Working Papers

F. Traù: Globalization and History

The Globalization Age is now behind us. It is not a question of the eclipse of an articulated trading system on a global scale (international economic integration is destined to remain high in the years to come), but of the fact that a real world order - hinged on multilateralism and the liberalization of trade – has now dissipated. Many endogenous factors have acted on this transition, making “distance” relevant again (distance that has turned out to be far from dead, contrary to what had been asserted for a long time), as well as two exogenous shocks (first the Covid pandemic and then the Russo-Ukrainian War) that significantly increased the option value of recourse to national resources and opened a phase of great uncertainty in the relations between the various economic systems.

With this discontinuity it is worth asking the question – mostly evaded – of how much the affirmation of the Globalization Age has been conditioned since its inception by assumptions of a geopolitical order, rather than an economic one; and how much this can constitute an important – if not decisive – component of its subsequent decline. Said explicitly: if at the beginning of the 1990s the geopolitical conditions had not been what they were, would globalization have manifested itself in the way we have known?

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