Future of Globalization

September 2009 • Volume 3, Issue 9
Is the recession triggering deglobalization?
By Reed Karaim


Indonesian activists in Jakarta protesting policies being discussed at WTO. (AFP/Getty Images)
Indonesian activists in Jakarta protest policies being discussed at World Trade Organization talks in Geneva in July 2008. The eight-year-long negotiations have since stalled because developed countries refuse to significantly cut their farm subsidies, which often hurt farmers in developing countries. (AFP/Getty Images)

Global trade has plummeted in recent months by rates not seen since the Great Depression. This year alone, the World Trade Organization predicts trade will tumble 10 percent, the biggest contraction since World War II. While countries so far have avoided the kind of disastrous trade wars that marked the 1930s, protectionist measures and nationalist sentiments are rising across the globe, reflected in the original “Buy American” provision of the U.S. government's economic stimulus package. Clearly, globalization, so recently hailed in books like Thomas Friedman's best-selling The World Is Flat, has stalled. Some economic historians even believe the world is entering an era of “deglobalization,” with nations turning inward economically and culturally, which could lead to a dangerous increase in international tensions. Other analysts say the economic, technological and social ties that bind nations to each other have grown so strong that globalization is an irreversible phenomenon that will help the global economy recover.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
World Trade
Dec. 09, 2022  International Sanctions
Apr. 2010  Evaluating Microfinance
Sep. 2009  Future of Globalization
Jul. 2009  Fixing Capitalism
May 18, 2007  Fair Trade Labeling
Sep. 28, 2001  Globalization Backlash
Jun. 09, 2000  World Trade
Jan. 29, 1999  International Monetary Fund
May 29, 1987  Third World Debt
Jun. 22, 1984  Bretton Woods Forty Years Later
Jan. 21, 1983  World Debt Crisis
Apr. 18, 1975  World Financing Under Stress
Sep. 08, 1971  World Money Crisis
Jul. 30, 1969  International Development Financing
Mar. 11, 1964  World Trade Parleys
May 23, 1962  Farm Products in World Trade
Apr. 27, 1945  Bretton Woods Agreements
Oct. 05, 1932  World Trade, Tariffs, and War Debts
General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)