January 11, 2010

Wal-Mart and Globalization's Next Wave

Thomas P. M. Barnett, World Politics Review

AP Photo

Thanks to the recent global financial crisis, we've heard much talk about the coming "de-globalization," defined by some as the reversal of the now decades-long push to further integrate trade among national economies by disintegrating production and spreading its means across the planet to the cheapest sources. In the past, all forms of growing supply chain connectivity could be justified on price, buttressed by just-in-time delivery capacity. But the market woes of the last year-and-a-half supposedly threw all that logic into question.

Price risk is one thing, supply risk quite another. Specialization depends on supply: the greater the specialization, the more global firms depend on the reliability of supply. Thus our global economy's growing connectivity and efficiency in...

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TAGGED: Globalization, Wal-Mart