The Future of Globalization

Hirst, Paul and Thompson, Grahame (2002). The Future of Globalization. Cooperation and Conflict, 37(3) pp. 247–265.




This article considers the future of 'globalization', conceived here as processes promoting international interconnectedness. Three questions are examined. First, is contemporary globalization unusual compared to past episodes such as 1850-1914? Then there was rapid growth in trade, capital flows and migration comparable to or greater than today. There was also a policy backlash and the widespread adoption of protectionist policies. Second, are contemporary globalization processes undermining national economies and thus hollowing out states? On the contrary, the major states are reinforced in their role of international actors. However, both the global economy and national governments will face crucial challenges during this century, the chief of which is climate change. Such changes will tend to foster conflict and thus reinforce the role of the state, but in a context where governance at every level will be harder to achieve. Third, is economic globalization likely to increase or decrease? Evidence about the effects of borders and the limits to trade expansion are presented, which indicate that we could be close to the limits of feasible globalization.

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