on 6 August 2008
In rather readable style - I just love his sense of humour - Professor Bhagwati (JB) sets out his case in favour of globalisation.
Part One sets out the arguments of the anti-globalisation movement. It would appear that a whole load of other issues not connected to globalisation found a home in the anti-globalisation movement, anti-Americanism being one of them. JB also notes that students of economics tend to be in favour of globalisation and that those opposed to globalisation rarely know anything about economics. Perhaps that situation could be remedied by spreading more knowledge of economics amongst the "anti-globalisationists".
In Part Two, JB examines the effect of globalisation on a number of issues including poverty, child labour, women and their treatment of, democracy, culture, wages and labour standards, the environment and multi-national corporations. He finds that globalisation is not a threat but rather beneficial to any of these subjects and that multi-nationals are not thriving by playing economies against each other or exploiting countries by abusing their corporate might.
Part Three deals with legal and illegal movement of labour and the challenges arising from it and the perils arising from the move of international capital where he also looks at the 1998 Asian crisis. Whilst I agree with JB that the reason for the crisis was not an end of the economic miracle experienced in the 30-odd years before the crisis I think that these countries' economic mismanagement played a large part in it. But you are of course free to read JB's book and make up your own mind.
In Part Four, JB discusses ways in which globalisation could be managed in such a way that potential downsides in the course of economic development could be met in a better way than is available at present. You will notice that JB is terribly impressed with the efforts of the IMF and the World Bank in helping countries in need.
In his conclusions, JB mentions that his book was written against the background of the mass demonstrations accompanying the WTO meeting in Seattle in 1999.
Also in his conclusion, JB tells of an argument put forward by the anti-globalisation movement that globalisation kills jobs in the industrialised countries. This line of argument would suggest that investment and economic development to the non-industrialised world must be denied because these jobs must be retained in the industrialised countries in order to secure `our future'. Who is the selfish party here, I wonder.
Jagdish Bhagwati's book should be compulsory reading for everyone because he proves that the arguments put forward by the anti-globalisationists are simply not true, including the one about killing jobs outlined above. I look forward to these people demonstrating in favour of globalisation, soon, or at least after they have read JB's book.
on 29 April 2011
Jagdish Bhagwati is a true believer in the righteousness of international trade, and in this pro-globalization work, he takes a tone of nearly evangelical fervor. This tactic is likely to please those who agree with him, but it's unlikely to win over sceptics. Bhagwati makes no attempt to hide his disdain for the patchouli-scented protesters who disagree with him, and he spends much of this book serving up their flimsiest arguments and then knocking them down. Of course, he also offers plenty of persuasive points, such as a review of research showing that multinationals that set up shop in poor nations pay more than their workers would receive from other employers. At his worst, Bhagwati makes the reptilian argument that mothers who leave behind their children for jobs in rich countries are simply making a logical choice, never mind the wrenching emotions that accompany such a move. At his best, he advocates for a safety net in poor nations and for a kinder, gentler form of globalization. getAbstract recommends this book to readers seeking an in-depth study of the pro-globalization mind-set.
on 25 February 2004
I heard Bhagwati speak on this book at LSE and was terribly impressed. The point to make is that he's not one of those free trade at all cost types. He believes, and has evidence to prove, that free trade helps the very people that most anti-globalization activists purport to be helping. At the same time, he emphasizes the need to control the speed at which markets liberalise, as well as for serious safety nets to cope with downsides.
This is a must read for everyone who cares about raising the standard of living in poorer countries.
on 26 July 2006
Professor Bhagwati is a well-known economist and here offers timely discussions on the pros and cons of globalization. In short, he sees that globalization will bring more benefits to the world. By this nature, his discussions go a long way "in defence of globalization." Worth read, but his discussions are somewhat rigid and bit too long, though a very important work. This book should go with another brilliant book: China's global reach: markets, multinationals, and globalization (the revised edition) by a Chinese journalist, which offers much more info and analysis, especially on a changing world production, investment and trade map -- all under globalization and capitalism. Furthermore, the book is very critical about the abusive Chinese bureaucratic power.