Backlash: Saving Globalisation From Itself

New book by Joe Zammit-Lucia and David Boyle from Radix think tank reimagines the future of globalisation


Saving Globalisation from Itself

By Joe Zammit-Lucia and David Boyle

Published 21st May 2018 Pbk £11.99

“This is a book for this perilous moment; whether facing up to Brexit, populism or protectionism. Politicians, who have too often taken the inevitability of globalisation, and with it the benefits of free trade for granted, need now to read this and think fresh thoughts, radical thoughts, about how to make trade again serve the public and our democracies, not overbear them.”The Rt Hon the Lord Lansley, UK Co-Chairman, UK-Japan 21st Century Group



Source of prosperity for billions? Or a driver of increasing inequality, poor labour conditions, unceasing environmental damage, and cultural fracture? Or both?

The debate on what people gain and lose from open trade among nations has been bubbling for some time and is nearing its boiling point. The shape of our societies, our economies and our politics has changed beyond recognition, throwing globalisation into reverse. Is this the end of globalisation as we know it?

This wide ranging and provocative book examines the drivers behind the backlash against globalisation and the fundamental changes that are needed to safeguard the future of global trade. It questions whether the very foundations on which the international trading system was built still hold true today, and their relevance for the future.  It argues that a trade war between China and the US may well be inevitable. That the loss of trust between countries and trading blocs threaten the collapse of a global trading system that is founded on trust.

The authors also consider whether Brexit might be an opportunity to transform Britain’s trade, and whether the concept of “global Britain” is real or merely an illusion.

By defining international trade not as an end in itself but merely as a tool of countries’ domestic and foreign policy, the authors bring a much-needed reality check into a debate that is all too often shrill and polarised. They argue that those who are so embedded in the current system that they resist change provide the essential fuel behind the reactionary forces that threaten the system’s collapse.

For further information please contact Amelia Knight, Midas PR

Tel: 020 7361 7860    Email: [email protected]


Dr Joe ZammitLucia is a co-founder of the think tank Radix. He is an entrepreneur, investor, leadership advisor and commentator. He writes on business and politics for outlets in the UK, the USA, Germany, the Netherlands, and Malta. He advises senior business and institutional leaders on leadership in contemporary culture.

David Boyle is policy director of Radix. He is the author of a number of books including The Tyranny of Numbers, Authenticity, Regicide and Scandal. He is a former parliamentary candidate and editor of Liberal Democrat News.


Radix is a cross-party think tank for the radical centre of contemporary politics. Its aim is to re-imagine the way government, institutions and society function based on open source, participative citizenship. To kick-start the thinking that is needed for politics to embrace technology, innovation, social and cultural change.

For more information, please visit


“Free international trade has lifted millions out of poverty. But the uneven distribution of benefits and costs has led to a political backlash and a creeping rise in protectionism. New players also entered the global stage, challenging the rules of global trade rooted in the past. Yet, abandoning free trade now would be costly for all. This book clearly lays out how, to save globalization from itself, we need a new, more flexible set of principles to govern trade; better suited to the changing world, and more apt at stopping policy complacency.”

Magdalena Polan

Global EM Economist, Legal & General Investment Management
Formerly, economist at the International Monetary Fund

“Autarkic globalization is no longer an oxymoron, and ‘made locally’ is no longer the preserve of the rhetoric of populist politicians. As we head towards a world with negligible cross-border trade in goods and services, this book is a timely reminder of the changes at hand, and the need to overcome yesterday’s conventional wisdoms in harnessing tomorrow’s realities.”

Simon Zadek

Co-Director, UN Environment Inquiry into the Design of a Sustainable Financial System
Visiting Professor and Senior Fellow in Partnerships and Sustainability, Singapore Management University

“The rules-based trading system at the heart of globalisation has come under increasing scrutiny, its fairness questioned by the powerful and powerless alike. In this investigation into the roots of the discontent, “Backlash” doesn’t turn its back on globalisation but instead tries to find a way to save it. While it doesn’t (yet) have all the answers, it asks the right questions and makes a solid contribution to finding a better way forward.”

Robert McDougall

International Trade Lawyer, Geneva

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