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The Globalization Paradox: Democracy and the Future of the World Economy

3.97  ·  Rating Details ·  572 Ratings  ·  46 Reviews
In this eloquent challenge to the reigning wisdom on globalization, Dani Rodrik reminds us of the importance of the nation-state, arguing forcefully that when the social arrangements of democracies inevitably clash with the international demands of globalization, national priorities should take precedence. Combining history with insight, humor with good-natured critique, R ...more
ebook, 368 pages
Published February 21st 2011 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published December 23rd 2010)
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Jonathan Biddle
Aug 01, 2012 Jonathan Biddle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012, kindle
Rodrick's trilemma states that we cannot simultaneously pursue democracy, national determination, and economic globalization. We can hold a maximum of two factors at the same time. Holding onto democracy and economic globalization and elimination the nation state is the ideal solution. In this scenario, everything from labor to goods to capital flows would be released to move freely without barriers. A world economy functioning as the United States would be much more efficient at distributing la ...more
Jul 21, 2011 Alex rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rodrik configures a triangle: "hyperglobalization," democracy and national self-determination--and posits that only two of the three corners of the triangle can hold. Given the impossibility of a system of global governance, the choice is either to eliminate democracy and ignore domestic interests in favor of a global laissez-faire economic policy with liberalized trade as well as finance, or to reduce the ambitions of globalization, being content with the liberalization of trade to date and slo ...more
Zöe Yu
Jun 19, 2014 Zöe Yu rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: politics
Well written. One important point, from all the other political books, this book is outstandingly clear and to the point.
This book is pretty much what my macroeconomics professor was trying to teach me, but much more interesting. The author does a nice job explaining some very complex topics in a way the lay reader can understand.
Gumble's Yard
Jan 05, 2017 Gumble's Yard rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
Cited as one of the few economics books which predicted the recent upheavals such as the rise of Trump, Sanders and particularly the Brexit vote, Rodrik's Central thesis is what he calls the political trilemma of the world economy - that it is possible to have any two of hyper-globalisation, democracy and national self-determination but not all three. He concludes that global government for now is a largely utopian dream (hence ruling out the dropping of the national state).

He characterises muc
Jan 15, 2017 Ariane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really wish I could give a 3.5 in Goodreads: I liked this book for more than a 3, but probably less than a 4.

Overall, I'm quite happy I read Rodrik's book. It's very wel written, even entertaining (I have to say that it made me laugh a lot while reading) and enjoyable. This is not often the case when it comes to this king of books.

What I iked most about it was its critical reflection of globalization. The historical perspective is very well constructed and makes a very convincing case for bein
Ed Terrell
Nov 25, 2016 Ed Terrell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
"When domestic needs clash with the requirements of the global economy, domestic needs emerge victorious .."

So what is globalization about anyway? In three words: “Minimizing transaction costs”. Trade is accomplished basically in three ways: Long term relationships, belief systems and third party enforcement. You need something to ensure the next guy isn’t going to screw you. Contrary to what we may have thought, globalization didn’t start in the 1980s but rather has been around since steamships
David Donaldson
Dec 26, 2016 David Donaldson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book helps explain a lot of the hostility we've seen this year with Brexit and Trump, I think: Rodrik argues we can't have hyper-globalisation, democracy and national self-determination all at once; only two of three is sustainable. So rather than pushing for very high levels of economic integration that minimise states' ability to respond to what the people want -- restrictions of the type pushed through free trade agreements, the World Trade Organization and so on -- it's more sensible to ...more
Jan 12, 2017 Arup rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: economics
If democrats had taken this book seriously Trump wouldn't have happened. I liked the recommendations a lot, especially how economists and political scientists need to work together in developing their vision of the better future. The concept of unrestricted labor mobility as the lowest hanging fruit of globalization might be true but it is something we are not ready for. Pew research confirmed last year that even the EU is failing.
Dec 20, 2016 Andreas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: economics-etc
It took me more than two months to finish this short-ish book, so I wouldn't call it a pageturner, but it did me teach me a lot about international economics, trade agreements and sovereignty issues. I would recommend it to anyone trying to make sense of the whole CETA-TTIP affair and the current backlash against hyperglobalization.
Cyrus Carter
Sep 17, 2016 Cyrus Carter rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A highly accessible explanation of the pros and cons of globalization. Readable and chronological, the book explores the history of our increasingly globalized world and why our current questions have been asked throughout time. Importantly, it posits that it is essential that countries maintain their own values while developing a global outlook. No matter what you may feel about globalization, you will have your eyes opened by this pivotal piece. And I recognize that neither the US nor China is ...more
Kevin Vejrup
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 26, 2015 Venky rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bibliocase
Globalization first reared its tentative head, courtesy a revisionist package popularly known as the "Washington Consensus". The term was coined in 1989 by John Williamson and represented as its edifice three indispensable words: stabilize; liberalize; and privatize. Two and a half decades and a crippling recession later, the world is still coming to grips with the shock and awe impact caused by a rampant globalization that had its most fervent advocates fleeing for life!

