Globalization

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International trade policies and new technologies facilitate the flow of people, information, and products across national borders, in turn encouraging the integration of regional economies, societies, and cultures. RAND research has investigated how globalization affects and has been affected by policymaking throughout the world.

  • Essay

    The Economic Returns of Foreign Language Learning

    If just 10 percent more students in the United Kingdom mastered Arabic, Mandarin, French, or Spanish, the economic returns could be measured in billions of British pounds. Removing the language barrier reduces trade costs.

    Jul 7, 2022

  • Commentary

    Advancing Global Citizenship in America

    Concerted international action is required to address climate change and sustainability, pandemics, global security, and economic growth. But such action requires a sense of common destiny and shared responsibility among people across nations. What are Americans' attitudes toward global issues, and what could encourage them to become citizens of the world?

    Mar 24, 2022

Explore Globalization

  • U.S President Joe Biden says goodbye to Chinese President Xi Jinping at the end of the APEC meeting in San Francisco, California, November 18, 2023, photo by EyePress News/Reuters

    Commentary

    Interdependence and Its Discontents: Why Would Nations with Incentives to Avoid It Go to War?

    It's tempting to think that interdependence between the United States and China has reached a level in which armed conflict between them is unthinkable. Unfortunately, history gives us little reason to be confident that peace is inevitable simply because the degree of interdependence is strong.

    Feb 23, 2024

  • International Congress, many flags of different countries on flagpoles, photo by Aleksandr Koltyrin/Getty Images

    Multimedia

    Big Themes and Geopolitics with Robert B. Zoellick

    Robert B. Zoellick shares two complementary perspectives on risks to global democracy, identifying transnational trends and pointing out geopolitical shifts in Eurasia. His message concludes with implications for the future.

    Jun 27, 2023

  • U.S. President Joe Biden shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping during the G20 leaders' summit in Bali, Indonesia, November 14, 2022, photo by Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

    Commentary

    U.S.-China Rivalry in an Era of Weakening States

    With their weakened state capacity, disengaged publics, and imbalanced economies, the United States and China break the pattern seen in other rivalries between great powers. New theories and ideas will be required to cope with problems largely unknown to the great-power rivals of the recent past.

    Jun 6, 2023

  • Damaged buildings are pictured during the fighting with Islamic State's fighters in the old city of Raqqa, Syria, August 19, 2017, photo by Zohra Bensemra/Reuters

    Report

    U.S.-China Rivalry in a Neomedieval World

    The neomedieval era, which began around 2000, is characterized by weakening states, fragmenting societies, imbalanced economies, and informalized warfare. What do these conditions mean for competition—and potential conflict—between the United States and China?

    Jun 6, 2023

  • Chips being installed on a microprocessor, photo by Hseyin/Adobe Stock

    Report

    What Taiwan's Dominance in Semiconductor Production Means for the U.S.

    Semiconductors have become an integral part of nearly every industry. Production of the highest-end semiconductors exists almost entirely in Taiwan. If China were to unify with Taiwan, there are no good short-term options for responding to the disruption that would cause to the global semiconductor supply chain.

    Mar 13, 2023

  • Commercial Book

    Commercial Book

    Tech Wars: Transforming U.S. Technology Development

    This book explores the evolution of the U.S. research and development enterprise, asks whether this organization remains appropriate for current the challenges, and proposes strategies for better preparing for the global technology race.

    Oct 13, 2022

  • Hand touching global network of connected human dots icons, image by ipopba/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Digital Offshoring Could Affect U.S. Workers

    The COVID-19 pandemic fueled a remote work boom as well as increases in innovation and investments in digital technologies. But could these developments backfire and lead to U.S. companies moving white-collar jobs overseas where labor costs are lower?

    Oct 6, 2022

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with journalists in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, June 29, 2022, photo by Dmitry Azarov/Sputnik via Reuters

    Commentary

    The Rise of the Rest: How Russia Views the Future World Order

    What Russia seeks is new political leadership across the Western world that does not support a status quo that can isolate Russia from the capital and technology it needs to generate security and prosperity over the long term.

