February 3, 2008 at 9:32 pm | Posted in Globalization, History, Islam, Israel, Middle East, Palestine, Research, USA, Zionism | Leave a comment








Anti-Israeli Credentials Of

Obama—–2 Reports

Hussain Khan, Tokyo

Sun 2/03/08

Anti-Israeli Credentials Of Obama—–2

January 29, 2008

Why Barack Hussein Obama?

By Hillel Halkin

New York Sun, January 22, 2008

Even before the recent brouhaha about Barack Obama’s membership in a church whose minister is openly pro-Farrakhan and anti-Israel, I found the thought of his becoming the next president of America unnerving. It was not just, because his rhetoric, general outlook and location in the Democratic Party did not encourage one to think that he would tend if elected to be a particularly strong backer of Israel………

All this is before one considers the sorry case of Jeremiah Wright, the pastor of Mr. Obama’s congregation in the United Church of Christ who has reportedly called Jews “bloodsuckers” and who recently presented Louis Farrakhan with a “lifetime achievement” award in a gala ceremony.

A prominent Jewish communal leader from Chicago whom I talked to the other day tried to reassure me that this wasn’t so serious. He can vouch for the fact, he said, that Mr. Obama has nothing against Jews or Israel.

I daresay he’s probably right. But the problem, as has been observed, is not that Mr. Obama needs to be suspected of agreeing with Pastor Wright. It’s that he didn’t think it sufficiently important to disagree with him by getting up and leaving his church.

Israel is fighting a losing battle in the world arena precisely because the great majority of the world’s politicians, intellectuals and media figures, though not necessarily against the Jewish state, think like Mr. Obama that the attack now taking place on its legitimacy isn’t worrisome enough to warrant their doing anything about it…………

January 19, 2008

Barack Obama and Israel

The American Thinker, January 16, 2008

Redacted from an article by Ed Lasky

The ascent of Barack Obama from state senator in Illinois to a leading contender for the Presidential nomination in the span of just a few years is remarkable – Especially, in light of a noticeably unremarkable record — a near-blank slate of few accomplishments and numerous missed votes.

However, in one area of foreign policy that concerns millions of Americans, he does have a record and it is a particularly troubling one. For all supporters of the America-Israel relationship there is enough information beyond the glare of the klieg lights to give one pause. In contrast to his canned speeches filled with “poetry” and uplifting aphorisms and delivered in a commanding way, behind the campaign façade lays a disquieting pattern of behavior.

One seemingly consistent theme running throughout Barack Obama’s career is his comfort with aligning himself with people who are anti-Israel advocates. This ease around Israel animus has taken various forms. As Obama has continued his political ascent, he has moved up the prestige scale in terms of his associates. Early on in his career he chose a church headed by a former Black Muslim who is a harsh anti-Israel advocate and who may be seen as tinged with anti-Semitism.

This church is a member of a denomination whose governing body has taken a series of anti-Israel actions. As his political fortunes and ambition climbed, he found support from George Soros, multibillionaire promoter of groups that have been consistently harsh and biased critics of the American-Israel relationship.

Obama’s soothing and inspiring oratory sometimes vanishes when he talks of the Middle East. Indeed, his, off-the-cuff, remarks have been uniformly taken by supporters of Israel as signs that the inner Obama does not truly support Israel. This despite what his canned speeches and essays may contain. Now that Obama has become a leading Presidential candidate, he has assembled a body of foreign policy advisers who signal that a President Obama would likely have an approach towards Israel radically at odds with those of previous Presidents (both Republican and Democrat). A group of experts collected by the Israeli liberal newspaper, Haaretz, deemed him the candidate likely to be least supportive of Israel. He is the candidate most favored by the Arab-American community.

When Obama moved to Chicago and became a community organizer, he found it expedient to choose a Christian church to join. Even though his father and stepfather were both Muslims and he attended a Muslim school while living in Indonesia, suspicions based on his days as a child are overheated and unfair. Still, his full name alone conveys the biographical fact that he has some elements of a Muslim background.

