The Unflattening Of The World: Challenges to Globalisation 4.0
More than a decade ago when Thomas Friedman published his pathbreaking treatise "The World is Flat", there were few dissenting voices. Gobalisation 3.0 as Friedman referred to it, was happening independent of governments and corporations, driven by technology which connected people across vast data networks. In the intervening years since the publication of the book, technology has advanced unhindered but the concept of and benefits related to globalisation are coming increasingly under fire from a broad section of society. While there are similar technological, political, economic and societal changes at play at a global level, the response to such changes has been insular rather than cooperative. This has been caused largely by the increasing inequality and insecurity caused by globalisation. As a result, a belief has gained currency that the economy of one country can prosper at the expense of others and that one can exclude others from our markets while enjoying unfettered access to theirs. The growth of such thinking amongst leadership of some of the flag-bearers of globalisation and open markets is a cause for worry. In the long-term protectionism can lead to wealth denudation and international tensions at a scale not seen before. At the same time proponents of globalisation must work to ensure that the benefits of globalisation are much more equitable and inclusive. This will mean that existing mechanisms will have to be re-evaluated and public institutions will need to take a more holistic view on spending priorities. In the absence of a holistic equitable framework for globalisation, economic nationalism will take root and prosper and the promise of a brave new world will remain unfulfilled.
Prof. Raghuram Rajan
Prof. Robert J Shiller