Acton Institute Powerblog

PBR: Globalism in Retreat

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From the scuffle over “Buy American” provisions in the most recent federal stimulus package, to concerns about declining exports in countries like China, to high-profile meetings of politicians and economists, it seems like anti-globalization sentiment is on the rise.

Advocates of isolationism, protectionism, and localism have decried the increasingly integrated global economy for years. But the sharpness of criticisms of globalization has sharpened in the context of the global economic downturn. Reflecting on the World Economic Forum in Davos earlier this year, Adrian Hamilton concluded that “the political leaders of the world are going to have to start again to reforge an international consensus on trade and regulation. The internationalism of tomorrow — today indeed — will have to be recreated out of national concerns and a degree of national protection.”

This week’s PowerBlog Ramblings question is: “In what ways, if any, is globalism in retreat?”

Ramble on…

Jordan J. Ballor Jordan J. Ballor (Dr. theol., University of Zurich; Ph.D., Calvin Theological Seminary) is a senior research fellow and director of publishing at the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion & Liberty. He is also a postdoctoral researcher in theology and economics at the VU University Amsterdam as part of the "What Good Markets Are Good For" project. He is author of Get Your Hands Dirty: Essays on Christian Social Thought (and Action) (Wipf & Stock, 2013), Covenant, Causality, and Law: A Study in the Theology of Wolfgang Musculus (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2012) and Ecumenical Babel: Confusing Economic Ideology and the Church's Social Witness (Christian's Library Press, 2010), as well as editor of numerous works, including Abraham Kuyper Collected Works in Public Theology. Jordan is also associate director of the Junius Institute for Digital Reformation Research at Calvin Theological Seminary.


  • Well, I’m surely no Advocate of protectionism, isolationism or localism, but where is the globalization going to lead us to? We do not always benefit from in- and export mentality. In fact, almost everything we buy was produced in china or elsewhere in far-east. Just for one reason: workers are dirt-cheap. Consequently the unemployment increases in our home land and we realize a loss of product-quality. Furthermore we see how unstable the world-economy is, using the example of the economy crisis. I agree with Adrian Hamilton, though we need a whole renovation of global thinking, including the ecological and economical factor, because in these days, these factors head towards different directions. Economic profit seems to be more relevant, but how long will our planet be able to pay the price?? China characterises this mibndset. Consider this.