Deglobalization and Alternative Futures
This note reviews the evidence that the world is undergoing an era of de-globalization. It shows that available metrics show some support for this theory. However there is also evidence that what is happening might be better described as regionalization. The nature of globalization is also changing with digitalization and a de-linking of globalization and Americanization. The note continues by an examination of four factors which have slowed or else redefined global economic integration in recent years: terrorism, the global financial crisis of 2008/9, the growth of populism; and geopolitical rivalty between China and the United States. The note ends by outlining four alternative future scenarios. They are a return to globalization as known in the past; widespread national autarky as in the 1930s; intensified regionalization with each regional block anchored by a major economic power; and full-scale military conflict replicating the first half of the twentieth century.