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Globalization: Past, Present and Future




Today's open international economy is not the first era of globalization. For much of the late 19th and early 20th century goods, capital, and people moved quite freely around the world. Despite the positive aspects of this experience, it ended in economic, political, and military disaster in the 1930s. The lessons of this earlier era are clear. An open international economy requires substantive and purposive cooperation among the major powers; and this cooperation can only be successful if there is domestic political support for it. Today, both international cooperation among the world’s economic and financial centers, and domestic political support for this cooperation, have been called into serious question.   -- Jeff Frieden


On June 27, 2017, Prof. Jeff Frieden from Government School of Harvard University visited the Institute of South-South Cooperation and Development at Peking University and talked about “Globalization: Past, Present and Future”. Prof. FU Jun, Academic Dean of the insitute hosted the event.



Prof. FU Jun and Prof. Jeff Frieden



Delving into socio-political and economic history, Prof. Jeff Frieden explained that the first wave of globalization witnessed across the globe in the years of late 19th century and early 20th century was halted by World War I. In his view, the first wave ended in war and strife which led to the emergence of nationalist governments, warning that different nations must learn from the past to avoid de-globalization that could shrink world's market, reduce the flow of technology and ideas as well as world's capital.


He also noted that the second wave of globalization which was enhanced by global governance and institutions that were put in place after World War II are now questioned by many populist movements around the world. He, however, predicts a turn-around from globalization to regionalism but calls for the innovativeness of international institutions to meet up with present-day challenges.





Speaking on globalization and inequality, Prof. Jeff Frieden called on national governments to address the structural problems that exist in their countries by using education, social security and other relevant policy measures as a tool. According to him, this would enable talents to be trained in new sectors in order to boost the chances of job seekers to pick up opportunities that exist in the high end industries.


Prof. Frieden submitted that for globalization to continue on the upward trend, there must be substantial domestic support from citizens of different nations otherwise political office holders will embark on populist pronouncements. He advised governments to embark on programs and initiatives that would at least step-up the likelihood of attaining “Pareto improvement”.


Report by Omole