Reconstructing Globalization in an Illiberal Era

| September 2018
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Straight Talk on Trade: Ideas for a Sane World Economy, Dani Rodrik (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2017), 336 pp., $29.95 cloth.

Globalization and Its Discontents Revisited: Anti-Globalization in the Era of Trump, Joseph E. Stiglitz (New York: W. W. Norton, 2017), 528 pp., $17.95 paper.

 

Abstract: In their new indictments of global neoliberalism and the economic profession’s culpability in its harms, Dani Rodrik and Joseph Stiglitz press the case for reconstructed globalization that generates benefits for all and not just for corporate and financial elites. Both books are deeply consistent with the insights of Karl Polanyi, who had identified the inherent contradictions of the project to create what he called a self-regulating economy. Like Polanyi, Rodrik and Stiglitz are attentive to the inadequacies of neoliberalism, and both emphasize the capture of the state and international economic policy by elites, who have turned their backs on those left behind. While Stiglitz emphasizes that the profession knows how to fix the problem by applying modern Keynesian insights, Rodrik emphasizes the inherent epistemic limitations facing economists. Indeed, his arguments about development policy reflect the insights of Friedrich Hayek into the limits of economic expertise.

Keywords: globalization, neoliberalism, trade, nationalism, Karl Polanyi, Friedrich Hayek, Dani Rodrik, Joseph Stiglitz, uncertainty, policy autonomy

 

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Category: Issue 32.3, Review Essays

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