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The Globalization Paradox: Democracy and the Future of the World Economy Hardcover – February 21, 2011
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“Simply the best recent treatment of the globalization dilemma that I've read, by an economist or anyone else….He gives us nothing less than a general theory of globalization, development, democracy, and the state. The book provides the pleasure of following a thoughtful, critical mind working through a complex puzzle. Rodrik writes in highly friendly and nontechnical prose, blending a wide-ranging knowledge of economic history and politics and a gentle, occasionally incredulous, skepticism about the narrow and distorting lens of his fellow economists.” (Robert Kuttner - The American Prospect)
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Top Customer Reviews
Although he doesn't develop a formal model, Dani Rodrik offers his own, more ambitious version of the impossibility triangle. The political trilemma of the world economy, as he names it, is that we cannot have deep economic integration ("hyperglobalization"), national sovereignty, and democratic politics at the same time. We have to sacrifice one of the corners of the triangle. And for Rodrik, the objective that has to be abandoned is clear and straightforward. We cannot compromise on democracy, and global governance is nothing but a distant dream. We therefore have to jettison hyperglobalization in favor of a more shallow form of global economic integration, a new version of the compromise that was embodied in the postwar system laid out at Bretton Woods. In particular, unrestricted capital mobility and indiscriminate trade openness will have to go. This will make the world a safer and better place for democracy.
Dani Rodrik, who teaches at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, is a first-class economist. In academic and policy circles, people talk about him with respect and sometimes even with awe--it is better to have him on the same side of an argument than sitting across the table.Read more ›
A sizeable chunk of the book is navel-gazing: humbly defending the economics profession, while criticizing its members for unequivocally endorsing free trade in public. His most pointed barb is accusing economists of using more conditional views of free trade in the seminar room. I'm reminded of Elhanan Helpman and Paul Krugman's seminal 1989 trade policy monograph, which surveys several trade models in which government intervention is optimal. Yet the authors conclude, "The design of an advantageous trade policy requires information of a kind that is simply not available." This was not one of the seven "hand-waving arguments" Rodrik cites in support of free trade, but it's an important argument he should have engaged.
Rodrik downplays the concern from economists that much of trade policy in democracies is political rent-seeking.Read more ›
Rodrik's message is simple. The first stage of capitalism was dominated by a hegemonic capitalist class and unregulated markets, guided by an ideology of laissez-faire. The second stage was dominated by the distribution struggle between industrial capital and industrial labor, with Keynesian economics in the ascendency. We are now in a third stage of capitalism in which globalization has thrown the supporters of labor in disarray, and in which a new set of nation-state level regulations are needed to protect democracy without losing the economic benefits of globalization.
The enemy for Rodrik is ultraglobalism, in which unregulated international capital flows prevent countries from redistributing in favor of the less well off, free trade principles prevent countries from applying their own environmental and product safety standards, and hypercompetition prevents countries from implementing desirable pay scales and occupational safety and health regulation. In short, says Rodrik, ultraglobalism is the enemy of democracy, because it prevents voters from making meaningful choices about the future direction of their own society.
Rodrik's recommendations for a healthy economic policy are far from radical. He recognizes that the prospects for "global government" are slim, so meaningful economic regulation will continue to be exercised at the nation-state level.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Professor Rodrik deals with the economics of globalization as it actually affects people, not just so-called “free trade” but financial globalization and other forms of... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Dick_Burkhart
An informative, interesting and easy read, as Rodrik always is. I would recommend for anyone interested in economics, development and international politics.Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
Fantastic book really gives a good overlook of globalization even if you do not agree with the practices. Really it is worth the read.Published 10 months ago by Jarret
Quite comprehensive and well written account of the state of globalisation today. A central part of you literature review and an excellent start for your studies on global politics... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Jacob Taarup
An excellent, balanced, thoughtful but forceful argument that we cannot maintain national sovereignty and democracy if we insist on having a radical version of globalization that... Read morePublished 10 months ago by steven colatrella