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Forms of globalisation: from ‘capitalism unleashed’ to a global green new deal

Jonathan Michie

Keywords: globalisation; global financial crisis; green new deal

What is termed ‘globalisation’ has taken many forms over the centuries. The last time we had a ‘free market’ form of globalisation, such as is largely in force across the world today, was in the run up to the First World War; goods, people and capital crossed borders, as the leading industrial economies sought economic advantage in a process that ultimately spilled over into armed conflict. This led to a retrenchment between the world wars, with most governments focusing more on their own domestic economies and policy agendas. Following the Second World War, an era of ‘managed globalisation’ has been dubbed the ‘Golden Age of Capitalism’. This was followed by the era, launched by the Thatcher and Reagan administrations, of deregulation, privatisation, financialisation and demutualisation – of ‘capitalism unleashed’. That led to the 2007–2008 global financial crisis and the 2009 Great Recession. We now need to shape a new historical era, focused on environmental and social sustainability. This will require new economic thinking, and a policy agenda around a global green new deal.

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