Political Economy

Thoughts on Globalization, Inequality and Equality

Samuel Glenn*

Brisbane, April 6, 2018 (Alochonaa): In order to alleviate conditions that cause inter-county inequality, nation-states require the flexibility to adopt policies and institutions which best suit their unique circumstances, strategies for growth and stage of development along with accountable international organisations that facilitate this process.

Globalisation is an unprecedented, complex and multi-faceted issue for the contemporary global political economy, with many contrasting views about its ability to provide widespread economic benefits to its adherents.

While adverse international forces and pre-existing conditions may play a role in constraining the state, ultimately, this article argues that state autonomy to act in its own best interest persists, albeit somewhat constrained by international forces. Additionally, when considering the literature around ’embedded hierarchies’ and global economic ‘stratification’ (Scholte 2005, p. 319), some states are clearly disproportionately affected than others and are not truly able to capitalise on the global marketplace’s economic benefits which stem from deeper integration.

As long as states recognise the importance of integrating into a global economy balanced with unique policies matching their circumstances, globalisation can present an opportunity for states to advance their own interests. As Bisley (2007, p.71) notes:

It is not for states to wring their hands in the face of globalisation and allow markets free rein, nor is it to retreat behind protectionist walls and nationalised industry, rather globalisation is prompting states to adopt strategies to advance their basic aims using novel policy approaches.

In order to alleviate the conditions in which inter-country inequality persists, states must take full ownership for their own development in a way which allows them to integrate with the global economy on their own terms, and must take an active role in adopting unique policies, approaches and institutions that suit their unique circumstances through the ongoing process of global economic integration, rather than accepting prima facie the neoliberal agenda as an engine for economic progress.

Globalisation should not, and cannot, be a solely reliable source for providing equitable and balanced growth for developing states. Just like any force, globalisation needs to be properly managed through appropriate policy conditions to ensure its benefits are more widely spread among all participants in a global market.

Equitable and balanced growth must also be facilitated by accountable and equitable international organisations which help developing states gain the best possible outcomes for themselves through the integration process. When these criteria are met, developing economies will have a greater chance of capitalising on global economic benefits and may catch up to the rest of the developed world in due course.

Bisley, N. (2007) “Rethinking Globalisation”, Houndmills, New York, Palgrave Macmillan.
Scholte, J. (2005) “Globalisation: A Critical Introduction” (2nd ed.), New York, Palgrave Macmillan.


*The Writer is a regular contributor for Alochonaa.  

** Alochonaa.com is not responsible for any factual mistakes (if any) of this analysis. This analysis further is not necessarily representative of Alochonaa.com’s view. We’re happy to facilitate further evidence-based submissions on Bengal history. Please send us your submission at alochonaa@gmail.com

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