Saul Alinsky, whose philosophy infused community organizing in Chicago, emphasized the importance of churches as a basis for organizing. There are literally hundreds of churches on the South Side of Chicago that Obama could have chosen. He selected one that was headed by Reverend Jeremiah Wright, Jr. The anti-Israel rants of this minister have been well chronicled. Among the gems:

The Israelis have illegally occupied Palestinian territories for almost 40 years now. It took a divestment campaign to wake the business community up concerning the South Africa issue. Divestment has now hit the table again as a strategy to wake the business community up and to wake Americans up concerning the injustice and the racism under which the Palestinians have lived because of Zionism.

Pastor Jeremiah Wright, Jr. is a supporter of Louis Farrakhan (who called Judaism a “gutter religion” and depicted Jews as “bloodsuckers”) and traveled with him to visit Col. Muammar al-Gaddafi, archenemy of Israel’s and a terror supporter. Tucker Carlson of MSNBC has called Pastor Wright a total hater and wondered why the ties that bind Obama to Wright have not been given greater scrutiny. Mickey Kaus of Slate has also wondered when the ties between Obama and Wright will receive more criticism, given Wright’s seeming bigotry, which is in contrast to the soothing melody of unity that Obama has trumpeted on the campaign trail. Some in the media have taken notice.

As Obama took steps toward the United States Senate he found a very powerful sugar daddy who would help fund his rise: George Soros. The billionaire hedge fund titan began supporting Obama very early — as befits a legendary speculative investor always looking for opportunities. Obama coveted support from George Soros and Soros responded — along with many family members and probably the Soros ring of wealthy donors. Soros even found a loophole that allowed him and assorted family members to exceed regular limits on campaign contributions. Soros is also a fierce foe of Israel, for years funding groups that have worked against Israel.

Every Presidential candidate assembles a foreign policy team of advisers. A glimpse into the makeup of Obama’s team has leaked to the media.

Martin Peretz of The New Republic — a supporter of Obama and of Israel — had this to say about Obama’s Foreign Policy team:

“I have my qualms, as you may know, about Barack Obama, and most especially about what his foreign policy might be. If elected (and actually before he were to be elected), the first decision he would have to make would be who would represent him in the transition to power from early November to January 20. And, frankly, I get the shudders since he has indicated that, among others, they would be Zbigniew Bzrezinski Anthony Lake, Susan Rice and Robert O. Malley.” Lake and Brzezenski both earned their spurs in the Carter Administration. Jimmy Carter, of course, has led a very public campaign of vilification against Israel-defaming it as an apartheid state (a view that Obama’s Pastor would concur with).

The appointment of Brzezenski elicited much dismay among supporters of Israel since Brzezinski is well known for his aggressive dislike of Israel. . He has been an ardent foe of Israel for over three decades and newspaper files are littered with his screeds against Israel. Brzezinski has publicly defended the Walt-Mearsheimer thesis that the relationship between America and Israel is based not on shared values and common threats but is the product of Jewish pressure. Brzezinski also signed a letter demanding dialogue with Hamas – a group whose charter calls for the destruction of Israel and is filled with threats to Jews around the world.

Susan Rice was John Kerry’s chief foreign policy adviser when he ran for President. One of the major steps Kerry suggested for dealing with the Middle East was to appoint James Baker and Jimmy Carter as negotiators. Robert Malley was part of the American negotiating team that dealt with Yasser Arafat at Camp David. He has presented a revisionist history of those negotiations since then: presenting a view that blames Israel for the failures of the negotiations. He has spent years representing the Palestinian point of view, co-writing a series of anti-Israel articles with Hussein Agha – a former Arafat adviser. Palestinian advocate. … etc. etc.

