Reviews provided by Syndetics
Library Journal Review
Nobel Prize winner Stiglitz (former chairman, Council of Economic Advisors; Globalization and Its Discontents) identifies six existing indications that globalization has yet to live up to its promise: the pervasiveness of poverty, the need for foreign assistance and debt relief, the aspiration to make trade fair, the limitations of liberalization, the need to protect the environment, and the flawed system of global governance. In addition to reiterating this criticism from his previous megaseller, Stiglitz here presents concrete methods to enable political globalization to proceed in accord with economic globalization. For example, the IMF, World Bank, and World Trade Organization and a host of additional, soon-to-be-created international political organizations need to start democratically representing the interests of developing countries and stop serving as platforms for the "Washington Consensus." The author occasionally slips by adopting the same type of rhetoric that, he argues, has mystified the processes of economic globalization, e.g., when he suggests that a balanced intellectual property regime serves the interests of every nation developed and developing alike. Overall, his new work succeeds admirably at presenting a concrete course of action for strengthening the institutions and processes of political globalization. Accessible to nonspecialists, this book is recommended for all academic libraries. Cynthia Cameros, Teaneck, NJ (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Nearly everyone agrees that the global economic system needs to be reformed--to resolve its contradictions before it tears itself apart through economic, political, social, or environmental crisis. If anyone combines the practical policy experience with the intellectual candlepower necessary to recast global governance, it is Joseph Stiglitz, so this is a book that warrants careful reading. Stiglitz is a former chief economist at the World Bank and economic adviser to President Clinton, and 2001 winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics. His recent book, Globalization and Its Discontents (CH, Oct'02, 40-1043), presented a harsh critique of the global economic governance system. This new book presents a reform plan to help globalization avoid collapse and realize its potential. Stiglitz proposes that the "rules of the game" be rewritten with special attention to the problems of less developed countries, the environment, and democratic values. Individual chapters analyze the global trade and intellectual property rights (IPR) regimes, the environment and "resource curse," debt burdens, and multinational corporations. The topic is vast, so the analysis and recommendations are sometimes uneven. The chapters on trade, IPR, and the global reserve system are especially strong. Detailed notes but unfortunately no bibliography. ^BSumming Up: Essential. All collections. M. Veseth University of Puget Sound
Stiglitz's seminal Globalization and Its Discontents (2002) argued that globalization has not benefited as many people as it could, a failure attributable to structural flaws in international financial institutions as well as limited information and imperfect competition. With this selection, the Nobel Prize-winning economist suggests a host of solutions by which globalization can be saved from its advocates and made safe and worthwhile for the poor and rich alike. Each chapter examines, in some depth, an obstacle to equitable globalization (the burden of massive national debt, for example) and provides a set of possible solutions (a return to countercyclical lending and development of international bankruptcy laws, for example). Many of Stiglitz's proposals echo the familiar litanies of developing nations in the Doha round of international trade talks, but several, such as those drawing upon East Asia's experiments in contained progress, are innovative enough to warrant books of their own. Fairly accessible for a work of macroeconomics, this is a worthy counterpoint to Thomas Friedman's popular The World Is Flat (2005). --Brendan Driscoll Copyright 2006 Booklist
Kirkus Book Review
If the free market is the answer to the world's woes, then why is so much of the world getting poorer? Nobel Prize-winning economist Stiglitz (The Roaring Nineties, 2003) ventures some persuasive answers. There are many ways to make globalization work, writes Stiglitz. Regrettably, the U.S. and institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank are not practicing any of them. Indeed, he argues, "the world's sole superpower has simultaneously been pushing for economic globalization and weakening the political foundations necessary to make economic globalization work." The U.S. consistently plays on an unlevel field, demanding that developing nations open their markets on terms dictated by American interests; globalization as it is now practiced demands that sovereign nations become less sovereign, even as it forces upon developing countries a one-size-fits-all economic system that "is inappropriate and often grossly damaging." America's insistence on the primacy of the free market really means a market that is free for the biggest players, though even a theoretically pure free market is not necessarily the best solution in many instances. For example, Stiglitz writes, many of the thriving economies of East Asia, such as China's, are thoroughly managed, while social democracies such as those of Scandinavia channel much of the GDP into long-range, state-controlled financial sectors for the interest of future generations; meanwhile, free-market experiments in the former Soviet Union have proven disastrous except for a few lucky capitalists. Reining in inequalities is one of the foremost tasks for a globalism worthy of the name, Stiglitz suggests; those calling for Third World debt relief are on the right track. But there is more to it, he adds, including a rethinking of innovation-stifling intellectual property conventions and a restructuring of international institutions to serve their neediest constituents fairly. A thoughtful essay that ought to provoke discussion in certain well-appointed offices, to say nothing of development and aid circles. Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.