AuthorZumer, Klemen; Navarra, Cecilia; Titievskaia, Jana; Stamegna, Carla; Kononenko, Vadim
Slowing down or changing track?
3. Conclusions
Has the thesis of slowbalisation in 2007-2020 proven to
be myth or reality? When compared to the high point of
hyperglobalisation, there has in particular been a
slowdown in terms of cross-border merchandise trade,
capital flows and bank loans. However, a broader
analysis shows that the onset of the slowdown is more
nuanced and path-dependent than highlighted by the
numbers alone. International trade statistics miss out
parts of services trade and also aspects of value-adde d
trade. Cross-border bank lending has in part declined
due to a desire to decrease risks and regulatory reforms,
but balance of payments statistics still tend to under-
estimate the degree of interconnectedness in the
financial sphere.
Table 2How has Covid-19 affected the five path ways of 2007-2020 slowbalisation?
trade in goods
and services
Open and
(tourism and
Movement of
data and
2019 Slowing down Slowing down Accelerating Accel erating Accelerating
slow-down Slowing down Accelerating Steep
slow-down Accelerating
Expert predictions for the future of globalisation post-coronavirus range from optimi stic to alarmist.
A number of thinkers have posited that Covid-19 has triggered the start of deglobalisation and that
the period after the pandemic will see a gradual unfolding of global integration.71 Another thesis is
that globalisation is not waning, but is merely changing shape and form:
Economic theory and hist ory both suggested this was an u nsustainable kind of globalisat ion, and so
it has proven. Internati onal economic integration came at the ex pense of domestic disintegration,
deepening pre-existing economic, spatial and cultural divides between winners and lose rs. It was also
predicated on the unreali stic and unfulfilled approaches of countries with very different economic
and social models, such as the US and China, would tend to converge. A complete collapse seems
unlikely. But we will have to s ettle for a thinner model of globalisation that le aves nations room for
rebuilding domestic social contracts.72
The backtracking of globalisation has included both a sl owdown in cross-border exchanges, as well
as an ideological shift in policy-makers' approaches to openness. In the USA, the Trump
administration has prioritised protecting US interests over multilateralism, has launched a
protectionist trade policy, and threatened to withdraw from a number of multilateral institutions
such as the WTO, WHO, Open Skies Treaty and the Universal Postal Union, as well as sanctions
against investigators of the International Criminal Court. Partially underlying this movement has
71 I. Olivie, M. Gracia, Is this the end of globalisation (as we know it)?, February 2020.
72 Bloomberg News, Have We Reached Peak Globalisation?, 2020.

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