USA and Israel supporters: Please take note.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 07:27 PM | Comments (0)

Anti-Israeli Credentials Of Obama—–2 Reports

Hussain Khan, Tokyo


Sun 2/03/08


February 3, 2008 at 5:04 am | Posted in Books, Economics, Financial, Globalization, History | Leave a comment









Why Globalization Works

Yale Nota Bene

Martin Wolf (Author)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The author, a Financial Times editor, makes a conventional economist’s argument for globalization that is not likely to convince many skeptics. His faith is that growth and everything else good comes from “the market,” while any problems with globalization must be the fault of governments. Wolf doesn’t consider that economic processes redistribute power and therefore transform politics and the possibilities of government action. Like so many economists, he analyzes primarily aggregate statistics: gray averages. For example, using aggregate figures he argues that workers in rich countries are paid more because they are much more productive than workers in poor countries are. Thus high-paid workers need not fear that competition from low-paid workers will undermine their economic security. The reason, he explains, is that workers in developed countries work, on average, with far less capital per worker. While this is true in aggregate, for a particular transnational firm deciding whether to locate a new factory in Shanghai or Chicago, the difference in productivity will rarely be as great as the wage differential. Therefore, as long as other costs and risks do not overwhelm the benefit of cheaper labor, there is a long-term tendency for investment and jobs to flow toward low-wage countries. Wolf neglects the profound consequences of relative labor immobility (because of immigration restrictions and cultural barriers) compared with the mobility of products, many services and capital, one of the characteristic features of contemporary globalization.


A distinguished international economist here offers a powerful defense of 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.


No one has summarized more coherently the recent, voluminous research. . . . Elegantly and persuasively, Wolf marshals the facts.”—Niall Ferguson, Sunday Telegraph


[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


Product Details:


Paperback: 416 pages

Publisher: Yale University Press; 2New Ed edition (June 10, 2005)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0300107773

ISBN-13: 978-0300107777

Why Globalization Works

By Martin Wolf

Yale University Press

416 pages


Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Review


You know the old jokes about how economists never agree with one another.

If all economists in the world were laid end to end, they still wouldn’t reach a conclusion.

The First Law of Economists: For every economist there exists an equal and opposite economist. The Second Law of Economists: They are both wrong.

And so on.

While these loathsome jokes (your reviewer is an economist) may contain a tiny kernel of truth, there is, in fact, wide consensus among economists on many topics. One clear point of agreement is that open economic markets are, broadly speaking, a powerful force for increasing living standards in rich and poor countries alike.

And yet policies to promote open markets—such as lowering barriers to international trade—are continually on the defensive, maligned by politicians and viewed with great suspicion by the public. The Doha round of trade liberalization talks is in serious crisis. Regional trade agreements, such as the Free Trade Area of the Americas, are also facing a great deal of resistance. Politicians from both political parties in the United States frequently propose protectionist measures. Protesters are highly visible at every major meeting of the World Trade Organization.

So why is there such a huge disconnect between economists on one side, and the public and policymakers on the other? There are several reasons, not the least being the role of special interest groups in politics and the public’s understandable fear of uncertainty and change. But the primary fault may lie with economists after all, who have failed to effectively articulate the essential role that open markets play in improving standards of living.

Another book on globalization?

Cue Martin Wolf, associate editor and chief economics commentator at the Financial Times. Wolf is a trained economist who worked at the World Bank during the 1970s and was director of studies at the London-based Trade Policy Research Centre before joining the Financial Times in 1987. His book, Why Globalization Works, provides an excellent summary of economists’ fundamental case for open markets, and for the global economic integration that results.

Globalization is an almost meaninglessly vague term (and thus ripe for all sorts of misuse). Wolf defines it as the “integration of economic activities, via markets” (p. 19). This global-market-oriented integration reflects two overarching factors. First, technologically, the dramatic decline in transportation and communication costs has greatly expanded potential market interactions across countries. Second, government policies largely determine the freedom and efficiency with which markets function, or do not function, across national borders. Policy considerations are, of course, the focus of the debate.

