Synopses & Reviews
The riot-torn meeting of the World Trade Organization in Seattle in 1999 was only the most dramatic sign of the intensely passionate debate now raging over globalization, which critics blame for everything from child labor to environmental degradation, cultural homogenization, and a host of other ills afflicting poorer nations.
Now Jagdish Bhagwati, the internationally renowned economist known equally for the clarity of his arguments and the sharpness of his pen, takes on the critics, revealing that globalization, when properly governed, is in fact the most powerful force for social good in the world today. Drawing on his unparalleled knowledge of international economics, Bhagwati explains why the "gotcha" examples of the critics are often not as they seem, and that in fact globalization often alleviates many of the problems for which it has been blamed. For instance, when globalization leads to greater general prosperity in an underdeveloped nation, it quickly reduces child labor and increases literacy (when parents have sufficient income, they send their children to school, not work). The author describes how globalization helps the cause of women around the world and he shows how economic growth, when coupled with the appropriate environmental safeguards, does not necessarily increase pollution. And to counter the charge that globalization leads to cultural hegemony, to a bland "McWorld," Bhagwati points to the example of Salman Rushdie, a writer who blends Bombay slang and impeccable English in novels touched by magic realism borrowed from South American writers. Globalization leads not to cultural white bread but to a spicy hybrid of cultures.
With the wit and wisdom for which he is renowned, Bhagwati convincingly shows that globalization is part of the solution, not part of the problem. Anyone who wants to understand what's at stake in the globalization wars must read In Defense of Globalization.
"An outstandingly effective book.... Until further notice In Defense of Globalization becomes the standard general-interest reference, the intelligent layman's handbook, on global economic integration."--The Economist
"An important contribution to an often incoherent debate. As we expect of Mr. Bhagwati, it is cogently argued and well written. It sets out a persuasive case in favor of globalization. And because of Mr. Bhagwati's impeccable credentials, there is a better chance his book will be given a fair hearing than might be the case with some other authors. Put simply, Mr. Bhagwati has 'street cred'."--Anne Krueger (Acting Director of the IMF), Financial Times
"One of the world's leading international trade theorists.... Bhagwati takes on many antiglobalist arguments, showing them to be overblown or groundless. The lot of women and children improves with the opening of markets, and the environment too, not to mention the chances for democracy.... Accessible and clearly argued. There is, one might say, a wealth of material on every page."--Bruce Bartlett, The Wall Street Journal
"Does the international market economy worsen poverty in developing countries? Does it erode democracy? Hurt the cause of women? Trash the environment? Exacerbate the exploitation of child labor? Bhagwati's answers to all these questions make for a supremely worthy read."--Business 2.0 Magazine
"A splendid and highly readable tour de force; arguably the best book yet on the great issue of our time." --Fred Pearce, New Scientist
"Mr. Bhagwati slams through fact after fact, statistic after statistic, demolishing those who claim the poor are worse off because of globalization. He warns that many problems of poor countries are self-inflicted, such as trade barriers against one another. If Mr. Bhagwhati doesn't get a much deserved Nobel Prize for economics, he should get one for literature. His writing sparkles with anecdotes and delightful verbal pictures."--Mike Moore, New York Sun
"Bhagwati combines the hard-nosed perspective of a liberal on trade and investment with the soft-hearted sensitivities of a social democrat on poverty and human welfare. He thus has an admirable ability to address patiently and sympathetically globalization's well-meaning but wrong-headed critics.... A cogent, erudite, and, indeed, enjoyable discussion of economic globalization and its discontents."--Foreign Affairs
"If Bhagwati can't convert the unbelievers into enthusiastic globalizers, probably no one can. . . . Bhagwati demonstrates admirable fairness toward his opponents. . . . [A]n amusing, charming and erudite debater."--Paul Gray, New Leader
"No one has crusaded more zealously on behalf of free trade than Jagdish Bhagwati. In Defense of Globalization sums up his case, and for free-trade advocates under siege, it arrives not a minute too soon. The book is certainly engaging."--Mark Levinson, American Prospect
"No other book on globalization covers as wide a range of issues as Bhagwati's. Indeed, his book is the best one-stop shopping for readers seeking a panoramic view of all the controversies that make up the globalization debate.... Perhaps the best reason to pick up this book is Bhagwati's inimitable writing style. The book is laced with amusing vignettes and turns of phrase.... All readers can profit from his provocative insights and lively style."--Douglas A. Irwin, Finance and Development
"His charming cosmopolitanism will allay the fears of critics convinced that economists are incapable of appreciating non-economic values. Literary references flow from the pages, from Lady Murasaki to King Lear to Woody Allen."--Daniel W. Drezner, New York Times Book Review
