Globalization: What's New?

In This Review

Globalization: What's New?

By Michael M. Weinstein
Columbia University Press, 2005
296 pp. $64.50
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Globalization has been occurring at least since the European expansion of the sixteenth century, when coffee, tea, sugar, potatoes, corn, and other products from distant lands radically altered consumption patterns and lifestyles in Europe and elsewhere. In this book, nine prominent economists examine different aspects of globalization today, focusing mainly on what is new in the past two decades. Together they cover trade, capital movements, migration, foreign aid, and the environment; the consequences of globalization for growth, poverty, and inequality; the tensions between globalization and democratic control over local social and economic conditions; the sometimes helpful but sometimes damaging effects of rich countries' policies on poor countries; and the imposition of sometimes helpful but sometimes inappropriate conditions on poor countries by international financial institutions. The authors do not all agree with one another, on, for example, the desirability of more international migration, or the freedom of capital movements, or high local autonomy in formulating economic policy. But this book offers a cornucopia of relevant facts and a stimulating collection of interpretations; it moves the debate on globalization to a higher level.