But alas, you say, did the world really need another book on globalization? Yes, and here’s why. Many other books on the subject have been more diatribe than enlightenment, and much of the public remains uninformed on important, basic facts regarding economic growth, trade and globalization. Without broad public support, politicians are more receptive to special interest pressures, leading to policies that benefit the few but are costly to the nation as a whole.

Why Globalization Works fills this void, providing the most articulate and well-reasoned case for globalization that I have seen in the popular press. It is, as the title announces, intended to be persuasive. But the primary, and best, section of the book addresses a broad range of criticisms of globalization with clear, careful and readable summaries of current economic research and relevant data. These are admirably balanced and comprehensive, allowing non-economists the chance to independently assess the validity of the arguments. Moreover, Wolf finds that the critics are not always wrong, and rich capitalist countries are not fault-free.

Framing the debate

Wolf begins by framing the globalization debate in a broad historic and philosophic context, with capitalism and liberty on one side and various collectivist and alternative ideologies on the other. At stake are economic prosperity, democracy and personal freedom. Here’s Wolf:

The intellectual clash between liberal capitalism and its opponents is the chief theme of this book (p. 4).

And later,

The enemies of globalization are opponents of the market economy. That is the heart of the debate (p. 40).

Wolf also quotes Vaclav Havel, the author, playwright, political activist and former Czech president:

Though my heart may be left of centre, I have always known that the only economic system that works is a market economy. This is the only natural economy, the only kind that makes sense, the only one that leads to prosperity, because it is the only one that reflects the nature of life itself (p. 40).

Throughout the book, Wolf invokes the adjective “liberal” in referring to globalization, the world economy and democracy. He uses the term in the classical sense, emphasizing liberty and economic freedom.

Making the case

The book covers a great deal of ground in making its sweeping case for liberal globalization, but there are three essential points: Liberal markets are a powerful, and moral, force for raising standards of living; liberal democracy is the only form of government that generates prosperity and stability; and governments play an essential role in obtaining the benefits of economic integration.

On markets, Wolf opens by citing historian William McNeil’s description of the transition, about a thousand years ago, from predominantly “command” systems of resource management to “trade and market regulated behavior.” He notes that the growth in population, output and income per person during this time has no parallel in history. This is especially true since 1820, when the industrial revolution (“Promethean growth” as Wolf calls it) began transforming lives in dramatic ways.

He then notes that while the benefits of market-oriented economies have not been equally shared, “there is almost no part of the globe where standards of living are not significantly higher than they were two centuries ago” (p. 57). Here Wolf makes an important logical point that is central to many arguments on globalization. Economists most frequently compare economic developments to historical precedent—are things getting better? Globalization critics often compare developments to an idealized, preferred world—are things the best imaginable? Wolf’s retort: “Those who condemn the immorality of liberal capitalism do so in comparison with a society of saints that has never existed—and never will” (p. 57).

On democracy, the book discusses the features and implications of a liberal market economy for democracy and international relations. Wolf notes that all advanced market economies share the basic values of liberal democracy, and rarely go to war with each other. He argues, “The collapse of state socialism between 1989 and 1991 has shown that liberal democracy is the only political and economic system capable of generating sustained prosperity and political stability” (p. 32).

And on government, Wolf has an extended discussion on its essential role in globalization. Governments, he argues, must provide the institutional and policy framework that allows market economies to reap the benefits—higher standards of living, stronger democracy and greater freedom—of global economic interaction. The arguments here are standard in economics (governments should provide public goods, address market failures and assist the poor), though with an added emphasis on the tension between the critical importance of government and the limited (“humble”) role it should play. Governments must resist the temptation, he says, to intervene in markets too aggressively, as such intervention can diminish the powerful gains from globalization.

Too little globalization?

Before proceeding to the specific criticisms of globalization, the book takes one more interesting turn, arguing that in fact there is too little globalization rather than too much. Wolf describes the rise, fall and resurrection of a liberal global economy during the past century and a half. He notes, as others have, that the years from 1870 to 1913 were perhaps the greatest period of globalization in history, with large declines in barriers to trade and migration. Interestingly, global migration during this period was higher than it is today.

