Chapter 4: Measures of globalisation and their misinterpretation
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Almost everybody seems to believe that globalisation is happening at a headlong pace, and is the defining characteristic of contemporary capitalism. Some like it; others see it as the source of all evil. But most see it as both unprecedented and irresistible. In an earlier paper we analysed indicators of economic internationalisation in their historical perspective and found reason for serious scepticism with regard to the image of world capitalism presented by those who believe that it has been unprecedentedly transformed by globalisation; similar points have been made by a variety of authors from various perspectives. This chapter seeks to reinforce this ‘globalo-scepticism’, paying particular attention to why different statistical measures of recent trends suggest alternative conclusions and to which of them are the most meaningful.

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