An Ideas-Based Online Magazine of the Global Network for Advanced Management

Future of Globalization: A Recovering European Union

To coincide with the fifth anniversary of the Global Network for Advanced Management in April 2017, Global Network Perspectives asked faculty across the 29 schools in the network: "What do you think the future of globalization looks like? How will this affect the economy in your country or region? How is your school preparing students for this world?" Read all of the responses. Also, in a session at the anniversary symposium, a panel of experts—including former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry—led a discussion of the future of globalization and its implications for business and management education. Watch the video.

What do you think the future of globalization looks like? 

There are currently a number of political, economic, social, cultural, and technological drivers that together seem to suggest that the march of globalization in the postwar period may be stalling or indeed in retreat. The relative economic power of the U.S. and Europe has waned with the emergence of rapidly developing and populous countries in the emerging markets of East and South Asia. Since 2008, there has been a relative decline in the annual increase in number of trade agreements, suggesting that we may be entering a more protectionist period, and many trade talks have stalled.

Relative levels of wealth have stagnated among advanced industrialized countries. The victims of postwar boom-and-bust capitalism in the Anglophone world have been ordinary workers, whose job categories changed from high-paying industrial sector to low-paying service sector. These are the population cohorts most adversely affected by outsourcing, increased mechanisation of production, use of robots, and AI. This has fomented the emergence of more nativist political elites, and scapegoating of immigrants has resulted. But innovative technology will not lead to higher-paying jobs for the unskilled or exskilled workers. 

John Cassidy UCD Smurfit
​John Cassidy

How will this affect the economy in your country or region? 

As a small open entrepôt economy in the EU, Ireland is ranked second in the world in the 2016 KOF Globalisation Index. Foreign Direct Investment is particularly important; the corporate tax headline rate is 12.5%; and Ireland is deeply embedded in the global value chains of MNEs. 

The key problem that Ireland currently has to address is Brexit. While Ireland has a diversified economy, the agriculture and food industry is very important. Ireland has strong historical and cultural links with the U.K. and shares a land border. The U.K. is Ireland’s main export market for food. Post-Brexit, it is likely that some form of trade barriers will be erected, and most likely it will impact the agribusiness industry. Ireland wants to remain close to the U.K. as well as being a member of the EU. While Ireland wants to ride both horses, it may be forced to choose one or the other, which will not be in its best long-term interests.

The EU is still fragile. It is still in recovery mode from the 2008 financial crisis, but is still suffering from existential crises, not least the potential of a breakup of the Euro. Ireland has received a lot of political support from the U.K. with a similar Washington consensus free trade philosophy, yet the union has been dominated by Germany and France. The absence of the U.K. may over time dilute our leverage. 

How is your school preparing students for this world?

The UCD Smurfit Graduate Business School is Ireland's leading business school, triple accredited and globally ranked. As a business school, we seek to be competitive, and we try to identify key areas of expertise that will maintain our competitiveness into the future. International accreditation is seen as critical in this regard. We provide a wide range of programs, including MBA, research programs, and specialist Masters for both business and non-business graduates, as well as Executive Development courses. Our Distance Education degree programs are addressed particularly at emerging high growth markets: Singapore, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, and China, with India currently being courted. We also have extensive international exchange and study-abroad programs. 

University College Dublin is the largest university in Ireland and truly global. 37% of academic staff are international. There are more than 6,500 students from more than 120 countries attending the university. As a constituent school of University College Dublin, we embrace UCD’s Global Engagement Strategy to 2020.