The Economics and Ideology of Free Trade

The Economics and Ideology of Free Trade

An Historical Review

Leonard Gomes

The Economics and Ideology of Free Trade makes an important contribution to the debate on globalization by providing much needed intellectual and historical perspective on the issue of Free Trade versus Protection.

Chapter 9: Reflections on Globalization

Leonard Gomes

Subjects: economics and finance, economic psychology, history of economic thought, international economics


9. Reflections on globalisation Globalisation – the buzzword of our age – is a hot topic of debate and controversy among academics, politicians and in the media, which started with the collapse of the Soviet system in 1989. Globalisation, in its economic aspects, refers to cross-border economic integration characterised by increases in flows of goods, capital, and information, as well as labour mobility among countries. As an active global force it is multidimensional and wide ranging and by no means limited to the economic sphere. Apart from its connection with increased international trade and capital flows, globalisation refers also to the increasing speed, ease and extent with which technologies, people, cultures and ideas now cross national borders. It is altering the lives of people across the globe and affecting their culture and values, producing in its wake what some refer to as a ‘global culture’. In this chapter we deal only with the economic aspects. Globalisation is condemned by some as a destroyer of jobs and industrial communities in the developed countries and hailed by others as the biggest chance for poor countries to lift themselves out of poverty. Arguing whether globalisation is ‘good’ or ‘bad’ is now seen as irrelevant, although it is the value judgement that, no doubt, provides the ideological prism through which observers appraise the issue. Different vantage points on globalisation, even by economists, account for differences in perception concerning the salient features of the phenomenon. Some writers say there is now a ‘consensus’...

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