Back to Local Villages: Nationalism trumps further integration

Evidence grows that the world is entering a new period of de-globalization and nationalism.

For at least a century, the international system has alternated between cycles of globalization and de-globalization. In times of globalization (e.g. the 1990s and early 2000s), trade increases, cross-border investment soars, and international communication networks become more closely linked. During de-globalization periods, the reverse happens, harming economic growth, hindering innovation, while strengthening national oriented politics (as e.g. in the late 1910s and 1930s).

Now, global trade growth is slowing down, a rare situation in times of no global recession. Especially since the economic and financial crisis of 2008-09, G20 economies have introduced new protectionist trade measures at a fast pace. The concept of free trade is increasingly questioned, new free trade agreements opposed around the globe.


U.K. might lose up to GBP 66 billion a year if it pursues the so-called "hard Brexit" option of leaving the EU trade and customs union and instead reverts to World Trade Organization rules. UK's GDP could fall by as much as 9.5%.