Liberalism then waned from 1913 to 1950 as capitalism came into disfavor (due in large part to the Great Depression), and communism, socialism and fascism gained strength. The book documents the decline in global trade and income growth during these years.

Since 1950, the world has again been liberalizing, with trade and income growth rising vigorously. However, standards of living are not rising everywhere. Here Wolf argues that the poor areas have not been devastated by globalization, but by the lack of it. More specifically, he quotes Peter Lindert and Jeffrey Williamson:

[T]here are no examples of countries that have risen in the ranks of global living standards while being less open to trade and capital in the 1990s than in the 1960s. “There are no anti-global victories to report for the postwar” developing world (p. 82).


Confronting criticisms

Stylistically, Why Globalization Works successfully combines two distinct approaches. In the first half of the book, described above, Wolf uses an argumentative essay style to make his general case for globalization. In the second half, to which I now turn, Wolf employs a more scientific style.

Wolf’s review of the major criticisms of globalization is exemplary. Each criticism is taken seriously, and the concerns raised are carefully analyzed while the relevant economic research is highlighted. And although Wolf has a clear, self-announced position (the book’s title gives him away), he brings a laudable detachment to his analysis, reporting conflicting findings when they are present, and sometimes agreeing with the critics.

The book divides criticisms into five areas: income inequality, trade, corporations, governments and finance, each dealt with in a separate chapter. Wolf distills the disparate criticisms of the antiglobalization movement into a list of specific claims, which he then analyzes. He succinctly restates the claims and his results in the conclusion to each chapter, which is useful to the reader looking for a quick summary, or one who might occasionally lose the globalization forest for the analytic trees.

The first such chapter begins by listing several claims often heard regarding income inequality and poverty, such as “the ratio of average incomes in the richest countries is rising relative to the poorest” and “the poor are worse off according to a variety of human welfare measures beyond income.”

Wolf begins this discussion by presenting data showing that openness to trade is associated with faster economic growth. Countries that substantially increased their trade ratios from 1980 to 1997 experienced significantly higher growth rates than the others. Of course, studies like this do not prove causality—as economists would quickly point out—but Wolf wryly notes, “It is possible to argue that China’s dramatic economic growth had nothing to do with its headlong rush into the global market economy. But it would be absurd to do so” (p. 145).

Wolf then turns to a useful discussion on inequality trends, noting that inequality can increase without anyone becoming poorer and can even increase while standards of living rise for everyone. Only extreme egalitarians, he notes, prefer a world in which everyone is equally poor to a world in which some are rich, some are middle-income and some are poor.

On that note, Wolf reports that the critics are indeed correct that the ratio of incomes in the richest countries to those in the poorest is rising. This is hardly surprising, as it follows directly from the observation that the poorest countries are not growing, while the richest are. Yet most evidence suggests that global income inequality has likely decreased, or at worst remained constant, since the 1970s.

How can the rich be getting relatively richer, yet global inequality decline? Here is where Wolf is at his best, carefully explaining the research findings. In this case, part of the answer is straightforward—China and India, relatively poor countries containing roughly 40 percent of the world’s population, have experienced substantial economic growth over the past two to three decades.

What about poverty, isn’t that on the rise? Well, no. The book methodically works its way through numerous studies that all point to the same result: Worldwide poverty rates have declined dramatically over the past 50 years, while the number of people living in extreme poverty stopped rising in 1980, and may well have fallen, despite large increases in world population. Wolf provides a graph illustrating these dramatic, and apparently widely unknown, trends.

The unavoidable conclusion from the research is that economic growth, rather than redistribution, holds the key for alleviating poverty worldwide. As Nobel Laureate Robert Lucas has written, “The potential for improving the lives of poor people by finding different ways of redistributing current production is nothing compared to the apparently limitless potential of increasing production.”

