Economic Globalisation

Origins and consequences

image of Economic Globalisation

Few subjects are as controversial – and poorly understood – as globalisation. While in its broadest sense, economic globalisation is as old as trade itself, the recent financial crisis has amplified the complexity associated with the global interconnectedness of the world’s economies and its ramifications on our livelihoods.

This publication reviews the major turning points in the history of economic integration, and in particular the pace at which it has accelerated since the 1990s. It also considers its impact in four crucial areas, namely employment, development, the environment and financial stability: does globalisation foster development or create inequality? Does it promote or destroy jobs? Is it damaging to the environment or compatible with its preservation? Are we heading towards de-globalisation or can globalisation in fact enable recovery?

English Also available in: French, German, Spanish

Does globalisation promote development?

Globalisation first promoted the development of industrialised countries, then, in the past 20 years, that of emerging countries. While some developing countries are following in their footsteps, others have become marginalised or weakened by opening to international markets. Extreme global poverty has diminished, but is still ingrained in certain regions. In many countries, inequalities have deepened. Globalisation can only promote development if certain political conditions are combined.

English Also available in: French, German


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