What is Globalization? What does it imply and how does it affect our lives? Why is it positively perceived by some and so criticized by others? Who is right? The British author Martin Wolf, chief economics commentator at the Financial Times London, tries to answer these and other questions in his book Why Globalization Works (Yale University Press, 2004).
The concept of globalization is not new but there are a very few books that analyze it with the same level of accuracy as Martin Wolf’s. Why Globalization Works reflect the author’s point of view on the global economics and politics, based on his experience in India, Kenya and Zambia during his work in World Bank. Martin Wolf analyses how the world changed due to the globalization and what kind of impact did it cause to it’s economic and social development.
The principal target of this book is to examine the globalization concept as complete as possible. It tries to convince the reader that the evolution of the society and the contemporary economy cannot advance without an encompassed world and that the attempts of stopping this process would take to undesirable consequences. According to the author, «the trend towards globalization is almost certainly irreversible».
Why Globalization Works is structured in five parts. In the first part the author introduces the globalization term and presents its different definitions. He also explains the anti globalization movement’s points of view and explains how the arrival of mega-terrorism has influenced on the common public opinion and countries’ foreign policies. The second part of the book talks about the market economy and its effect on the today way of life of the individuals, the raise of the global living standards, working opportunities and personal development. He shows the close relation between the market and the democracy and points out «one of the most obvious facts about the world: markets want to be cosmopolitan; states do not». The third part explains the causes of the world’s relatively small progress in globalization. He shows why the international economic integration remains limited and talks about different types of high-income countries protections and the reasons of this politics. The fourth can be considered the most important part of the book, as it answers to all the existing criticism of the today globalization. It is the most detailed answer to all the existing questions about the subject, with major number of statistics and economic analysis and it is especially interesting because of the controversial topics study such as global excess capacity, labor exploitation, environment and localization. This part is named «Why the Critics are Wrong» and it demonstrates the mistakes of the contemporary anti-globalization movement’s leaders. The fifth and the final part talks about the today and tomorrow’s threats to globalization, such as the international rivalry, instability, the protectionist’s interests and anti-liberal ideas. It concludes with the author’s suggestion of Ten Commandments for the successful advance of the globalization and pointing out the huge necessity of a good government.
The main idea of the book, and the one I am totally agreed on, is that «the failure of our world is not that there is too much globalization, but that there is far too little.» The states’ protection policy on such an important questions as immigration, labour-intensive, resource-processing and agricultural activities make the globalization process slower and diminishes its positive effects. It is the hypocrisy, narrow-mindedness and stupidity of some of our politics the main problem of the today’s world, not the inefficiency of the market economy. From my point of view the movement toward the globalized economic and political systems, unification of the countries, abolition of frontiers, bigger democratization, higher market openness, less localization, less protection and less limits to the personal movement, should be the target of the world politics and the today’s global priority. This book has reinforced my view on this subject and I am absolutely agreed on the author’s opinion that «if we want a better world, we need not a different economics but better politics.»
The book stands out for its argumentation quality, clear narrative and wide range of covered themes that does not let any question about globalization without answer. The multiple information and statistics presented in the book, together with the best contemporary economist’s opinions comparison, gives a huge credibility to his arguments and manage to convince even the most skeptical reader. The book allows understanding important economic and political questions, and although it can be hard to read due to the author’s dense and technical way of arguing, I think it achieves its goal in a complete covering of a subject. Undoubtedly I would recommend it to a wide circle of lecturers, especially to people related to the politics and economics.