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Friday, February 17, 2006 

Globalisation: A Matter of Convenience

There have been many posts on globalisation on Desicritics, and how the world has benefited from its positives or harmed by its ill effects. However, politicians world over want globalisation when it is convenient for them. Else protectionism is advocated.

The US and Europe have been seen as advocates of globalisation. An obvious thing to do, considering the market size of the third world economies, which the American and European companies could exploit. However, the moment the US felt that globalisation lead to job-flight, there was a huge hue and cry in the political establishment. Kerry based his election campaign on the issue. A few states even passed an anti-outsourcing legislation. While asking the third world countries to sign the NAMA (Non Agricultural Market Access) agreement, the European Union and US was reluctant to cut farm subsidies

The Europe has fared no better. The European Union is reluctant to grant membership to a few countries, on the basis of fears of migration of cheap labour, thus unsettling the local population. Also, in the case of Arcelor takeover, the French government has shown its racist face, by objecting to its takeover by an Indian. The question that has been raised is one of “European way” of conducting business. The French government has proposed to bring legislation for ensuring that the “hostile” takeover bid does not succeed. The only thing that has been hostile is the reaction of Arcelor and the French government.

Closer home, Our Indian politicians are not clear which way to go. It has been seen that the same political parties become pro-globalisation when in power, and start citing the Swadeshi mantra when in opposition. Even the Left is inconsistent. It supports globalisation in Bengal, but not at the centre.

The problem with a consistent approach on globalisation may just be democracy. China, being a communist dictatorship, has had a consistent approach with globalization and inviting overseas investment. While on the other hand, flip-flops are seen in all democratic countries on the issue of globalisation. This is because a few leaders can make a large population perceive globalisation as a threat. This will unsettle any pro-globalisation government, making it rethink its policy.

Hey
Thanks for commenting on my first article on desicritics.org! It was my first humble attempt, since I have started blogging vey recently.

You seem interested in economics and foriegn policy issues. I will be writing around those areas soon.

Regards

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