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Date: Jun 14, 2018
Time: 16:00 to 16:45
Venue: C7 - European Commission's tent at Cirkuspladsen
Folkemøde Debate: How to Make Globalization Work for All
 

For whom the bell tolls – must we choose between globalization, national sovereignty and democracy?

Over the last 30 years, globalization has made the world a more open and connected place. Trade barriers have been removed, enabling businesses to operate across the globe and forcing them to become more competitive and innovative. This, in turn, has generated growth, jobs and greater consumer choice. The number of people living in extreme poverty has fallen sharply, literacy rates have risen and life expectancy has been extended considerably. And the internet has enabled people to access information and communicate with each other wherever they are in the world.

Yet in recent years, globalization has become the focus of a political backlash against an economic model that has come to be seen as rigged in favour of those who already have the most. In large parts of the Western world, for so long the centre of the world economy, the middle class has seen real wages stagnate while the poor have become poorer, tendencies that have been given a boost by the financial crisis. Jobs have disappeared overseas, and those that remain are threatened by fast emerging technologies. The promises of digitalisation are put at risk by cybercrime and seemingly systematic misuse of data.

At the political level, a feeling that the benefits of globalization are distributed increasingly unevenly has provided fertile ground for a populist narrative built around simplistic solutions and the promise of a return to a golden age. Aspects of international trade are met with growing popular scepticism, and support for the rules-based liberal international order is waning. Migration, which is both likely become a growing phenomenon as climate change makes itself felt in many vulnerable parts of the world and an economic necessity in a Europe that is going to become ever more demographically challenged, has become a toxic political issue that is mainly addressed in negative terms.

These tensions underpin what the American economist Dani Rodrik has termed ‘The Trilemma of Globalization’: the argument that globalisation, national sovereignty and democracy cannot co-exist. At best, we can have only two of those elements at any given time, leaving us facing a fundamental political choice: if we wish to maintain globalisation and reap its many benefits, we will have to sacrifice either our national sovereignty or our democracies.

  • But is Rodrik right when he claims that we face a fundamental trilemma that challenges the very way we have organised our societies and the international economic system?

  • Or can a way be found to make globalization work for all in a way that leaves both national sovereignty (and identities) and our democratic societies intact?

  • Is it possible to maintain (or reignite) a democratic conversation with a shared goal of finding nuanced and durable solutions to complex challenges such as migration, inequality or climate change?

  • And what would happen to our economies and societies if the (mainly Western) liberal world order were to collapse?

Panelists include:

  • Emi Furuya, Ambassador of Canada to Denmark
  • Ditte Juul Jørgensen, Head of Cabinet for Margrethe Vestager, European Commission
  • Stephen Brugger, Executive Director of AmCham Denmark
  • Mogens Lykketoft, former Minister and President of the 70th session of the UN General Assembly.
  • Moderated by Bjarke Møller, Director, Think Tank Europe


Thanks to our 2018 Folkemøde Sponsors



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