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In previous episodes of deglobalization, catastrophic events such as World War I or the financial crash of 1929 disrupted the flows of commerce, finance and people that had previously linked countries together. One result of these crises was that nationality and citizenship became the key components of political and social life.It would seem that modern political society is predisposed toward deglobalization.Over the last century, three related emotions, in particular, have fueled backlashes against globalization: fear, suspicion and anomie. Generally, widespread fear of financial losses or of dangers posed by other countries reflect a society's deeper anxiety about a constantly changing world.It is worth remembering that the 20th century's major military conflicts were all preceded by financial crises, which themselves were preceded by periods of wild exuberance. The crash of 1907 preceded World War I; and the 1929 crash, the 1931 European banking crisis and the Great Depression preceded World War II.Fear and suspicion thrive when the processes of globalization erode core values, sources of meaning – such as traditional occupations – and ways of life.Can digital globalization also create new sources of meaning?But if the new interconnectivity has the paradoxical effect of making people feel more isolated and adrift, those people will pick old imagined certainties over globalization any day.
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