Whether it is Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, or Pope Francis, globalization currently has prominent critics and few friends. This was emphasized at the beginning of a talk at the Austrian Academy by Philip Booth, Senior Academic Fellow at the Institute of Economic Affairs, and Professor of Finance at St. Mary’s University. However, the current criticism of globalization is unfounded. On the basis of much data and many examples, Booth demonstrates what astonishing and often ignored successes we owe to globalization, especially with regard to overcoming poverty in the poorest countries. From a Christian perspective, Booth therefore sees good reasons to be far less skeptical of globalization than some Christian representatives are, with figures such as Pope John Paul II taking a more positive view of globalization.
Booth currently sees threats to global free trade in the growing geopolitical importance of China, whose economy is heavily dominated by the state, as well as in overly complex regulations that make free exchange between people difficult or impossible altogether, and in protectionist tendencies in the West. Because of pandemic travel restrictions, Booth had to give his talk from his home office in London.
This presentation was given at the AUSTRIAN ACADEMY 2020 “Market Economy and Entrepreneurship—Their Contribution to a Free and Humane Society.” Participants of the multi-day event were 20 students and young professionals who were selected on the basis of an application process and received a full scholarship from the event’s organizer, the Austrian Institute. The event was held in cooperation with the Friedrich August von Hayek Foundation for a Free Society (Berlin) and with the support of the Austrian Federation of Industry (IV).