Long-distance trade, migration, and cross-cultural interaction have been going on for thousands of years, but the pace, breadth, and depth of the current wave of globalization is unprecedented. Thanks to free market policies and advances in information technology and transportation, economies around the world have become increasingly integrated over the last few decades, with far-reaching consequences both good and bad.
Some, like Jagdish Bhagwati, argue that on balance, the economic benefits—especially to poorer nations—outweigh the problems that globalization brings. Others, such as Joseph Stiglitz, declare that globalization is asymmetrical, its rewards heavily tilted towards richer countries and corporations, and that the global financial system must be restructured. It is surely undeniable that the existing limited version of "free trade" is neither free nor fair, and in any case, as Jeffrey Sachs points out, not all inequities can be solved by market forces.
What's more, poverty can no longer be looked at as a purely local issue, according to Thomas Pogge."Thanks in part to the rationalizations dispensed by our economists, most of us believe that severe poverty and its persistence are due exclusively to local causes. Few realize that severe poverty is an ongoing harm we inflict upon the global poor," he asserts. Pogge, Peter Singer, and many others believe that with globalization comes the moral responsibility to act in the interests of the entire world community, not just the privileged few.
Globalization is a huge topic, and so we have chosen to limit this first selection to the "big picture," focusing on macro-economic issues. Part two, which will follow in a few weeks, will include new trends in globalization and fair trade success stories. In the meantime, for more resources on what's new in globalization see our online magazine Policy Innovations part of the Global Policy Innovations Program (GPI), which is updated at least once a week. You can also find material on other aspects of globalization, such as immigration, global health, and human rights in the following sections:
- Ethics & International Affairs Journal
- Human Rights Dialogue Magazine
REPORTS ON GLOBALIZATION
Globalization: What's New?
William Easterly, New York University; Joseph E. Stiglitz, Columbia University; Michael M. Weinstein, Robin Hood Foundation
The panelists start with an overview of globalization and go on to debate foreign aid, trade liberalization issues, and the relationship between trade and aid. (Public Affairs Lecture, June 2005)
The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century
Thomas L. Friedman, The New York Times
Globalization, particularly outsourcing, is leveling the playing field around the world, says Friedman, making India a major player. (Public Affairs Lecture, 2005)
Three Billion New Capitalists: The Great Shift of Wealth and Power to the East
Clyde Prestowitz, Economic Strategy Institute
Prestowitz believes that the United States is sliding toward economic decline under globalization, arguing that these trends are creating not only increased economic strength in Asia, but also geopolitical power. (Public Affairs Lecture, June 2005)
Exporting America: Why Corporate Greed Is Shipping American Jobs Overseas
Lou Dobbs, CNN
The loss of numerous jobs to outsourcing harms the middle class and presents a grave threat to the U.S. economy, argues Lou Dobbs. The audience takes issue with him, however. (Public Affairs Lecture, December 2004)
ILLICIT: How Smugglers,Traffickers, and Copycats Are Hijacking the Global Economy
Moisés Naím, Editor and Publisher, Foreign Policy (and GPI Advisory Board member)
Technology has proved a boon not only to international terrorist groups but also to black-market networks, which are organized in remarkably similar ways, says Naím. The counterfeit trade is worth 630 billion dollars a year, ranging from fashion items to fake airplane parts, while growth in trading people, arms, and drugs is equally staggering. (Public Affairs Lecture, November 2005)
In Defense of Globalization
Jagdish Bhagwati, Columbia University
Although he is a leading free trade proponent, Bhagwati does not advocate total laissez-faire economics. Instead he argues that continued globalization needs to be "managed." (Public Affairs Lecture, October 2004)
Is Globalization Working?
David Singh Grewal, Ph.D. candidate, Harvard University
Grewal reviews two pro-globalization books: Why Globalization Works, by Martin Wolf, and In Defense of Globalization, by Jagdish Bhagwati. He takes issue with them on several points, particularly on the contentious estimates of poverty trends, which are central to the evaluation of market-led globalization. (Ethics & International Affairs, Volume 20.2, Summer 2006)
Send the SOS for Globalization?
