Winners and Losers in the Asia-Pacific
Edited by Noel Gaston and Ahmed M. Khalid
Chapter 4: The Politics of (Anti-)Globalization: What do we Learn from Simple Models?
David Greenaway and Douglas Nelson* INTRODUCTION Contrary to some of the more overheated rhetoric on globalization, this process is, in fact, quite reversible. Sometimes lost in the attempts to determine whether current levels of globalization are higher or lower than those in the late 19th century is the fact that globalization came to a screaming halt in the 1930s.1 Simple technological determinism misses the essential role of politics in supporting, or undermining, globalization.2 Such determinism also distracts from at least one fundamental difference between the late 19th-century globalization and the late 20th-century version: the former was characterized by far more restricted democratic politics in the core countries than the latter. As we observe an increasingly confident and aggressive anti-globalization movement, proponents of a liberal international order, to say nothing of stable liberal domestic political economies, need to think hard about both the roots of anti-globalism and the nature of its politics. In this chapter we focus on the latter. Our focus is a preliminary investigation of the link between democratic politics and the stability of globalization in three steps. First, we briefly develop two key distinctions that will provide an analytical framework for our discussion. Specifically, we shall argue that most of the literature on political economy of trade and immigration fails to distinguish between the average level of a policy (say, a tariff) and the variance of that policy (for example, the dispersion of the tariff across sectors), and we shall distinguish between two very broad classes of political...
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