In Defense of Globalization
Trendy condemnations of globalism have multiplied in recent years, most of them written from the left, and many of them blaming nearly every societal ill—cultural genocide against indigenous cultures, child labor abuses, gender discrimination, environmental destruction—at the feet of globalism. Jagdish Bhagwati provides a bracing counter-argument in In Defense of Globalization. He addresses the above topics and more, and cites both specific cases (examples range from localized shrimp fishing to the fragile Indian auto industry to American union practices), and macro-analysis (comparisons of the economic stagnancy of protectionist India to the robustly successful free trade strategy of the “Four Tigers” Pacific Rim nations from the 1960’s to the 1980’s) to debunk most of the anti-globalists’ claims.
Bhagwati’s method is to begin each section with a clear and fair statement of his opponents’ argument, and then to systematically present evidence that will convince most open-minded readers that his opponents have it wrong. But he does not fall into the trap of a strident polemicist, castigating others and presenting the issue as black and white. He acknowledges that globalism produces losers as well as winners, and cites cases of badly mismanaged free trade (especially in post-Soviet Russia and during the Asian currency crisis of the late 1990’s). His conclusions are made more compelling by his generous treatment of most...
(The entire section is 339 words.)
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