Trump, Brexit, ISIS, and a slowing economy –the world as we know it seems to be undergoing a political, social and economic earthquake. With the American administration challenging their Chinese adversaries, and the devastating amount of terrorist attacks across Europe – people have started to question whether ‘home is where the heart is’ will become a legitimate reality in the next decade.
This economic meltdown has popularised a forgotten term: deglobalisation. It is referred to as the process of diminishing interdependence and integration between states around the world. Foreign Direct Investments decline and trade between countries suffer. Deglobalisation usually stems from conflicts of interests between nations due to political differences, strategic changes or historical explanations just to name a few.
Several factors are considered to explain this gradual movement into an immigration-hostile and international trade opposing society.
1. Widespread Terrorism
“Tragedy strikes”, “Another awful shooting” and “lives lost” are some headlines that have now become as common as the day’s weather in every country’s leading newspapers. Statistically, there have been 26 acts of terrorism just in 2016, making it the deadliest year in two decades. 69% of people believe that they are the results of violent protests from radical religious bodies or are consequences of hate crime, sending people into a frenzy on trying to figure out how to protect themselves and their loved ones. Politicians who feed on this prevalent fear do not help either.
2. Political Influence and Government Policies
Campaigning against birthright citizenship, promoting immediate mass deportation of undocumented immigrants, constructing difficult laws for work visas – the American administration wishes to reduce the number of expats on a huge scale. Meanwhile in the United Kingdom, one of the main incentives to undertake BREXIT was that the government claimed that EU members slowed their economic progress and that there would be more jobs available for the English once immigration laws are strengthened. A less popular yet significant update was that of Australia where permanent residents must wait four years before they can apply for citizenship, as opposed to the previous requirement of only one-year as a permanent resident. These degrees send a powerful message to citizens of a state that they’d be better off without expatriates in their country.
The consequences of this phenomena have already been felt. Fewer countries are ready to accept refugees and businesses suffer due to lack of required skilled labour. Socially, people who accepted diverse communities in their neighbourhood, are now hoodwinked to believe that they are unsafe in their own homes. Furthermore, the fallacious emphasis on self-centered trade hinders international cooperation. On the other hand, Countries such as Canada and India that embrace multiculturalism, are focussing on making their regions into tech and innovation hubs of expertise, media, education, healthcare, and consumer goods.
There is a strong distinction between patriotism and aggressive nationalism. One promotes allegiance and loyalty to one’s country, and the other makes international cooperation difficult and can, as history has shown, cause war.