By Dani Rodrik

The Globalisation Paradoxby Dani Rodrik
Part of the books by Dani Rodrik series:
Editions:Paperback: £ 11.00
ISBN: 9780199652525
Pages: 370
ISBN: 9780191634253

The Globalization Paradox in a nutshell:

  • A leading economist sounds a warning note over globalization's desirability and viability
  • An enlightening history of world trade and economics over the last century
  • Pinpoints the conflict of interests between democracy, national determination, and economic globalization
  • Presents the case for a new type of globalization

For a century, economists have driven forward the cause of globalization in financial institutions, labour markets, and trade. Yet there have been consistent warning signs that a global economy and free trade might not always be advantageous. Where are the pressure points? What could be done about them?

In The Globalization Paradox Dani Rodrik examines the back-story from its seventeenth-century origins through the milestones of the gold standard, the Bretton Woods Agreement, and the Washington Consensus, to the present day. Although economic globalization has enabled unprecedented levels of prosperity in advanced countries and has been a boon to hundreds of millions of poor workers in China and elsewhere in Asia, it is a concept that rests on shaky pillars, he contends. Its long-term sustainability is not a given.

The heart of Rodrik's argument is a fundamental 'trilemma': that we cannot simultaneously pursue democracy, national self-determination, and economic globalization. Give too much power to governments, and you have protectionism. Give markets too much freedom, and you have an unstable world economy with little social and political support from those it is supposed to help. Rodrik's The Globalization Paradox argues for smart globalization, not maximum globalization.


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Reviews:Kate Saffin on LSE Review of Books wrote:

"The book is excellently set out and deals with complex issues in a highly readable and easy to understand way, with entertaining and historical facts and anecdotes, making it accessible to any reader."

Rosa M. Lastra on International Journal of Constitutional Law wrote:

"It fills a niche in the market: a text that is readable by the general public, but that can also be appreciated by scholars and experts in the field. The book represents a significant contribution to the literature on globalization, drawing on historical, political, philosophical, and economic considerations. [...] I disagree with Rodrik’s assertion that a return to national states and national sovereignty provides an answer to the current woes. I contend that the dichotomy between international markets and national laws and policies can be best tackled by the internationalization of the rules and institutions governing global markets. The answer, in my opinion, is more international law and less national law."

Scott Wisor on Global Governance wrote:

"The Globalization Paradox is the best book to date on the governance of international trade. Dani Rodrik begins the book with a concise history of international trade, its governance, and its intellectual support from mercantilism in the seventeenth century through the Bretton Woods regime. He shows that fundamentalism about international trade — the view that any and all barriers to international trade produce inefficiencies and reduce welfare — is as widespread as it is mistaken. [...] Proponents of hyperglobalized capitalism and moral cosmopolitans have too quickly dismissed the importance of retaining considerable policy control in the hands of democratic nation-states. His proposals for a 'sane globalization' [...] all deserve further critical attention."

Video with Rodrik on the Book

A 1-hour interview with the author from 2017:

Table of Contents of The Globalization Paradox

  1. Introduction: Recasting Globalization's Narrative
  2. Of States and Markets: Globalization in History's Mirror
  3. The Rise and Fall of the First Great Globalization
  4. Why Doesn't Everyone Get the Case for Free Trade?
  5. Bretton Woods, GATT, and the WTO: Trade in a Politicized World
  6. Financial Globalization Follies
  7. The Foxes and Hedgehogs of Finance
  8. Poor Countries in a Rich World
  9. Trade Fundamentalism in the Tropics
  10. The Political Trilemma of the World Economy
  11. Is Global Governance Feasible? Is It Desirable?
  12. Designing Capitalism
  13. A Sane Globalization
  14. Afterword: A Bedtime Story for Grown-ups

About Dani Rodrik

Dani RodrikDani Rodrik (1957), say Wikipedia, "is a Turkish economist and Ford Foundation Professor of International Political Economy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He was formerly the Albert O. Hirschman Professor of the Social Sciences at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. He has published widely in the areas of international economics, economic development, and political economy. The question of what constitutes good economic policy and why some governments are more successful than others at adopting it is at the center of his research."