Ko gre globalizacija predaleč: Demokracija in nacionalna avtonomija morata imeti prednost

Najbrž je nekaj zadovoljstva v tem, če nekatere stvari spoznaš leta ali celo desetletja pred drugimi. Dani Rodrik iz Harvarda in najboljši razvojni ekonomist v razmerah globalizacije ima to zadovoljstvo, da je dve desetleji  pred vsemi ostalimi razumel, da je globalizacija šla predaleč (Has Globalization Gone Too Far?, 1997), da je za uspešen razvoj v razmerah globalizacije slednjo potrebno pazljivo dozirati in da ni univerzalnega recepta za rast, pač pa mora vsaka država imeti svojo lastno strategijo razvoja in sama kontrolirati, koliko globalizacije bo “spustila skozi odprta okna” in hkrati zaustavila mrčes s komarniki.

Danes, ko je prepuščanje držav nekontrolirani globalizaciji udarilo nazaj in to v rokah desničarjev, Rodrik v kolumni v New York Timesu ponavlja svoja stara spoznanja. In pravi, da je treba rešiti globalizacijo ne samo pred populisti, pač pa predvsem pred njenimi najbolj gorečimi navijači, in sicer z manj hiper globalizacije in več nacionalne razvojne avtonomije in demokracije.

(Še moja osebna izkušnja: Ko sem leta 2008 prevezel predmet Globalization and International Trade na naši fakulteti, je bil predmet dokaj pozitivistično usmerjen, nato pa sem postopoma, vsled izkušenj s finančno krizo in v precejšnji meri na podlagi Rodrikovih knjig in člankov (Has Globalization Gone Too Far?, 1997; One Economics, Many Recipes, 2007; How to Save Globalization from its Cheerleaders, 2007; What soccer tells us about the paradoxes of globalization, 2008; The Globalization Paradox, 2011) in seveda ostalih (B. Milanovic, T. Piketty, R. Baldwin etc.) počasi spreminjal syllabus predmeta v bolj uravnotežen pogled na prednosti in slabosti globalizacije).

A Chinese student once described his country’s globalization strategy to me. China, he said, opened a window to the world economy, but placed a screen on it. The country got the fresh air it needed — nearly 700 million people have been lifted from extreme poverty since the early 1980s — but kept mosquitoes out.

China benefited from the flourishing of trade and investment across national borders. For many, this was the magic of globalization.

But it’s not the whole story. Look closely at the economies that converged with richer counterparts — Japan, South Korea, China — and you see that each engaged globally in a selective, strategic manner. China pushed exports, but it also placed barriers on imports to protect employment in state enterprises and required foreign investors to transfer know-how to domestic companies.

We need to rescue globalization not just from populists, but also from its cheerleaders. Globalization evangelists have done great damage to their cause not just by underplaying the real fears and concerns on which the Trumps of this world thrive, but by overlooking the benefits of a more moderate form of globalization.

We must reassess the balance between national autonomy and economic globalization. Simply put, we have pushed economic globalization too far […]

The new model of globalization stood priorities on their head, effectively putting democracy to work for the global economy, instead of the other way around. The elimination of barriers to trade and finance became an end in itself, rather than a means toward more fundamental economic and social goals. Societies were asked to subject domestic economies to the whims of global financial markets; sign investment treaties that created special rights for foreign companies; and reduce corporate and top income taxes to attract footloose corporations.

Some simple principles would reorient us in the right direction.

First, there is no single way to prosperity. Countries make their own choices about the institutions that suit them best. Some, like Britain, may tolerate, say, greater inequality and financial instability in return for higher growth and more financial innovation. They will opt for lower taxes on capital and more freewheeling financial systems. Others, like Continental European nations, will go for greater equity and financial conservatism. International firms will complain that differences in rules and regulations raise the costs of doing business across borders, but their claims must be traded off against the benefits of diversity.

Second, countries have the right to protect their institutional arrangements and safeguard the integrity of their regulations. Financial regulations or labor protections can be circumvented and undermined by moving operations to foreign countries with considerably lower standards. Countries should be able to prevent such “regulatory arbitrage” by placing restrictions on cross-border transactions — just as they can keep out toys or agricultural products that do not meet domestic health standards.


Third, the purpose of international economic negotiations should be to increase domestic policy autonomy, while being mindful of the possible harm to trade partners. The world’s trade regime is driven by a mercantilist logic: You lower your barriers in return for my lowering mine. But lack of openness is no longer the binding constraint on the world economy; lack of democratic legitimacy is.

It is time to embrace a different logic, emphasizing the value of policy autonomy. Poor and rich countries alike need greater space for pursuing their objectives. The former need to restructure their economies and promote new industries, and the latter must address domestic concerns over inequality and distributive justice. Both objectives require placing some sand in the cogs of globalization. For example, developing nations may be allowed to subsidize some industries in return for rich nations being allowed to use tariffs against countries “dumping” goods produced under substandard labor or environmental standards.

Fourth, global governance should focus on enhancing democracy, not globalization. Global governance cannot overcome major problems like inequality, social exclusion or low growth, but it can help by devising norms that improve domestic policy making, like requirements on transparency, public deliberation, broad representation, accountability and use of scientific or economic evidence in domestic proceedings. To some extent, the World Trade Organization already advocates these disciplines. They deserve greater priority over trade liberalization and regulatory harmonization.

And finally, nondemocratic countries like Russia, China and Saudi Arabia — where the rule of law is routinely flouted and civil liberties are not protected — should not be able to count on the same rights and privileges in the international system as democracies can.

Vir: Dani Rodrik, New York Times


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