Current problems of Europe

The world of fragmentation is changing the world of globalization

Братерский М.В.

Bratersky Maxim Vladimirovich – Sc.D. in Political Sciences, Leading Researcher, Head of Sector, INION RAS; Professor, Leading Researcher, Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs, National Research University «Higher School of Economics».

Abstract

The article examines several key features of the emerging world system and argues that the era of American-led globalization is transitioning to an increasingly fragmented system in which fragmentation occurs along trade, investment, currency zones, and technological patterns as well as along political lines. Emergence of regional power centers (poles) will play a greater role in world politics and ideological approaches. The economic sphere most clearly represents the fragmentation of the world system, promoted by the general tendency towards economic regionalization and the increasing geopolitical controversies that lead to numerous trade restrictions and establish economic zones «only for political allies». Key powers establish economic unions to ensure their economic self-sufficiency in crucial areas and thus strengthen their political autonomy and sovereignty. The ideas of economic nationalism in their mercantilist version gain popularity as they combine economic power with political power. Economic regionalization is furthermore encouraged by the unresolved trade disputes between groups of countries, which prevent the adoption of multilateral trade rules and de facto block WTO negotiations. «Right now, there are changes like we haven’t seen in 100 years, – and we are the ones driving those changes together», Xi Jinping told Vladimir Putin as he saw him off after his March 2023 visit to Moscow. What is the content of these changes and what role do Moscow and Beijing play in the ongoing processes are some of the questions discussed in this article.

Keywords

fragmentation, deglobalization, regionalization, world order, trade

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