During research for a textbook on international business, an intriguing series of apparently unrelated ‘episodes’ of events and historical processes revealed significant interrelated changes in three broad areas within a relatively short timeframe: the decade 1988-1998. These globalization dynamics have shaped the modern era, and they fall within the following categories:
- Multiple interruptions to the long march of globalization, a progression that had accelerated dramatically since 1945.
- ‘Once in a generation’ geopolitical and economic disruptions, including the dramatic collapse of the USSR, the end of the Cold War (round one), the formation of the European Union and the extraordinary rise of China and Taiwan as global economic powerhouses.
- ‘Step-change’ developments in communications infrastructure, underpinned by the convergence of the telecommunications and information technology sectors alongside emerging ‘disruptive’ business processes.
Since two significant episodes – the 1987/88 and 1997/98 global financial crises – bracketed a decade during which these globalization dynamics unfolded, the ‘Ten Years…’ title for this book selected itself.
An introductory chapter presents an overview of the fundamental principles of free trade, globalization and international business, alongside a discussion of uncertainty, risk and decision-making in ‘unknowable’ times. This ‘sets the scene’ for the 1988-1998 decade that is analysed.
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The Preface, Epilogue and References are presented unabridged.
Introduction to the book’s scope, philosophy and structure.
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All content © Colin Edward Egan, 2022