Professor Ghemawat main argument is that most proponents of globalization or anti-globalization are wrong: The world is not as globalized as they all want us to think.
the world is not nearly as connected as [they] would have us believe. Despite talk of a new, wired world where information, ideas, money, and people can move around the planet faster than ever before, just a fraction of what we consider globalization actually exists.
And he has the hard data to support his argument:
the total amount of the world’s capital formation that is generated from foreign direct investment (FDI) has been less than 10 percent for the last three years for which data is available (2003-05).
Other indicators of how exagerated globalization is are the levels of migration, telephone calls, private charitable giving, stock investment and trade. They are all around 10%. One particular case where geography and borders should have no effect at all is the web, therefore one could assume that globalization has spread faster in cyberspace.
Yet Web traffic within countries and regions has increased far faster than traffic between them. [...] People across the world may be getting more connected, but they aren’t connecting with each other. [...] We’re more wired, but no more “global”.
Whithout negating the possibility that globalization will continue its advance as policies evolve around the world, there are many indicators that point to the fact that it was far easier for entities to become global in the 90’s than it is today. Anyone involved in the process of becoming global should be careful to consider the implications and not assume too much.
I guess that includes Global Culture, but so far the reception of the ideas continues to grow in numbers and diversity. By the end of the week I will provide an update on readership at the end of the first quarter of 2007.