IDS Bulletin Vol. 32 Nos. 2

Globalisation and Economic Insecurity

Published on 1 April 2001

Summaries As global processes have deepened in recent decades there has been a concomitant and causally related increase in economic insecurity in many parts of the global economy. One transmission mechanism has been the heightened volatility in the global economy. The reduction in barriers to the inter?country flow of finance, banking deregulation and the abolition of capital controls, and the development and utilisation of new technologies, can be seen as primary causal drivers of volatility. Growing poverty (in both its absolute and relative senses) has been a second way in which insecurity has been globalised. Here, too, this form of insecurity can be related causally to developments in the global economy. Global competition, particularly in labour?intensive activities, has led to a bidding down of wage rates for unskilled work. This has not only undermined real living standards, but simultaneously widened the distributional gap, both within and between countries. Similar unequalising developments in the nineteenth?century bred a culture of insecurity which led to the erection of barriers to sustained international?isation. Recent protests against the WTO suggest that unless these insecurities ? both perceived and real ? in the twenty?first century are reduced, we may yet see a recurrence of opposition to sustained globalisation.

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Kaplinsky, R. (2001) Globalisation and Economic Insecurity. IDS Bulletin 32(2): 13-24

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published by
Institute of Development Studies
Kaplinsky, Raphael


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