(See the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis 2003 Annual Report.)

Of course, income isn’t the only thing that matters to the world’s poor. How have the poor fared according to other measures of human welfare? Quite well, in fact. These measures all show significant improvements over the past 50 years, according to data reported by Wolf. Life expectancy, literacy, infant mortality rates, hunger and child labor are all moving in the right direction—though the devastating impact of AIDS over the past decade has stalled further gains in some countries.

None of this is to say that poverty and world health are not of continued concern, but Wolf’s point is that the trends under liberal globalization are markedly positive. Of course, relative to an idealized world with no poverty, the current situation in parts of the world remains tragic. But globalization is neither the cause of that tragedy nor the barrier to improvement. On the contrary, Wolf argues persuasively, it is the best available solution.

Beyond inequality and poverty

Why Globalization Works delves into other areas that are subject to strong protest from the antiglobalization movement—trade, corporations, governments and finance. These discussions are extensive, and readers could easily skip to their topics of interest without loss of continuity. Following are some highlights.

On trade, Wolf discusses the research on the exploitation of workers, especially children, in poor countries. Research shows that child labor is associated with poverty, not trade, and rising income reduces child labor and improves working standards. Furthermore, in a later discussion of exploitation by corporations, Wolf reports the fairly well-known finding that, in general, transnational companies pay more and treat workers better than local companies.

Wolf reports that the critics have it right on a related issue—that rich countries are hypocritically advocating trade liberalization for developing countries, while at the same time invoking protectionist measures themselves. The enormous subsidies given to agricultural products in Europe and the United States are discussed at length. Wolf refers to these policies as a disgrace and suggests that the antiglobalization movement demonstrate against these harmful subsidies rather than beneficial trade initiatives.

On globalization and the environment, the book reviews research indicating that many pollutants decline above a certain income threshold. This is not true for greenhouse gas emissions, he points out, which require government intervention to address the externalities imposed. Wolf finds little evidence that rich countries are lowering pollution standards or exporting polluting industries to developing countries with low standards, as critics often charge. In fact, standards are rising in rich countries. And finally, he makes the interesting point that trade restrictions can exacerbate pollution, for example, by leading to overuse of agricultural fertilizers and pesticides to grow crops in Switzerland rather than on the fertile plains of Argentina.

Lastly, the International Monetary Fund has come under a great deal of criticism from antiglobalization forces and economists alike. Wolf agrees with many of these criticisms, but believes the IMF still has an important, if substantially modified, role to play in assisting developing countries to engage with world capital markets. He also emphasizes that criticizing international institutions like the World Bank and the IMF is logically separate from criticizing globalization itself.


Are we entering a period of retrenchment on globalization, backing away from a commitment to open markets? It’s possible. The derailing of the Doha development round and widespread opposition to trade liberalization policies demonstrate sympathy for pulling back. Furthermore, anxiety about job security and international terrorism are legitimate concerns. But the proper policies for addressing those concerns are retraining programs, unemployment insurance and well-thought-out security measures. Enacting barriers against trade and foreign investment may be in the interest of specific groups, but the evidence presented here shows that nations, and the world as a whole, suffer from these short-sighted policies. Economists estimate that removing all barriers to trade would result in worldwide gains in the range of $250 billion to $2 trillion, with poor countries reaping almost half the benefit.

Why Globalization Works provides an impressive, articulate and comprehensive case for globalization and against its critics. It’s not flawless: Many economists would argue with Wolf on specific points, especially in his section on finance, while still agreeing with his overarching globalization arguments. And the book lacks a discussion of outsourcing, a topic of increasing debate these days. Still, it remains, in my view, the best popular treatment of globalization, attuned to a broad audience.

Will it bridge the gap between most economists’ view of globalization and the public’s perception? Perhaps not. But at the very least, Wolf has helped to redress the lack of effective communication about the economic benefits of open markets and shifted the burden of proof to critics of trade agreements and politicians who promote protectionism.

