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About this book

This book takes issue with the likening of contemporary globalization to nineteenth century trade interdependence, in which the defining feature of contemporary globalization is the spread of global production networks, which were notably absent in the past. Maswood demonstrates that the emergence of global production networks (GPNs) was not a result of economic and trade liberalization, but instead due to neo-protectionist developments in the 1980s that acted as a catalyst to transform Japan’s nationally based production networks into the now ubiquitous GPNs. Through this case study of Japan, the author lays out a case for reconsidering the origins of globalization, and explores some of the consequences that are likely to flow from progressive evolutionary transition towards a global economy.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1. Introduction

This chapter provides a short summary of the main arguments in the book. It begins with a brief overview of globalization, its definitions and origins, followed by an introduction to the main argument in each of the successive chapters.

S. Javed Maswood

Chapter 7. Conclusion

This concluding chapter pulls together some of the main arguments and then proceeds to speculate on the possibility of de-globalization that seems to be the driving force behind recent political developments in the USA, UK, and a number of other developed countries.

S. Javed Maswood

Origins of Globalization


Chapter 2. Globalization Revisited

This chapter begins by laying out the consensus view of globalization as a product of trade liberalization and technological advances. It then proceeds to disaggregate globalization into its two corresponding components of globalization of consumption and globalization of production. Of these, only the former was a result of trade liberalization, both in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, but the latter is unique to contemporary globalization and was a product of neo-protectionist measures adopted by the USA, and the Japanese response to such trade restrictive practices.

S. Javed Maswood

Chapter 3. Protectionism and Global Production Networks

This chapter looks at the development of global production networks, the core of globalized production, and traces its origins both to neo-protectionism of the early 1980s and to the Plaza Accord of 1986. These developments in international political economy encouraged a sudden expansion of Japanese foreign direct investments, initially to the USA, and then to regional countries in East Asia. Along with new production facilities in export markets, Japanese companies also transferred their networked production technologies to other countries, which formed the basis of contemporary global production networks.

S. Javed Maswood

Consequences of Globalization


Chapter 4. Globalization and Trade Stability

This chapter looks first at how trade stability and protectionism are explained by existing theories of collective action and interest-group politics and hegemonic-stability thesis. It then explores how the proliferation of global production has strengthened the foundations of liberal trade by giving producers a stake in trade openness given their dual status not only as producers, but also consumers of imported parts and components. The general logic is borne out by results during the Great Financial Crisis which, unlike all past crises that produced higher levels of protectionism, resulted in no major deviation from liberal trade practices.

S. Javed Maswood

Chapter 5. Globalization and Development

This chapter deals with how globalization has affected growth and development in developing countries. After briefly surveying the debate between proponents and critics of globalization, the chapter essentially seeks to make the point that even as developing countries face a limited menu of choice with the collapse of alternative to neo-classical development models, globalization has provided new opportunities to advance industrialization by linking into global production networks with one single component in the manufacturing process of any product, a task that is presumably easier than establishing a full and comprehensive manufacturing process in any industry. Several developing countries have had considerable success in this endeavor and provide a pathway for others to follow.

S. Javed Maswood

Chapter 6. Globalization Under Siege: Inequality, Democracy, and Sovereignty

This chapter deals with the issue of income inequality that has, since the emergence of economic globalization, become progressively more acute. Inequality can be observed in both developed and developing countries and has triggered a backlash against globalization in recent years. The principal argument in this chapter is that to the extent that globalization and inequality have an associational relationship, the blame is not entirely with economic failure but, in large part, a result of political failure.

S. Javed Maswood


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