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Best International Relations Books of 2011

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Globalization at Risk: Challenges to Finance and Trade

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Globalization at Risk: Challenges to Finance and Trade
By Gary Clyde Hufbauer,Kati Suominen
Yale University Press, 2010
336 pp. $27.50
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The economists Hufbauer and Suominen make accessible much scholarly research on the economic effects of globalization in its various dimensions: trade, finance, foreign direct investment, and migration. They find that the balance of evidence strongly supports the claim that globalization has significantly raised standards of living for ordinary people around the world. But globalization, they emphasize, is not automatic; it needs to be nurtured continuously. Reversal is all too possible, especially given the widespread distress and political recrimination that have followed the recent global economic recession. Hufbauer and Suominen identify sources of emerging frictions, such as uncoordinated national climate-change measures, which complicate international trade, and state-owned enterprises and sovereign wealth funds, which complicate international investment. They also recommend policies to maintain globalization, some aimed specifically at the United States (introducing portable health insurance, extending unemployment benefits) and others that require international collaboration (agreeing on new trade rules, enacting greater financial regulation). The book contains many substantive and highly informative footnotes, too, which are worth reading apart from the text.

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