In this elegant book, one of the world's preeminent economists distills his thinking about globalization for the lay reader. Bhagwati, a former adviser to the U.N. on globalization, sets out to show that "this process has a human face, but we need to make that face more agreeable." 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. For example, supported by statistics from the Asian Development Bank, he argues, astonishingly, that in China the "aggressively outward economic policies" that characterize globalization reduced poverty from 28% of the population in 1978 to 9% in 1998. Nevertheless, Bhagwati does not advocate total laissez-faire economics and recommends that continued globalization should be "managed," prescribing policies he believes will "reinforce and ensure" its benign effects, such as taxing skilled workers who leave poor countries for jobs abroad, using nongovernmental organizations as corporate watchdogs, slowing financial liberalization and loosening intellectual property safeguards. This book might be seen as a companion piece to 2002's bestselling Globalization and Its Discontents by Joseph Stiglitz, Bhagwati's colleague at Columbia University; it should reach as broad an audience, if not broader. Don't be deceived by its relative brevity: this is a substantial study that is as about as enjoyableand reassuringa work of economics as may be possible to write in this uncertain age.
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"...Bhagwati is refreshing in his willingness to acknowledge shortcomings and propose ways to deal with them....One comes away from these books with the sense that globalization, far from being a new phenomenon, is the acceleration of long-standing historical forces. The challenge is not how to stop it but how to harness it for the good of all." --Montreal Gazette
"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
"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
"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
"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
"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
"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
"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
"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
"Passionate and well-reasoned.... In Defense of Globalization probably won't dissuade ardent trade opponents from their protests. But if they expect to have a reasoned debate--or even to know what it is they're protesting against--they'll need to read it."--Bill Day, San Antonio Express-News