Thursday, September 26, 2013


Right at the heart of the Great recession there was a global conference sponsored by the London School of Economics and Columbia University entitled "A manifesto for a New Global Covenant: Protection Without Protectionism". Professors Joseph Stiglitz and Mary Kaldor have pulled together some of those papers with their own analysis in a new book published by Columbia University Press - The Quest for Security: Protection Without Protectionism and the Challenge of Global Governance.


I'm just 20 pages into it but already I see the importance of this bird's eye view of globalization from some of the world's brightest thinkers on the topic.

     Ideas matter, and ideas about what a fair and just world - and a fair and democratic system of global governance - might look like are shaping debates about globalization and how it could be managed better. (p.13)

The editors are clearly accepting that globalization is a fact of life and that governance, not to be necessarily confused with government, must evolve to create a future that is better for us all. They continue

     The prevailing wisdom in recent decades has argued for stripping away social protections, lowering taxes, providing greater reliance on individuals to protect themselves - a move away from the state towards markets. [SOUND FAMILIAR!!] This was supposed to lead to higher growth, which would benefit all. Economists have typically depicted a trade-off: One can only get more equality and security by giving up on growth. The Scandanavian model challenges these presumptions. The Scandanavian countries have the highest taxes in the world and the strongest system of social protection; yet in most metrics, they also have the highest standard of living, with lower inequality, better social indicators, and dynamic economies. They have embraced globalization more than any other region in the world. (p.21)

Of course in what media forum or from whose lips in the U.S. are you hearing this? This book might be a gift to consider for every elected official in the land.