Slowing down or changing track? Understanding the dynamics of 'Slowbalisation'

In-Depth Analysis 03-12-2020

Slowbalisation – understood as the slowdown in global integration – is said to have started in the aftermath of the global financial crisis of 2007-2008. The coronavirus pandemic brought about a further dramatic fall in cross-border movement of goods, services, capital and people, to the extent that commentators have proclaimed the beginning of deglobalisation. This paper examines whether the phenomenon described as slowbalisation is myth or reality, by looking at five different pathways of globalisation: international trade, financial openness, increasing inequality, cross-border social movement, and digital exchanges. The key conclusion is that slowbalisation has not been a uniform trend. While international economic globalisation has indeed slowed, the 'digital leap' and continued inequality suggest that globalisation is merely changing form, not disappearing.