Why Globalization Works, Paperback

Why Globalization Works Paperback

Part of the Yale Nota Bene series

4 out of 5 (1 rating)


A distinguished international economist here offers a powerful defense of the global market economy.

Martin Wolf explains how globalization works, critiques the charges against it, argues that the biggest obstacle to global economic progress has been the failure not of the market but of governments, and offers a realistic scenario for economic internationalism in the post-9/11 age.

For this paperback edition, Wolf provides a new introduction to update the debate. "Splendid...The definitive treatment of the subject, and an absorbing read."--Economist "Accessible and clearly argued...A wealth of material on every page."--Bruce Bartlett, Wall Street Journal "[Written by] one of the world's most respected economic journalists, ...this elegant and passionate defense of trade liberalization is essential reading."--Arvind Panagariya, Foreign Affairs "A powerful book."--Sebastian Mallaby, Washington Post "No one has summarised more coherently the recent, voluminous research...Elegantly and persuasively, Wolf marshals the facts."--Niall Ferguson, Sunday Telegraph "A necessary and compelling read for all who want to understand the logic of unfolding events."--Robert Skidelsky, New Statesman


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 416 pages, illustrations
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Globalization
  • ISBN: 9780300107777



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This book addresses globalization almost exclusively from an economic standpoint. Viewed within those bounds, it seems pretty good, though I had a hard time telling how much to take at face value since I didn’t feel like I had enough of a grasp of macroeconomics, trade, and finance to really engage and argue with it. He seemed to be making every effort to be even-handed, in that sober British-empiricist sort of way, but it’s hard to tell if that’s genuine or just a rhetorical strategy.But, I’ve also not had much doubt that globalization has been an economic boon, if a somewhat fraught and unstable one, for most people and countries involved, or that the lack of integration with global markets is what’s really killing the poorest of the poor countries, which is the best and most compelling argument he makes. The problem is that he refuses to engage the argument that there might be other values that aren’t strictly economic but are nonetheless requirements for human health and happiness. Economic growth is of course incredibly important, but it’s necessary-but-not-sufficient, and economists can never seem to grasp that simple fact. He also blatantly caricatures those who would make arguments against a solely economic valuation of human happiness, almost always picking his putative opponents from the dumbest and most flamboyant 5% of people who question the costs of globalization, etc. The old “dirty hippies” kneejerk thing, which I would have thought he was above based on the soberness of much of his argument. Whenever he argues against fellow economists, he’s always evenhanded and fair, but anytime a non-economic concern comes up, he quickly gets dismissive and petulant.So, if you want a look at globalization as an economic phenomenon from a market fundamentalist who at least seems fairly even-handed and willing to acknowledge and critique the errors and injustices that have happened in a strictly economic context, this is your book. If you want a broad-based argument for or critical examination of globalization that really addresses environmental, social, cultural, and the myriad other associated concerns, you’ll have to look elsewhere. Definitely worth reading as part of a broad survey, which is sort of what I’m gradually doing on the topic, but I wouldn’t read it as a sole source.