Matthew Hennessey, Carnegie Council
Despite its promise, the first great wave of economic globalization, from around 1870 to World War I, did not last. Today, has globalization peaked once again? (GPI Briefings, January 2007)
FAIR TRADE ISSUES
Fair Trade for All: How Trade Can Promote Development
Joseph E. Stiglitz, Nobel Laureate, Columbia University
Joseph Stiglitz discusses what a truly ideal development round would look like for the world economy, with specific attention to how the less developed countries have been disadvantaged in the negotiating process. (Public Affairs Lecture, April 2006)
Procedural Fairness and Substantive Fairness in Multilateral Trade Negotiations: The Challenges of the Doha Development Agenda
Junji Nakagawa, University of Tokyo
Junji Nakagawa argues in favor of greater participation and substantive fairness, including development assistance, for developing countries in trade negotiations. (Oxford/Uehiro/Carnegie Council Conference, December 2006)
The U.S. Must Redefine "Fair Trade"
Devin Stewart, Carnegie Council
"For the U.S. to justify and prolong its international leadership, it must ensure that the rest of the world can access the benefits of globalization," says Stewart. "It can start by promulgating a more thoughtful approach to trade--one that is neither protectionist nor free market fundamentalist." (Carnegie Ethics Online Column, February 2007)
PROPOSALS FOR A FAIRER GLOBALIZATION
World Poverty and Human Rights
Thomas Pogge, Australian National University, Columbia University (and Ethics & International Affairs Editorial Advisory Board member)
Despite a growing global average income, billions of people are still condemned to severe poverty, with all its attendant evils of low life expectancy, social exclusion, ill health, illiteracy, dependency, and effective enslavement. Yet this problem can be solved, says Thomas Pogge. (Ethics & International Affairs, Volume 19.1, Spring 2005)
One World: the Ethics of Globalization
Peter Singer, Princeton University
If we agree with the notion of a global community, then we must extend our concepts of justice, fairness, and equity beyond national borders by supporting measures to decrease global warming and to increase foreign aid, argues Peter Singer. (Public Affairs Lecture, October 2002)
Global Poverty and U.S. Foreign Policy
Jeffrey Sachs, Columbia University
Markets alone will not solve the problems of Africa and other poor parts of the world, says Jeffrey Sachs. "Markets will not stop mosquitoes from transmitting malaria, nor they can stop, or even diminish, the transmission of HIV/AIDS." (Public Affairs Lecture, November 2002)
Making Globalization Work
Joseph E. Stiglitz, Nobel Laureate, Columbia University (and GPI Advisory Board member)
Stiglitz offers new thinking about globalization, including a plan to restructure the global financial system and a framework for free and fair global trade. (Public Affairs Lecture, October 2006)
Interview with Joseph Stiglitz
Joseph E. Stiglitz, Nobel Laureate, Columbia University (and GPI Advisory Board member)
"I firmly believe that aid and trade have to work together," says Dr. Stiglitz. "If we provide assistance to help people to take advantage of the new opportunities, we can get real growth, and they won't need the handouts as much as in the past."(Video interview, April 2006)
Economic Justice in an Unfair World: Toward a Level Playing Field
Ethan Kapstein, INSEAD
In a lively session, Ethan Kapstein proposes just what the international community can reasonably do to build a global economy that will be fairer to all. (Joint Public Affairs/GPI event, November 2006)
Putting Teeth in Corporate Social Responsibility
Keith Slack, Oxfam America
Keith Slack discusses how corporate social responsibility could become more effective by changing the incentives that govern corporate access to capital and markets. (GPI Innovations, November 2006)
Global Responsibilities: How Can Multinational Corporations Deliver on Human Rights?
Andrew Kuper, Ashoka (formerly Carnegie Council) and Peter Singer, Princeton University
Who has the responsibility to alleviate poverty and uphold human rights in a globalized world where corporations often wield more power than nation-states? (Public Affairs Lecture, September 2005)