The State of Globalization in 2023.

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By Steven Altman and Caroline R. Bastian

Three key questions lie at the heart of debates about whether global crises and escalating geopolitical tensions have begun to reverse globalization: Has the growth of cross-border trade, capital, information and people flows gone into reverse? Are geopolitical tensions fracturing the world economy into rival blocs? And is globalization giving way to regionalization? The answer to all three questions — despite evidence of U.S.-China decoupling — is still “no.”

This result — decoupling without deglobalization — implies that most multinational firms should respond to elevated geopolitical tensions with focused adjustments to their global strategies and risk management. While the public-policy environment has become less conducive to globalization, the resilience of global flows cautions against more dramatic strategy changes predicated on the notion that markets will become substantially less globalized.

Plummeting flows of trade, capital, and people at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic prompted a wave of speculation about the end of globalization, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine brought even more predictions of a retreat toward national self-sufficiency. But international flows show no signs of a sustained downturn.

Read the full Harvard Business Review article.
Steven Altman is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Management and Organizations and Senior Research Scholar and Director of the DHL Initiative on Globalization at NYU Stern’s Center for the Future of Management