Jayshree Sengupta discusses the fate of globalisation, contrasting the expansion of global trade from the 1800s to the twentieth century post-War era, with more recent roadblocks like the drop in cross-border financial capital movement since 2009, the stalled WTO Doha round, and the protectionist sentiment surrounding the election of Trump and the Brexit referendum in the UK. She pays particular attention to the rise of regionalism and prospects for India and China, arguing the globalisation is likely to continue in a new form, with the world possibly moving towards an Asian century.
The main theme of 2017’s conference in Davos, Switzerland, is globalisation, a theme that has been zealously advocated by developed countries. But today globalisation is under threat, according to reports from Davos 2017, and the defender of globalisation is none other than Chinese President Xi Jinping.
With Brexit in Europe, as well as United States President Donald Trump’s vehement objections to outsourcing by American manufacturers, there has been much recent discussion about the fate of globalisation. For instance, is it going to be reversed in the next few years and will the US and other developed countries retreat behind protectionist walls? Globalisation has benefited the rich and the top layers of society in most countries. In the past few years, and especially after the global financial crisis of 2008, however, much has been written about rising inequalities between and within countries. Recently, Oxfam reported that just eight men from the industrialised world had more wealth than half of the global population, which is equal to more than 3.6 billion people. Rising inequality of incomes between regions in Britain and between the rich and the middle classes, as well as the perception that immigrants are taking away all the new jobs, led to the Brexit referendum in June 2016. It is yet to be seen whether Brexit will solve Britain’s economic and social problems.
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