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The primary purpose of this essay was to address globalization in light of Stephen King’s claims that the new globalization regime has led to a downturn in integration and collaboration in favor of long-term cooperation (King, 2017). The essay stressed recent world developments that showed that the foundations of modern-day globalization remained intact. In a nutshell, the article argued that populism had helped the revival of imperialism at the cost of globalization. Some of the notable examples that were advanced by Stephen King in defense of his argument included the Brexit referendum in 2015 that effectively initiated the process of withdrawing the United Kingdom from the European Union. Another notable example was the US presidential elections in 2016 that culminated in the election of Donald Trump whose nationalist policies such as “America first” threatened the very foundations of the globalization regime. Notably, the UK and US skepticism of globalization was informed by the deteriorating social conditions such as widespread unemployment that was attributed to the outsourcing of manufacturing to Asia (Nabi, 2016).

Literature Review

The need to counter King’s assertions was informed by various considerations. The key argument was that globalization efforts were unpromising based on the recent events in the US and the UK; such a view was precarious because the two countries were not representative of the global economy. Currently, there are close to 200 countries and territories around the world. The 2016 global connection index (an accurate measure of globalization based on the flow of goods and services) undertaken by DHL illustrated that global connectedness was projected to grow in the medium term. Additionally, the survey established that negative sentiments towards globalization were mainly concentrated in the US and the UK (DHL, 2016).

Trump’s Election and the Brexit Referendum

Despite the previous aspersions that proponents of globalization had towards Donald Trump’s presidency, empirical evidence and observations based on his first year in office had illustrated that he did not pose a threat to globalization. The view was justified based on the fact that Trump was a hardcore capitalist who understood the merits of open markets given the fact that his companies had greatly benefited from the global order. Therefore, it was deduced that Trump’s ultra-nationalistic policies during the campaign period were purely for the purposes of winning the elections.

Any attempts by the US to interfere with the globalization regime would adversely affect world markets and in turn, affect the growth of its economy because manufacturing exports were a key foreign exchange earner. Besides, most of the emerging economies had the power to retaliate by initiating trade wars (Chandy & Seidel, 2016). Notably, the Brexit referendum was won based on misinformation; thus, policies adopted post-Brexit were highly likely to result in economic disintegration rather than integration.

After Trump’s election, China stepped in to fill in the void left by the US. In 2017, Chinese President reiterated that China was willing to become the custodian of globalization in the absence of the US. According to the Financial Times, “Globalization was marching on without Trump” (Donnan, 2017). Starting from the 1970s, when China initiated economic reforms, it had transformed itself into an ardent defender of the open market system (Wasserstrom, 2014). Despite the resolve to withdraw from the Eurozone, other countries within the Union had resolved to remain in the EU based on the experiences of the UK post-Brexit. For instance, the UK had increasingly found it difficult to actualize the withdrawal because other countries in the EU were no longer willing to provide preferential trade pacts (Santosdiaz, 2017).

A report by the Center for European Reform argued that Brexit would not significantly affect the social, economic, and political integration of the Union. A case in point, it was noted that EU’s economic integration based on the Common Markets Union would progress even without UK’s input. Besides, it was also projected that UK’s withdrawal would automatically transform Germany into EU’s leader while the UK would be forced to renegotiate its trade pacts with the EU (Bond et al., 2016). Recently, German leaders such as Michael Schultz had proposed the actualization of a United States of Europe (Donahue & Jennen, 2017), a concept that had initially been envisaged by Winston Churchill.

Global Trade Partnerships

The growing trade under the Transatlantic Partnership and the Association of South East China countries were a clear testament to the fact that globalization had resulted into better cooperation and integration in Asia compared to the US (European Commission, 2017). Similar observations were made by (Athukorala, 2011) who noted that the level of economic integration and cooperation within countries in the Far East was more robust compared to other regions. In Africa, institutions that had been established to advance economic integration and cooperation such as COMESA, SADC and the EAC had attained commendable progress in economic integration among the member countries (Mayda & Steinberg, 2009).

