The ‘Golden Age’ of Globalization Is Officially Over

The ‘Golden Age’ of Globalization Is Officially Over
Two tugboats use lines to pull the container ship Ever Forward, which ran aground in the Chesapeake Bay, in Pasadena, Md., March 29, 2022 (AP photo by Julio Cortez).

The administration of U.S. President Joe Biden escalated the United States’ trade war with China last week, prohibiting exports of advanced semiconductors, equipment used to make computer chips and components needed for building super computers, as well as participation by U.S. corporations and individuals in China’s chipmaking industry. The global semiconductor supply chain was already under stress from the disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic and the existing trade restrictions between the U.S. and China. These latest moves raise the stakes, further threatening the ability of consumers to acquire the electronics needed to power the global economy.

Because of the ubiquity of chips in everything from computers and smartphones to cars and household appliances, Washington’s restrictions have implications beyond the semiconductor market. And they are just the latest challenge to the global economy, the fragility of which is becoming only more apparent by the day.

We are a far cry from the “Golden Age” of economic globalization that marked the 1990s and early 2000s. With the Cold War over, Eastern European countries, Russia and then China began fully integrating into the global trade system. This culminated in China gaining World Trade Organization membership in 2001. During this time, much was written about the interconnected nature of the world, which was seemingly becoming borderless. The nation-state was viewed as obsolete, as private firms and financiers, with the occasional assistance of central bankers, became the new governors of the global system.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.

More World Politics Review