Be it resolved, the Ukraine War has accelerated the rollback of globalization.
The end of the Cold War marked the beginning of a new, interdependent world. Growing global consensus around trade rules, technology transfers, mass migration and investment ushered in a wave of globalization that was championed as the most effective means of bringing prosperity and stability to big and small countries. Yet lately, a slew of anti-globalization movements have led to a marked decrease in world trade. Some economists predict that the war between Russia and Ukraine will only accelerate the decline of globalization. With supply chains already fractured due to the pandemic and climate change, the war will remind many developed nations that they cannot rely on foreign countries for badly needed resources like wheat or natural gas. China, one of the world’s biggest exporters of goods, will likewise see the economic isolation of Russia as a reason to become more independent and protect itself from being vulnerable to similar economic sanctions in the future.
Others take a more optimistic view about the future of globalization; with all the comparisons to the 1970’s and sustained inflation, many forget that it was a decade that paved the way for a sustained expansion of trade and international migration. And the best way to deal with inflation, these experts argue, is to open economies and increase the flow of goods. The future will see more, not less, economic interdependence, cooperation, and globalization.
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