Economic Globalization’s Polycrisis


Eric Helleiner defines polycrisis as “a cluster of distinct crises that interact in ways that they and/or their effects tend to reinforce each other” and argues that economic globalization is experiencing a polycrisis made up of five constituent crises: the deepening trade war between the United States and China; the move towards national self-sufficiency in reaction to the pandemic; Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and consequent sanctions; trade restrictions against countries with lax regulation against climate change; and the weakening of democracy. The conjuncture of these crises as a polycrisis makes the present situation unique from other recent instances of “crisis” in the global economy.


Eric Helleiner

Publication Date

23 March 2024


International Studies Quarterly, vol. 68, no. 2



Resource Type

Academic Journal Article

Systems Addressed

Climate • Economy • Geopolitics and International Security • Health • Social Order and Governance

Uses the term polycrisis

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