Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Nationalism on the rise

In the immediate aftermath of the 2008 global financial crisis, policy makers’ success in preventing the Great Recession from turning into another Great Depression held in check demands for protectionist and inward-looking measures. But now the backlash against globalisation — and the freer movement of goods, services, capital, labour, and technology has arrived.

This new nationalism takes different economic forms: trade barriers, asset protection, reaction against foreign direct investment, policies favouring domestic workers and firms, anti-immigration measures, state capitalism, and resource nationalism. In the political realm, populist, anti-globalisation, anti-immigration, and in some cases outright racist and anti-Semitic parties are on the rise.

These forces loathe the alphabet soup of supranational governance institutions — the EU, the UN, the WTO, and the IMF, among others — that globalisation requires. 

Even the internet, the epitome of globalisation, is at risk of being balkanised as more authoritarian countries, such as Russia, China, Iran and Turkey, seek to restrict access to social media and crack down on free expression.