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The Losers of Deglobalization

Why States Should Fear the Closing of an Open World

Police patrolling Hungary's border with Serbia, September 2015. Laszlo Balogh / REUTERS

The overuse of analogies from the past is the bane of reasonable historians, and perhaps no parallels are more clichéd than ones comparing current events to those of the 1930s. The problem with such analogies, of course, is that history does not repeat itself: not every troubling event should bring to mind the ascent of Adolf Hitler and the path to world war.

Yet the quick succession of the United Kingdom’s vote to leave the European Union and the election of Donald Trump to the U.S. presidency invites comparison to a phenomenon that defined the early 1930s: deglobalization. Hitler aside, the similarities are worth worrying about, since they suggest that when hegemonic states unilaterally scrap their commitments to an open economic order, the consequences extend far beyond their borders, eroding the economic prospects of the world’s poorest countries and global security. 

GLOBALIZATION'S FIRST WAVE

The globalizing

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