All Politics Is Global: Explaining International Regulatory Regimes

In This Review

All Politics Is Global: Explaining International Regulatory Regimes

By Daniel W. Drezner
Princeton University Press, 2007
254 pp. $29.95

This important book asks two questions about the governance of the world economy: Who sets the rules, and what explains the diverse ways in which the world economy is regulated? In an age of growing interdependence, states are increasingly forced to negotiate over issues as diverse as the environment, health and safety standards, pharmaceutical patents, and banking and monetary policy. Some observers see states inevitably relinquishing authority over the world economy to governmental bodies or private multilateral firms. Drezner, however, argues that leading states are still in control of the world economy, fashioning regulatory agreements -- as they have in the past -- when functional demands exist and their interests converge. Globalization merely increases the rewards for the major powers for coordinating their policies -- and they tend to do so unless the domestic "adjustment costs" are too great. Drezner shows that it is control of their own large domestic markets that give major states the ability to wield power in the global economy. His main contribution, however, is to explode a popular notion of globalization and thereby to set an agenda for the study of global regulatory politics. For social movements seeking to shape the governance of the world economy, all roads still lead to the state.

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