Based on the current trends, it was noted that Stephen King’s argument was not valid because it was premised on events that occurred in two countries and it did not take into consideration the growing integration efforts in other countries around the world. The EU region, Africa, and Asia had experienced a consistent growth in economic and social integration because of globalization. It was of note that Asian countries were able to exploit the opportunities availed by globalization to create sustainable growth in economic and political institutions.

According to Evans (2009), the only feasible alternative to the current globalization regime was the adoption of a counter-hegemonic globalization – a variant of the current globalization order that emphasized on the advancement of national human resources and protection of the environment. Therefore, despite the significant inadequacies of the globalization order, the system was irreplaceable.

Conclusion

The findings presented in the current essay illustrated that the current globalization regime had mediated economic integration and cooperation in Europe, Africa, Asia, and the US. It was also noted that the skepticism towards globalization in the US and the UK was catalyzed by the lack of robust structures to counter the domino effects of globalization, especially in the labor sector. Despite the concerns emanating from Trump’s campaign rhetoric and the purported benefits to the UK after withdrawing from the EU, China and Germany were willing to be the new custodians of the globalization regime. In brief, globalization had positively contributed to the global economy and mediated economic integration in both developed and developing countries. Nonetheless, it was noted that globalization had fundamental limitations such as the skewed distribution of labor and resources. Nonetheless, the world was on course to sustainable political and economic integration with the exception of the isolated events in the US and UK.

References

Athukorala, P. (2011). Production Networks and Trade Patterns in East Asia: Regionalization or Globalization? Asian Economic Papers, 10(1), 65–95.

Bond, I., Besch, S., Gostyńska-Jakubowska, A., Korteweg, R., Mortera-Martinez, C., & Tilford, S. (2016). Europe after Brexit Unleashed or undone? Retrieved from https://www.cer.org.uk/sites/default/files/pb_euafterBrexit_15april16.pdf

Chandy, L., & Seidel, B. (2016). Donald Trump and the future of globalization. Retrieved December 10, 2017, from https://www.brookings.edu/blog/up-front/2016/11/18/donald-trump-and-the-future-of-globalization/

DHL. (2016). DHL Global Connectedness Index 2016.

Donahue, P., & Jennen, B. (2017). Schulz’s “United States of Europe” Proposal Unites Everyone Against Him. Retrieved December 10, 2017, from https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-12-07/schulz-s-united-states-of-europe-proposal-unites-all-against-him

Donnan, S. (2017). Globalisation marches on without Trump. Retrieved December 10, 2017, from https://www.ft.com/content/d81ca8cc-bfdd-11e7-b8a3-38a6e068f464

European Commission. (2017). Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN). Retrieved December 10, 2017, from http://ec.europa.eu/trade/policy/countries-and-regions/regions/asean/

Evans, P. (2009). Is an Alternative Globalization Possible? (IRLE No. WP 2009-03).

King, S. D. (2017). Grave New World: The End of Globalization, the Return of History. Yale University Press.

Mayda, A. M., & Steinberg, C. (2009). Do South-South trade agreements increase trade? Commodity-level evidence from COMESA. Canadian Journal of Economics, 42(4), 1361–1389. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-5982.2009.01548.x

Nabi, I. (2016). Globalization: What the West can learn from Asia. Retrieved December 10, 2017, from https://www.brookings.edu/blog/future-development/2016/06/30/globalization-what-the-west-can-learn-from-asia/

Santosdiaz, R. (2017). Will Trump’s America And A Post-Brexit UK Benefit From A Future Free Trade Agreement? Retrieved December 10, 2017, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/2017/12/05/will-trumps-america-and-a-post-brexit-uk-benefit-from-a-future-free-trade-agreement/#1cf1692f23dd

Wasserstrom, J. (2014). China & Globalization. Daedalus, 143(2), 157–169.

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