Back to the Future: Is the World Heading Into a New Wave of Protectionism?

In the 1930s, the Great Depression reversed a long trend towards globalization: Borders were shut, trade was halted, and tariffs imposed. After the 2008 financial crisis, it initially seemed that this would not occur again. But free trade is now stirring strong political passions, with politicians and voters of all stripes blaming trade for rising unemployment. So are we heading for a new protectionist wave? Or is it possible to resurrect the free trade dream? Is free trade really as damaging for peoples' jobs as the critics fear anyway?

Festival: 2016

More on this Session

Watch and Listen: World

Around the world, people who are angry at stagnant wages and growing inequality have rebelled against established... See more
The grand European experiment of a shared currency, economy, and joint governance — a Nobel Peace Prize-worthy idea... See more
Nearly every tension across the Middle East — from the war in Syria to Saudi Arabia’s blockade of Qatar to the United... See more
More people have been forced to flee their homes by conflict and crisis than at any time since World War II, leaving an... See more
While more than 100 countries have adopted democracy over the last two centuries, it’s already been a decade since... See more
Following all-but-unopposed reelections this year, China’s Xi Jinping and Russia’s Vladimir Putin both appear to be... See more

Pages