Western Myths of globalisation


It may be worthwhile to stand back and reflect a little on the term ‘globalisation’.

One view would be:

Globalisation refers to the integration of markets in the global economy, leading to the increased interconnectedness of national economies. Markets where globalisation is particularly significant include financial markets, such as capital markets, money and credit markets, and insurance markets, commodity markets, including markets for oil, coffee, tin, and gold, and product markets, such as markets for motor vehicles and consumer electronics. ‘


A deeper view from the Peterson Institute would be:

Globalization is the word used to describe the growing interdependence of the world’s economies, cultures, and populations, brought about by cross-border trade in goods and services, technology, and flows of investment, people, and information. Countries have built economic partnerships to facilitate these movements over many centuries. But the term gained popularity after the Cold War in the early 1990s, as these cooperative arrangements shaped modern everyday life. This guide uses the term more narrowly to refer to international trade and some of the investment flows among advanced economies, mostly focusing on the United States.


This view from Peterson is far more subtle and hints at the truth i.e. It all depends where one is looking from.

In reality, what the Western scholars call globalisation is merely globalisation with Europe at the centre. There always was globalisation, merely that Europe was not at the centre. From Beijing to Manchester the Old Silk Road was an extensive form of trade globalisation. Ghengis Khan introduced a considerable form of political globalisation that brought greater safety and stability to the Old Silk Road. Today when the centre of globalisation is moving away from the US and Europe the cry goes up about the decline of globalisation!

Under the heading: ‘INSIGHT: Pandemic could accelerate the decline of globalisation’ Tom Brown writes: ‘The onset of the coronavirus pandemic has hastened the change from a globalised world order towards more regional systems of trade, amid a near-collapse of global travel and heavy challenges for supply chains, according to a partner of the World Economic Forum (WEF). ……We are already seeing the impact of that shift towards a more regional focus in shipping rates, which have multiplied on strong demand from a resurgent Asia and weaker demand from a Europe still languishing in the pandemic, leading to boats travelling routes empty or traders declining to travel to Europe at all.’


Here, more or less in one’s face, he is saying that any decline in the importance of Europe is a decline in globalisation and a return to regionalism. Read it carefully: ‘traders declining to travel to Europe at all’ even if as they are based in S E Asia they increase their travels to South America, West Asia and Africa, this constitutes a decline in globalisation!!! Globalisation is here to stay and has been for a while. Europe and US may no longer be the fulcrum. And so?