Keeping it Real: Debunking the Deglobalization Myth, Brexit, and Trump:-“Lessons” on Integration

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    Abstract

    Purpose: The recent vote for Britain to exit the European Union and the election of Donald Trump as the President of the USA has been described as events that bring an end to globalization and indeed seen as a reversal of the globalization process. A possible reason for this is that both choices are thought to be premised on inward-looking objectives rather than having global objectives. This paper aims to offer an opinion that this view is flawed. This is because integration, which is used to approach globalization, is not a one-way process seeking greater levels of integration, but rather a tool to address global challenges, which will involve making choices on the degree of integration that is thought necessary at a particular time. In other words, based on what is perceived as necessary at a given time, selective interconnectivity is used to reflect the level of integration desired. Owing to the degree of global income inequality, a high degree of integration will pose difficulties as a shift in production centres. Further, immigration will bring not only economic but also socio-cultural and political implications in even the economically strongest nations. Design/methodology/approach: The paper considers the definition of integration to justify why there are limits placed on the level of integration. In this regard, when the position of individual components is so unequal, there will be limits put on levels of integration due to economic, socio-cultural, and political concerns. Findings: Delocalization does not exist. The Brexit vote and President Trump’s Presidential bid success are all part of the globalization process, where from time to time, the levels of integration will slow down. This does not suggest backtracking on globalization. Research limitations/implications: The discussion and analysis in this paper are significant as they offer an unexplored perspective into current discussions on the Brexit vote and President Trump’s election into office. The discussion and analysis are rigorous in that they are precise and robust in examining the historical evolution to the international trading system to explain why the predominant view on deglobalization is a misunderstanding of the matters that influence globalization and integration. Practical implications: The paper offers a practical and logical explanation to concerns regarding what is termed as deglobalization by providing an analysis and insight into the current global challenges, in particular income inequality, as an environment within which choices have to be made. Social implications: In the discussion, subsequent to Trump’s successful bid for US presidency and the Brexit vote, there has been a frenzy in opinions regarding the implications of these milestones. This paper debunks the exaggerations offered by explaining how and why these milestones are nothing new by examining the history of the international trading system. Originality/value: This paper is original as it offers a fresh perspective on the deglobalization debate. It provides a discussion from the global income inequality perspective to explain why and how important are global challenges upon domestic choices and how this, in turn, relates to globalization and integration.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)62-68
    Number of pages7
    JournalJournal of International Trade Law and Policy
    Volume17
    Issue number1/2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018

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