The crisis of globalisation: interview with Mark Blyth

Henning Meyer in Social Europe:

Towards the end of 2018, Henning Meyer, editor-in-chief of Social Europe, spoke to the expert on international political economy Mark Blyth, about the crisis of globalisation, populism, Brexit and other political disasters waiting to happen.

Henning Meyer: Mark Blyth, thank you very much for joining me today to discuss the crisis of globalisation and what political and economic consequences it might have. Let me ask you the first question. Basically, do you think there is a crisis of globalisation? And if there is one, in your opinion, what are its main characteristics?

Mark Blyth: It’s always a tough one. I hate using the word ‘crisis’, because I’ve been doing this stuff for about 30 years now, and when I went to graduate school I read books about crisis. Then we had a crisis. Then we had another crisis. A crisis of this and a crisis of that. There’s a danger that the term becomes meaningless. So I will try and put it in a slightly different cast.

Capitalism itself is usually quite a robust system. That is to say, it can not only deal with shocks—it can sometimes benefit from shocks, depending on the type of shock. What’s happened since 2008 is not the type of shocks that you’re robust to, nor do you benefit from. You have a giant real-estate bust, which tends to then accumulate, through the banking sector and the bail-out of the banking sector, into a series of public debt bail-outs, which then leads to greater fragility on that side.

The entire financial sector on the private side, whether it was corporates through corporate debt markets or whether it was consumers through consumer debt, are extremely levered. Wages aren’t growing, which is the real big problem. Inequality has literally never been higher in many cases. And we’re finally waking up to the fact that there’s an environmental crisis that is very, very serious and is going to hit us much sooner than we thought.

More here.