In This Review

Ideology and National Competitiveness: An Analysis of Nine Countries
Ideology and National Competitiveness: An Analysis of Nine Countries
Edited by George C. Lodge and Ezra F. Vogel
Harvard Business School Press, 1987, 350 pp.

If ideology can be called "the hymns a community sings to justify and make legitimate what it is doing, or, perhaps, what it would like to do," then, when the words are too far from reality, there is tension that keeps a country from performing as well as it could. The comparative studies in this volume suggest that Japan, Korea and Taiwan rank high in "ideological coherence and adaptability to their environment" while Britain, Mexico and the United States are at the bottom of the list, with Germany, France and Brazil in between. Some of the essays focus more on institutions and practices than on ideology, but the effort is an interesting one. Individualism and communitarianism are the two poles, but every country's mix is more complicated than that.