Dani Rodrik, a professor at Harvard, discusses globalization and the potential trade-offs involved between globalization, the power of the nation state, and democracy, his ‘trilemma’, in this short video.
Rodrik suggests that we can have too much globalization, and that it can undermine national sovereignty or democracy depending on the choices made by particular countries. This framework helps to explain the political turmoil experienced by many developed nations across the world recently, with shifts towards the populist left and right.
Maybe the term populist is a little unfair, as some of the policies proposed by such parties may benefit the dispossessed. Having said that some of them also propose highly disagreeable policies. But surely economic factors, such as the uneven distribution of the material benefits from globalization, have contributed to a rejection of the mainstream elite. Something had to give.