There is a clear sense that collectively we have spent 20 years building a system that can’t really last. Financial market volatility, personal and government debt and rising inequality are not the canaries in the global economic coal mine. They are the coal mine itself.
This week the Institute of Public Policy Research, a British think tank, is publishing the report of a year-long review of globalisation, which I have led. It argues that, like our model of capitalism itself, globalisation is not working in the way it can and should in progressive societies. It also makes the case that globalisation remains one of the best tools we have to achieve those progressive goals at the global level as long as we have the right policies to guide it.
Capitalism’s ability to adapt and reinvent itself is its greatest strength. The same is true of globalisation. There are few who would argue that the status quo ante of the last decade is tenable. Preserving the benefits that come with open global markets for ideas, trade and investment means acting now to reduce the risk in those markets and better share the benefits they bring to our own economies. The IPPR’s case is absolutely right: the complicated reality is that for global prosperity, like capitalism, globalisation is both the problem and the solution. Globalisation is dead. Long live globalisation. Read more