Deglobalization, Globalization, and the Pandemic
Current Impasses of the Capitalist World-Economy
This article is a theory piece focused on causal propositions codification and future trends identification, both supported by descriptive statistical data. It aims to analyze the middle-term dynamics of globalization and deglobalization due to the effects of the 2007-2008 Financial Crisis, in general, and the COVID-19 pandemic, in particular. The broader context in which such dynamics are situated are the processes of capitalist world-economy restructuring, propitiated by the crisis the U.S. hegemony, on the one hand, and by the Chinese rise, on the other. We argue that the COVID-19 pandemic tends to deepen and accelerate ongoing processes of global fragmentation, especially in the productive and commercial dimensions. From the point of view of governments, in particular the United States, there are growing protectionist and manufacturing repatriation efforts. From the point of view of large corporations, the perception of risk derived from the suspension and rupture of global production chains emerges thanks to measures to prevent infection. Somehow, governments and companies can converge on understanding the world market as a growing source of risk and decreasing advantages. The counterpoint here may be China's interest and ability to lead the fight against the pandemic and post-pandemic recovery, restructuring the global order built in the last forty years in new institutional basis and from which it has been the main beneficiary.
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