Leveling the Field

Making Globalization Work

Joseph E. Stiglitz

W. W. Norton, $26.95, 384 pp.

Recently America’s moral standing in the community of nations has dropped, reflecting rash and preemptive actions abroad-taken against the advice of allies-which have harmed innocents. But America’s reputation had already been eroding. As the avatar of globalization, the United States has incurred the widespread discontent of people who have not experienced the prosperity promised by advocates of trade liberalization. As global income inequality widens, those who see themselves as globalization’s losers increasingly view international treaties and institutions as instruments used by the economically powerful, especially America, to further their own interests.

Columbia professor and Nobel economics laureate Joseph Stiglitz has written a timely sequel to his Globalization and Its Discontents (2002). Stiglitz believes the promise of globalization can be realized if trade liberalization and monetary policies are managed to account for the interests of all people, rather than just the powerful few. Throughout Making Globalization Work, he proposes solutions derived from his expertise working in national and international governmental agencies.

Nearly every country speaks favorably of liberal trade policies, but progress in reducing tariffs has come slowly; and, indeed, no enforcement mechanism existed until 1994, when the World Trade Organization (WTO) was established. As Stiglitz points out, this...

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About the Author

George M. Perkins teaches economics at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine.