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The Death of Globalization

2019.09

요약

프린스턴대 경제학 교수 오설리반은 세계화의 시대는 이미 저물었다고 말한다. 20세기 제도와 국제기구들도 그 기능을 잃어가고 있다. 앞으로는 미국, 유럽연합, 중국 주도의 아시아 등 3축의 다극화 세계가 펼쳐질 것이며, 러시아, 호주 등 중간 크기 국가들은 합종연횡을 통해 자신들의 위치를 확보하려 노력할 것이다. 물론 그 과정에서 새로운 국가 간 동맹이 출현할 가능성도 있다고 전문가들은 말한다. 오설리반 교수는 세계화 시대가 막을 내린 이유를 두 가지로 요약했다. 첫 번째는 경기침체가 장기화하면서 쇠락하는 경제를 전 세계 정부가 양적 완화로 지탱하다 보니 국제금융 분야만 커지고 있기 때문이며, 두 번째는 국제금융의 확대가 돈의 흐름에 관한 국경을 무너뜨려 국가 간의 불균형과 계층 간의 불평등이 확대되기 때문이라는 의견이다. 이런 갈등과 문제점들을 해결할 국제적 기구가 없다 보니 세계화는 파국을 맞을 수밖에 없는 것이다.


Globalization is dead, according to Michael O’Sullivan, a former investment banker and economist at Princeton University. With globalization dead, he argues that a new world order is needed, and that we should be setting our minds on the emerging multipolar world. Multipolarity is the distribution of power and military, cultural, and economic influence to more than two nations; and it is right at our doorstep.

Globalization focuses on countries coming together to create one large sphere where everyone is included. Globalization is usually further broken down into subcategories of political globalization, social globalization, and arguably most importantly, economic globalization. It was an unavoidable phenomenon that made the world smaller by increasing the exchange between different countries, whether it was an exchange of goods and services, knowledge and information, or even cultures.

But now, O’Sullivan argues that globalization is already behind us. He states that the multipolar world we are reaching will be dominated by at least three large regions, which will most likely be the United States of America, the European Union, and Asia, with China playing the leading role. Instead of the exchanges we experienced with globalization, we will see the three large regions taking very different approaches to all spheres of life, including economic policy, warfare, technology, and society. This will cause mid-sized countries such as Japan, Britain, and Russia to have difficulty finding their place and status in this new world. Coalitions or alliances are likely to emerge between small but advanced countries. Global institutions such as the World Bank, the World Trade Organization, and the International Monetary Fund will become obsolete and will no longer exist.

How did this happen? O’Sullivan puts the blame on two things. The first is the decrease in global economic growth. Global economic growth has become “financialized”, meaning global debt has increased. The second is the side effects of globalization have become more clearly visible. These side effects include the dominance of multinationals, wealth inequality, and the dispersion of global supply chains. In addition, apart from global institutions such as the ones previously mentioned, there is no central authority that governs over the entire world and monitors globalization. O’Sullivan argues that the poor and inconclusive response to the global financial crisis in 2008 marked the end of globalization.

O’Sullivan believes that multipolarity was merely a theoretical concept until 2018, but is now something we are beginning to witness more and more. Advances in technology and tensions in trade and politics are splitting the world into a number of distinct regions. Things will continue to be done differently based on the region of the world. What does this entail? One can assume this will only lead to more friction and discord. The path toward multipolarity will not be a smooth transition, but it is argued to be inevitable.