The third wave of Globalisation – IPPR (UK)

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY – Extract

Over the course of the last century, the progressive integration of the global economy has helped drive the economic growth that has contributed to lifting millions of people out of poverty around the world. In the developed world it has brought down the cost of consumer goods, driven productivity increases in many sectors, and created new markets for goods and services where western firms have comparative advantages. Many people have unprecedented opportunities to travel and work abroad, and the increasing cultural and political dialogue between individuals has helped to spread the acceptance of universal values like democracy, liberty, and human rights. Since the second world war, flows of goods, services and capital have rapidly increased. Knowledge, ideas and values have also spread across borders like never before. The movement of people – both economic migrants and tourists – has vastly expanded, although perhaps surprisingly it has stayed static as a percentage of the global population.

Globalisation is not new. The first wave of contemporary globalisation, which began around 1870 and was dominated by the UK, heralded a period of sustained economic growth stimulated by the increased use of manufacturing and transport technologies developed during the Industrial Revolution and facilitated by the process of colonial empire-building. While there were advances in living standards, much of the wealth went to the owners of capital and levels of inequality remained high in most regions of the world. The first wave was brought to an end by the two world wars and great depression.

SOURCE: Will Straw and Alex Glennie, “The Third Wave of Globalisation”, Institute for Public Policy Research, January 2012

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