The world faces crises in the climate emergency, the threat of more zoonotic pandemics and open warfare. These crises have contributed to existing problems of food insecurity, poverty and precarious living. Divisions have emerged between nations as the Russian invasion of Ukraine threatens to lead to a Russia-China axis requiring emerging nations to choose between them and western countries as principal ally. The USA joined Turkey, Hungary and others in electing an authoritarian, nationalist president willing to transgress legal and political norms and break international agreements and alliances for political gain. The UK intensified its decline into irrelevance by voting to leave the European Union (EU), with disastrous consequences. The container ship Ever Given blocked the Suez Canal and showed how fragile the supply chains are that keep the goods and services on which people rely for their daily lives. Long periods of shutdown during the coronavirus pandemic forced many people to reassess their priorities and life choices and that, combined with the paucity of wages available now in so many jobs, has persuaded large numbers to leave their jobs.
In all of these ways, deglobalization has come a little closer. People have rejected some aspects of globalisation and looked for different ways of living. The above reasons are mainly negative in nature but there are positive reasons for deglobalization. Throughout history there have been many examples of people wishing to leave simpler lives, dropping out of the mainstream of society and pursuing alternative goals. With the advent of the climate emergency, more thought has been given to how societies can be reconfigured to minimize the carbon footprint and consume resources on a more sustainable basis. These approaches will require significant changes in the way societies and their politics will have to work in order to be successful.
Under these circumstances, it is timely to consider the nature of deglobalization, both in terms of the ways in which it might be manifested and the impacts it may have on people around the world. Consequently, this volume contains papers from authors from many countries who have given thought to these issues. Authors have contributed papers from Ghana, Greece, India, Mexico, the Russian Federation, Taiwan and Thailand. Together, the papers represent a diverse attempt to unpack the effects of deglobalization and how it is now affecting peoples’ lives and how it will do in the future. Some authors analyse how existing practices will be required to change under different circumstances and others approach the issue from the perspective of personal rather than institutional behaviour. The result is a vibrant collection highlighting different ways of thinking about both the present and the future.
I would like to thank all the authors who contributed chapters to this book for their diligence and patience. I would also like to thank all the supportive people at Diamond Publishing, especially Ms. Ruby Granger. It has been a pleasure working with you all.
John Walsh, Krirk University, September 2022