By Erik Berglöf
Around the turn of the century, critics of trade and capital-market liberalization had good reason to worry that emerging and developing economies would fall further behind the developing world. But the opposite happened, and now the world must worry about the trajectory of advanced economies and the fraying of multilateral arrangements.
LONDON – Few academic books have had more political influence than Joseph E. Stiglitz’s Globalization and its Discontents. First published in 2002, it became an instant international sensation and propelled its author, already a Nobel laureate economist, to rock-star status. That has been especially true in the emerging and developing world, where he now addresses sold-out arenas. After Discontents, globalization became a byword for all of the harm that has been visited upon emerging and developing economies by global trade and international financial institutions.
Last year, Stiglitz published a sequel in which he reassesses his previous arguments. In Globalization and Its Discontents Revisited, he gives us two books for the price of one: the original text appears in its entirety, followed by reflections on the original insights in light of all that has happened since.
It is hard to fathom just how much the world has changed over the past 16 years. Suffice it to say that the discontents – and their attendant threats to the international order – have now shifted from developing to developed countries. Together with other contributors to the globalization debate, Stiglitz helps us understand why things have turned out differently than expected, and how globalization will likely play out over the next decade, particularly from the perspective of emerging and developing economies.