    Sep 19, 2022

  • NASA successfully hot-fire tested a 3-D printed copper combustion tank liner. NASA successfully hot-fire tested a 3-D printed copper combustion chamber liner with an E-Beam Free Form Fabrication manufactured nickel-alloy jacket, photo by NASA/MSFC/David Olive

    Report

    Use of Predictive Analytic Tools to Assess Technological Emergences and Acquisition Targets

    Using patent filings, the authors analyze the current position of the United States relative to China in selected technology areas of interest to the Department of the Air Force.

    Jun 2, 2022

  • The United Nations Security Council during a meeting on Russia's invasion of Ukraine, at the U.N. Headquarters in New York City, New York, May 5, 2022, photo by Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

    Commentary

    How to Save the Postwar Order

    For the last decade or so, debate has raged among scholars and policymakers about the significance of the post–World War II, rules-based international order. Is it a feeble myth, or is it a powerful influence on state behavior? Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the global response to it has put these competing claims into sharp relief.

    May 6, 2022

  • Illustration of two hands playing chess, one with a U.S. flag sleeve and the other with a China flag sleeve, photo by siraanamwong/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Book Review: 'Isolating the Enemy' by Tao Wang

    In his book, Isolating the Enemy: Diplomatic Strategy in China and the United States, 1953–1956, Dr. Tao Wang reviews key moments in the diplomatic strategies of China and the United States between 1953 and 1956. Although the book illuminates fascinating aspects of the period's diplomatic history, it unfortunately does not offer much insight into the reasons for the relative success of these contrasting strategies.

    Apr 27, 2022

  • The U.N. Security Council meeting room at the United Nations in New York City, March 11, 2022, photo by Carlo Allegri/Reuters

    Commentary

    Is There a Future for Multilateralism?

    The rise in the use of informal arrangements and the proliferation in the use of regional arrangements have weakened multilateral institutions. Multilateralism's failure, if it happens, could raise significant challenges on how to address global public issues.

    Apr 4, 2022

  • RAND Weekly Recap

    Blog

    Insights on Russia's War in Ukraine, Global Citizenship, Vaccination Equity: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on Russia's war on Ukraine, medication treatment for patients with opioid use disorder, promoting global citizenship in America, and more.

    Mar 25, 2022

  • Thank you in many languages, photo by aaabbc/Adobe Stock

    Research Brief

    Talking business: How increasing languages education in the UK could benefit the economy

    Findings show that investing in languages education in UK secondary schools will return more than the investment cost. The benefit-to-cost ratio is about 2:1, meaning that every £1 spent on extra language provision could return £2 for the economy.

    Mar 2, 2022

  • Thank you in many languages, photo by aaabbc/Adobe Stock

    Report

    Investment in Languages Education Could Return Double for UK Economy

    Languages play a significant role in international trade, and not sharing a common language acts as a non-tariff trade barrier. Benefit-to-cost ratios for increasing Arabic, Mandarin, French, or Spanish education in the UK are estimated to be at least 2:1, meaning that spending £1 could return £2.

    Feb 21, 2022

  • Pattern featuring the flags of the United States, Russia, and China, image by Getty Images/RAND Corporation

    Report

    Crossroads of Competition: China, Russia, and the United States in the Middle East

    This report details the political, economic, and military interests and activities of China and Russia in the Middle East and identifies where those efforts contest, intersect, or complement U.S. interests and activities.

    Feb 2, 2022

  • U.S. and China flags made into puzzle pieces, photo by studiocasper/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Shaping China's Ambitions

    Managing a rivalry with a regionally ambitious, globally engaged peer competitor of China's economic heft and technological sophistication will be one of the most profound strategic tests the United States has ever faced. A major lesson from its last global rivalry is that mistaken impressions about the nature of the rival and the character of the rivalry can create momentum for dangerous policies.

    Jan 24, 2022

  • U.S. President Joe Biden, with Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, speaks virtually with Chinese leader Xi Jinping from the White House in Washington, D.C., November 15, 2021, photo by Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

    Commentary

    Avoiding a New Surge of Regime Change

    As competition with China in the developing world heats up, the United States need not repeat the sad legacy of the Cold War with a surge of new efforts at covert regime change and harassment. Instead, America could maximize the systemic advantages it has long enjoyed, meet reformist leaders and movements in the developing world on their own terms, and trust the long-term appeal of American norms and values.

    Dec 8, 2021