Globalisation is one of the most controversial issues in the world today. While protestors take to the streets at international summits, it is becoming conventional wisdom that companies are taking over the world, that governments' ability to tax, spend and regulate is under threat from global competition, that globalisation harms the poor and that democracy is at risk. Not so. This tightly argued and fiercely intelligent book demolishes some of these myths and shows how, without globalisation, the poor are never going to get richer. It is simply the only way to give governments the means to combat poverty: money for schools, hospitals and welfare. Focusing on the history of world trade as well as topical issues such as the power of corporations, whether globalisation is bad for poor countries, whether it threatens the environment and Americanises indigenous cultures, Philippe Legrain shows why elected governments are still very much in control and why a more open world offers greater opportunity for everyone, rich and poor, to better their lives.
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(198mm x 131mm x 26mm)
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Country of Publication:
UK Kirkus Review »
Every year, the travelling circus of anti-globalisation protest moves to more cities, the scenes as familiar to us through our television screens as the weather forecast: people of all nationalities gathering to express their concerns about the way big business is increasingly taking over their lives. The pictures could be coming from anywhere - Genoa, London, Seattle - yet the message is the same. Gradually, the subtext filters through to our daily lives that the seemingly unstoppable force that is globalisation is something sinister, a movement run by faceless men and women who dictate that shoes will be made in Vietnam, corn grown in the USA, and that local cultures will disappear, subsumed into NikeWorld and McDonald's golden arches. Should we believe the protesters? Or can globalisation be a force for good? Philippe Legrain sets out his stall at the beginning of the book with the revelation that he was previously special adviser to the director-general of the World Trade Organisation. Yet his previous experience as a journalist writing for publications such as The Economist, The Wall Street Journal and Financial Times means that he is able to take a slightly less partisan view than one might expect. Legrain is able to present his arguments in surprising ways. Given the traditional association between globalisation and unfettered industrialisation at any cost to the environment, it is interesting to read that 'there may be a strong case for slapping trade sanctions on the US... [if they fail to listen to pressure from other countries to ratify Kyoto].' Legrain also points out that many advocates of globalisation are as horrified by the failure of the drugs companies to allow cheap, non-patent drugs to be supplied to developing countries as those who gather on the anti-globalisation demonstrations. His description of a visit to two shoe factories in Vietnam, one owned by a multinational, the other by a local business, also made salutary reading. This is an essential read for anyone on either side of one of the most pressing debates of our time. (Kirkus UK)
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Author Biography - Philippe Legrain
He studied econonmics & international politics at LSE and until recently he was special adviser to the D.G. of the WTO. He has also been trade & economics correspondent for THE ECONOMIST & written for the FT, Guardian, New Statesman, Prospect, Foreign Policy & Ecologist