No. That is, not unless you believe that globalization is mainly about international trade and investment. But it is much more than that, and rumors of its demise -- such as Princeton economic historian Harold James's recent obituary for "The Late, Great Globalization" -- have been greatly exaggerated.
Jihadists in Indonesia, after all, can still share their operational plans with like-minded extremists in the Middle East, while Vietnamese artists can now more easily sell their wares in European markets, and Spanish magistrates can team up with their peers in Latin America to bring torturers to justice. Globalization, as political scientist David Held and his coauthors put it, is nothing less than the "widening, deepening and speeding up of worldwide interconnectedness in all aspects of contemporary social life" -- and not just from one Bloomberg terminal to another.
Around the world, all kinds of groups are still connecting, and the economic crisis will not slow their international activities. In some cases, it might even bolster them.
Global charities, for instance, will face soaring demand for their services as the economic crisis greatly expands the number of those in need. Religions, too, will benefit, as widespread hardship heightens interest in the hereafter. At a time when cash is king and jobs are scarce, globalized criminals will be one of the few, if not the only, sources of credit, investment, and employment in some places. And transnational terrorists will not be deterred by a bad economy. The collapse of the credit-default swap market didn’t prevent 10 Pakistani militants from wreaking havoc in Mumbai in November.
It's true that private flows of credit and investment across borders have temporarily plummeted. By the end of 2008, for example, U.S. demand for imported goods fell drastically, shrinking the country's trade deficit by almost 30 percent. In China, imports dropped 21 percent and exports nearly 3 percent. Last November, capital flows to emerging markets reached their lowest level since 1995, and issuance of international bonds ground to a halt.
But as private economic activity falls, the international movement of public funds is booming. Last fall, the U.S. Federal Reserve and the central banks of Brazil, Mexico, Singapore, and South Korea launched $30 billion worth of currency arrangements for each country designed to stabilize their financial markets. Similar reciprocal deals now tie together central banks throughout Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.
Yes, some governments might be tempted to respond to the crisis by adopting trade-impairing policies, imposing rules that inhibit global financial integration, or taking measures to curb immigration. The costs of doing so, however, are enormous and hard to sustain in the long run. What's more, the ability of any government to shield its economy and society from outside influences and dangers has steadily evaporated in the past two decades. There is no indication that this trend will be reversed.
Globalization is such a diverse, broad-based, and potent force that not even today's massive economic crash will dramatically slow it down or permanently reverse it. Love it or hate it, globalization is here to stay.