Shifting Tides: The Future of Globalization in an Era of Rising Populism

Adam Church
Vol. 38 Associate Editor

Over the past year, there have been numerous events indicating that populism is on the rise in the Western world. Though the particular forms of these individual events may vary, a common thread linking them together is a desire to retreat from globalization to the perceived safety of protectionism. While a retreat from globalization would likely have steep consequences for a number of market sectors,[1] one sector that may prove to be especially vulnerable is the financial sector. Arguably still reeling from the lingering effects of the 2008 financial crisis,[2] the international financial sector is already under pressure from events that appear to indicate a retreat from globalization by the West, such as Brexit.[3] Furthermore, as Western nations have traditionally occupied significant leadership positions within the international financial system,[4] their shift towards more protectionist stances would likely create a substantial leadership vacuum within this system. Should Western nations continue to retreat from globalization, the question arises as to who will emerge as a leader and how they will shape the future of international finance and trade. Continue reading