Waves of globalization—of increased interaction between formerly separate societies and economies—have occurred since the dawn of civilization. These waves have typically been sponsored by a dominant power, and they have benefited from the certainty of law and the reliability of property rights associated with that power. Until the European discoveries of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, the power may have been dominant only in a region of the world, as the Roman empire was in the Mediterranean, the Han empire in China, and Ashoka’s empire in India. The regional empires were necessary precursors of the full globalization of the last five hundred years.

It is not going too far to say that modern civilization would be unimaginable without globalization. Globalization is about the specialization of certain localities, towns, cities, and eventually nations and continents on those types of production where...


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