Why Globalization Works

Yale Nota Bene

Martin Wolf (Author)


February 3, 2008 at 3:36 am | Posted in Books, Economics, Globalization, History | Leave a comment









Globalization: A Short History

Jurgen Osterhammel and Niels P.


Globalization: A Short History

Translated from the German by Dona Geyer. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2005. xi + 182 pp. ISBN: 0 691 12165 6.

Reviewed for EH.Net by

Kevin H. O’Rourke

Department of Economics

Trinity College Dublin

O’Rourke on:

Osterhammel and Petersson

This is a short book on a big topic, and as such is sure to appeal to a fairly wide readership. Its aim is to provide a brief introduction to the history of globalization, stretching back into the Middle Ages, in around 150 pages. Given that aim, it seems a shame that the first two chapters are devoted to terminological and methodological issues, but this is a book evidently aimed at social theorists who worry about such things, rather than at economic historians who are content to examine the more tangible dimensions of economic globalization — trade, labor migration and capital flows — one at a time.

Once they get onto the history, the judgment of the authors seems for the most part fairly sound. Thus, they emphasize the important roles played by the Muslim, Mongol and Iberian empires in creating links between different regions of the world, as well as the break-through role of the Industrial Revolution. On one or two occasions, their perspective does seem to be a little Eurocentric. Thus, they characterize the period 1846-80 as an “age of free trade,” although the republics and dominions of the New World were protectionist during this period, and Asia and Africa were free-trading afterwards.

They also spend a lot of time on the Bretton Woods institutions in discussing the 1945-1970s period, thus giving the impression of a world increasingly influenced by international institutions, when they might just as well have emphasized the dramatic inward turn of large swathes of the planet associated with communism or the collapse of European empires. Another example comes on p. 117, when the authors state that “economic and political cooperation within a framework of European structures may even have been necessary for the survival of the nation-state model.” European inter-state political cooperation has indeed been a great success, but even a cursory look at the non-European evidence suggests that nation states can indeed survive without such structures. On the other hand, whenever this reviewer started to sharpen his quill in anticipation of highlighting such egregious errors of judgment, he would inevitably find that the text implicitly or explicitly acknowledged the contradictory natureof the evidence a few paragraphs or pages later.

The main flaw of the book, it seems to me, is the fact that its narrative ends some time in the mid-1970s. To most economists this will seem like Hamlet without the prince, for it is only since the 1980s that China, India, and many other developing countries have started embarking on radical reform programs leading to their reinsertion into the international economy after decades of self-imposed isolation. To be fair, this is briefly mentioned in the concluding chapter, but more emphasis on the phenomenon would have been helpful. However, it is probably no harm for economists to have their preconceptions challenged in this way from time to time. To us, the Cold War obviously led to de-globalization, but it probably did also lead to “a new kind of globalization … as people slowly perceive the world as a … community of fate threatened by nuclear annihilation.”

The book is a useful reminder, to those who need reminding, that globalization is not new. I liked the authors’ emphasis that it is a process, not an end-state, and that it is the outcome of a complex

range of individual and state decisions, as well as a large random error component. There is little new here for practicing academics, but it might be a useful introduction to the subject for students and

non-specialists. A final word of warning, however, especially to my more faint-hearted American colleagues: if you are the sort of person whose blood pressure is likely to rise on reading assertions such as the one on p. 144 that “quite a few trends in … theory that enjoy worldwide popularity are created in Italy or France,” then this book is probably not for you.

Kevin O’Rourke is Professor of Economics at Trinity College Dublin, a co-organizer of the CEPR Economic History Initiative, a Research Associate at the NBER, and an Editor of the European Review of Economic History.

He is the co-author of Globalization and History: The Evolution of a Nineteenth Century Atlantic Economy (MIT Press, 1999, with Jeffrey G. Williamson), and is currently working on a history of international trade in the very long run (with Ronald Findlay) which will be published in 2007.


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