s GDP was growing at nearly half that pace: 3.7 percent.

But a strange thing has taken place in the last two years. Growth in global trade has dropped dramatically, to even less than GDP growth. The change leaves one wondering: has the incredible transfer of goods around the world reached some sort of pinnacle? Have we exhausted the drive toward ever-more-globalization?

It’s an interesting question, and likely one without a clear or easy answer. More broadly, I wonder what the end of globalization might even look like? While there is certainly a trend towards the local (just look at all the local food movements), can we envision a world without significantly high levels of global exchange? Just think of all the ways we are connected globally in our daily lives, and ask yourself, what like would look like without all those things?

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One response to “The End of Globalization?

  1. Personally I believe that measuring the “end of globalization” only by the economic or goods exchange looks quite reductionist, doesn´t it? Globalization encompasses form political inter-dependence to shared social or ecological claims, cultural standarization, just to name a few.
    In the other hand, I imagine that living in a finite world and taking into account the huge growth rates all along last century, it sounds like commerce needed a break, which wouldnt mean that the process of globalization is over.
    Thank you for your blog, and sorry for my syntax mistakes! 😉

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