October, 24, 2018, IPF Seminar Hall, New Delhi
Speakers: Dr. Jamie halsall, Department of Behavioral sciences, University of Huddersfield, UK
Dr. Ashwani Mahajan, National Co-Convener, Swadeshi Jagaran Manch
INDIA POLICY FOUNDATION organized a ‘Panel Discussion’ on 24th October, 2018 under the visionary leadership of Honorary Director Professor Rakesh Sinha. Dr. Jamie halsall, Department of Behavioral sciences, University of Huddersfield, UK and Dr. Ashwani Mahajan, National Co-Convener, Swadeshi Jagaran Manch were the Chief Panelists. Apart from them many other distinguished guests also graced the occasion to take part in the discussion.
Dr. Mahajan stressed on the fact that globalization today is a reality and can’t be neglected. He suggested to negotiate with it to our benefits rather attack it. He said Washington Consensus, Fall of USSR, LPG reforms and SAPs etc all happened at almost similar time period and fuelled globalization. Financial instruments and securities changed the financial market forever. Globalization was expected to create a level playing field among different nations but it actually ended up creating two separate groups of winners and losers. Rise of protectionism today, BREXIT, trade wars etc are because of the failures of globalization and the consequential discontent among affected nations. We need to ask some questions to reevaluate globalization. Has globalization really been global? Globalization ‘for whom?’ and ‘on whose terms?’ Has globalization given rise to crony capitalism?
Globalisation was planned by less than 1/3rd of the world territory. It was planned by some western countries to invest their idle lying capital to undiscovered markets. The idea of globalization itself as well as its critique both came from the west and thus they dictate the terms. He suggested we as a country lack original thinking and research and need to focus to move further quickly in these areas. He also said that ‘Capitalism’ and Socialism’ both have their flaws and have failed to give a stable and equitable economic order to the world. An Indian solution has to come up. He suggested the audience to read Swadeshi Jagaran Manch’s founder late Shri Dattopant Thengadi’s book “THIRD WAY”.
He also suggested that the government should increase import duties on many of the items. On an average India’s import duty is only 1/8th of the cap mandated by World Trade Organization and it creates a disadvantage for India vis-à-vis other countries. ‘Make in India’ will also work better when we stop importing the parts and accessories of the final product and just assemble it here. The parts must also be ‘Swadeshi’ so that our indigenous small and medium enterprises grow and more people get employment.
Dr. Jamie elaborated the concept of globalization in contemporary times for our audience. He said in ten years after the global financial crisis the atmosphere has become very anti-establishment. Brexit referendum is one such example. A precise definition of globalization is problematic. Munck (2002) quoted “everything and anything, or nothing”. It can be broadly seen in 4 key areas – political, social, economic and cultural. The elites today are ignoring deglobalization. There is a rise of populism all across the world. He also stated that there are 3 schools of thought about globalization – hyper globalists (who see nation-states getting weaker and lesser important in the modern times), skepticals (side effects of globalization on the society are much larger than the positive effects) and transformationalists (take a middle path that the fruits of globalization are often exaggerated but it cannot rejected). The role of the state is also being debated. Is it a protector? Is it an arbitrator? Is it a cohesive force? Is it a facilitator? Is it an investor? Or, as Weber called it, is it a system of bureaucracy?
Financial crisis had huge impact all over the world and especially in USA. Around 8.8 million people lost jobs. 9.3 million People lost their homes. $19.2 trillion of household wealth just simply vanished. In the aftermath of an economic crisis the government has two routes – either to have a policy of ‘wait and watch’ and let the crisis get over or give fiscal stimulus so that the economic cycle keeps running. On the other hand, series of economic reforms that government implements to reduce its deficits is called ‘Austerity’. Its impacts are widespread like unemployment will increase, GDP growth will come down and public services like health and education will be hit. Recently, UK has seen public spending cuts and the impacts are huge, even on the popular National Health Scheme.
Professor Jamie in the concluding remarks said that globalization is an ever changing concept, with a lot of complexities and difficult to measure. He talked of reinventing globalization by ‘Thinking globally, acting locally’ and also suggested the restructuring of global governance institutions.
PREPARED BY -
INDIA POLICY FOUNDATION