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Abstract

The dramatic economic and political developments that followed the 2008 global financial crisis accelerated the rise of what I call “localized globalizations,” led by the United States and China. Their driving forces seem to be the creation of global information/social networks and the proliferation of cheap consumer goods, correspondingly. The US-led version of globalization benefits from the information standards set up by both American and European companies, which target consumers in those high-income nations creating the global upper class. The China-orchestrated version addresses the people in mid- and lower-income nations and provides these nations with China-produced hardware and consumer goods, thus increasing the quality of life and capitalizing on the competitiveness of Chinese mass production. These two versions of globalization are set to compete in the coming decades until a new, more inclusive model emerges, allowing the world once again to reunite economically on a more advanced level. I argue that this is all quite natural, and would not overestimate the negative effects of such economic tensions, since I do not expect that “competing globalizations” will provoke political clashes, unrests, and wars.

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