"A book brimming with engaging arguments and good sense. In Defense of Globalization will encourage the faithful who believe in economic freedom as a value worth pursuing in and of itself, but also those more pragmatic souls who see it as a necessary if less-than-lovable means to achieve poverty reduction and other worthy social goals. Of all the books defending globalization, Jagdish Bhagwati's may offer the best chance to reach those readers not fatally blinded by anti-market ideology."--Daniel Griswold, National Review
"This book will make history. It will also be a blockbuster, not only because of the depth of Bhagwati's powerful argument backed by extensive research, but also because it is immensely readable and surely the most humorous piece of economics ever written." --Hernando de Soto, author of The Other Path and The Mystery of Capital
"This work is of major importance, as it authoritatively tackles the main intellectual charges against globalization.... Hopefully, this book will convince at least some of those who gullibly joined the fashionable, but dangerous anti-globalization movement that in doing so they have actually abandoned themselves to the devices of intellectual manipulators, political demagogues, and economic reactionaries. The post-Cold War era's dominant economic trend finally gets its defense sheet." --Jerusalem Post
"Once again, Columbia University economist Jagdish Bhagwati has weighed into the increasingly partisan and ideological debate over trade, offshore outsourcing and globalization. And once again, it is worth listening to.... what's most important about this book is its caution about globalization --namely, that it has to be managed, both in terms of how quickly it proceeds and what policies are put in place to reduce its unpleasant economic and social side effects."--Washington Post
"In this elegant book, one of the world's preeminent economists distills his thinking about globalization for the lay reader.... Armed with a wit uncharacteristic of most writing on economics and drawing on references from history, philosophy and literature as well as some 'state of the art econometric analysis,' he sets out to prove that the antiglobalization movement has exaggerated claims that globalization has done little good for poor countries.... This is a substantial study that is as about as enjoyable and reassuring a work of economics as may be possible to write in this uncertain age."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"The new century's major economic issue is Globalization, Yes? or Globalization, No? Columbia University's Bhagwati, regarded as a master economist by all trade experts, has prepared for the intelligent public an even-handed analysis of the pros and cons. Read and ponder." --Paul A. Samuelson, M.I.T., Nobel laureate in Economics
"An engaging work.... Bhagwati convincingly refutes misconceptions about globalization and offers sound recommendations for governing it properly."--Library Journal
"Bhagwati delivers in this volume, both with erudition and wittiness, a precise rebuttal of the most common and pernicious fallacies about globalization. Hopefully, well intended but misguided opponents of economic interdependence should learn from this book that globalization does have a human face (and a heart) after all!" --Ernesto Zedillo, Director of the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization and former President of Mexico
"Jagdish Bhagwati has written a brilliant book about the conflict between freedom and justice. The book is beautifully written: provoking without sermonizing. You may not always agree with him--I don't--but In Defense of Globalization is bound to become a classic."--Richard Sennett, London School of Economics
"This is the book that everyone has been waiting for. Jagdish Bhagwati thoughtfully considers the arguments of the anti-Globalization movement and shows the peril they pose to world development." --George Akerlof, University of California at Berkeley, Nobel laureate in Economics
An internationally renowned economist joins the bitter debate over globalization as he refutes critics to describe the potential social benefits of a properly governed form of globalization, including increased prosperity in underdeveloped nations, reduction in the child labor force, increased liter
In the passionate debate that currently rages over globalization, critics have been heard blaming it for a host of ills afflicting poorer nations, everything from child labor to environmental degradation and cultural homogenization. Now Jagdish Bhagwati, the internationally renowned economist, takes on the critics, revealing that globalization, when properly governed, is in fact the most powerful force for social good in the world today. Drawing on his unparalleled knowledge of international and development economics, Bhagwati explains why the "gotcha" examples of the critics are often not as compelling as they seem. With the wit and wisdom for which he is renowned, Bhagwati convincingly shows that globalization is part of the solution, not part of the problem.
About the Author
is University Professor at Columbia University and Andre Meyer Senior Fellow in International Economics at the Council on Foreign Relations. A former Special Adviser to the United Nations on Globalization, he is one of the world's foremost authorities on international trade. The author of more than forty-five volumes and three hundred articles, he writes frequently for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The New Republic, The Times Literary Supplement
, and The Financial Times