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The object of this chapter is to analyse the implications and consequences of globalization for development situated in its historical perspective. There have been many waves of globalization in the world economy during the second millennium, so that a long-term historical retrospective is essential to set the stage. But the focus is on the two recent more recent eras of globalization that began life in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It sketches a picture of the earlier era from 1870 to 1914 and outlines the contours of the present era which started circa 1980 and continues. A comparison reveals that the parallels, similarities and differences between these two epochs of globalization are striking. The implications and consequences for development also suggest significant similarities. This chapter analyses the unequal outcomes in development during the first epoch which brought it to an abrupt end. It then examines outcomes in development during the second epoch to explore the underlying factors and highlight the emerging problems. It is argued that, for people who lived in times of globalization, at every juncture, the process seemed unstoppable. Yet, history suggests that globalization has always been a fragile process. In fact, it has come to an abrupt or unexpected end many times in the past. Indeed, the process has also been reversible. The underlying reasons have been embedded in the consequences of the process of globalization, ranging from the spread of disease or pandemics to economic strains or political conflict between winners and losers whether countries or people. Of course, the backlash has taken different forms at different times. It would seem that the present era of globalization is also under stress. The problems and challenges that have surfaced are largely attributable to its economic and political consequences. It is clearly not the end of geography. It is also not the end of history.
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The unequal treaties with Britain were signed after independence.
In the late nineteenth century, there was also some European migration to the southern part of Latin America, including Uruguay, Chile and Brazil, but it was primarily to Argentina. Similarly, there was some Indian migration to the British colonies in Africa and Asia. Both these streams of migration created a sort of ‘middle class’ among migrants.
The absolute figures on the inward stock and inward flows of foreign direct investment cited in this paragraph are obtained from the UNCTAD foreign direct investment line database, while their significance as a proportion of output or investment is estimated from data on GDP and gross capital formation reported in UNCTADStat.
These statistics on the average daily turnover in foreign exchange markets are based on the Bank of International Settlements, Survey of Foreign Exchange Activity, Basle, various issues. The surveys are triennial. For the purpose of comparison, the annual values of world exports have been converted into a daily figure.
The database on international migration is slender on flows but better on stocks. But the flows cannot be inferred from changes in stocks over time because migration is a process that often stretches over time as significant proportions change their temporary status of different forms into becoming residents and then citizens. For a study of the trends, it is both necessary and appropriate to exclude the former USSR. Its inclusion distorts the picture, for comparisons over time, because its break-up into 15 independent countries, in 1991, instantly transformed internal migrants into international migrants. The evidence cited in the discussion that follows is from Nayyar ( 2013). The figures for 2015 are obtained from the same primary source, United Nations, Population Division, Trends in International Migrant Stock.
It needs to be said that these categories are not mutually exclusive or exhaustive. Nor do they define a once-and-for-all status. Yet, these categories serve an analytical purpose insofar as the distinctions are clear at the time that the cross-border movement of people first takes place. For a detailed discussion, see Nayyar ( 2008, 2013).
The evidence on remittance cited in this paragraph is from Nayyar ( 2013). The data for 2015 are obtained from UNCTADStat.
The discussion that follows in this section draws upon earlier work of the author (Nayyar 2006).
For a more detailed discussion, as also evidence, on the convergence hypothesis, see Nayyar ( 2006).
This is accepted even by Williamson ( 2002), who is the principal exponent of the hypothesis about such convergence in the late nineteenth century.
Latin America was the exception. During the period 1870–1913, as also 1913–1950, its growth rates were at par with the highest (in North America), so that its share of world GDP rose steadily from 3.2% in 1870 to 4.5% in 1913 and 6.5% in 1950 (Nayyar 2013).
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- Globalization in Historical Perspective
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