In this compelling work,
Aug 10, 2016 Scott rated it did not like it
Rodrik cherry picks his data, misrepresents the work of "conservative" authors he disagrees with and appears to come to his conclusions based on his political orientation rather than the empirical evidence.

Yet despite his intense desire to discredit economists and politicians he disagrees with (He makes a habit of taking quotes of others out of context making those he disagrees with appear to lack sophistication or concern for nuance and context), he was forced to admit that trade and globalizat
Raymond Thomas
Rodrik presents an interesting take on the dynamics of globalization, democracy, and nationhood. Throughout the book he makes it clear he is in favor of a return to a system similar to the old Bretton Woods institutions in order to allow for more nationally driven economic development. He does a very good job presenting a balanced view of both sides, but his conclusion lacks the uniform coherency I was expecting. He seems to reside in an entirely economic world devoid of both real consequences a ...more
Kellie Uhrig
Feb 07, 2016 Kellie Uhrig rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Okay, okay, okay. I know it's unusual for me to rate a non-fiction book so highly (and I'm betting fans of hyper globalization will probably take offense at my use of the term "non-fiction".) I was pleasantly surprised by the readability of a book about such a heavy topic. This economist actually has a sense of humor and the fact that he trashes many of his fellow economists throughout gives an extra kick of, shall I say, fun. Glad to be finished but also glad to feel a little more informed...wh ...more
Fermin Quant
The book seems interesting when reading the back summary and initial pages of the introduction. However, that is where interesting ends.
Not to say it is totally bad, it has some useful information, but as a read it is really hard to follow, as it seems fairly obvious the author is not a writer.
It is hard for him to fall on one argument and work around it, as it seems like he is constantly trying to derail from the main argument but slightly comes back every once in a while.
Overall the idea of
Jorge Flores Kelly
A must read. It is a far reaching evolution from his thoughts and previous books on trade and financial liberalization. In many ways really makes you think what the true challenges of globalization are. Based on a Mundell-Fleming style modeling brings up the issue that we cannot simultaneously pursue democracy, national self-determination and "hyperglobalization". From his point of view only two out of three are possible or melt down will turn out to be the outcome sooner than later. For Rodrik ...more
Jun 10, 2016 Seun rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dani's book offers an unconventional contrarian view at globalization with critiques for widespread economic policies that today hold sway:- from the herd messengers who acclaim globalization as the one-size-fits-all solution for prosperity of nations, to hard truths about the counsel of economists to struggling economies despite the trove of blunders inherent in their logic.

At some points, he delves into political economy history, discussing about mercantilism and the economic strategy perpetr
Jeffrey Cavanaugh
Mar 24, 2013 Jeffrey Cavanaugh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rodrick argues here that globalization faces a trilateral dilemma that is irresolvable - that, as a global society, we cannot simultaneously have sovereign states, national democracy, and hyper-integrated global markets in trade and capital. At best, we can have two, but to do so we have to give up the benefits of one. That means globalization's future, if we continue down the path of further economic integration, is one where we have to give up on national sovereignty or political democracy - n ...more
Aug 19, 2016 Chikuwa34 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: economics
Francisco Luis Benítez
Interesante reflexión de quien otrora fuera miembro de la Escuela de Chicago, sobre la necesidad de establecer un sistema de gobernanza económica mundial. Reivindica el papel de los Estados contra la hiperglobalización y algunas ideas interesantes y otras provocativas, como la que hace referencia a cómo ajustar los procesos migratorios para crear riqueza a nivel mundial y reducir el gap de sus países de origen con respecto a los receptores, mediante procesos temporales de inmigración. Sin duda, ...more
Dawei Liu
Rodrik gives a nuanced and well researched argument into why he believes unfettered globalization in its current form doesn't make sense. He presents his argument well and overall, I supported his viewpoint. Most of the chapters in this book are well-written, however,Rodrik's biggest problem is the way in which he attacks other academics(especially fellow economists) and commits a large part of the book into a huge "I told you so". This sort of polemical argument draws away from this central the ...more
Apr 30, 2012 Jack rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: economics
Economics isn't really my thing, but this book is important. Rodrik offers a take of globalization that more people should appreciate. Plainly, this thing has cost the world a lot over the past couple of years - the ideas of the neoliberals have not panned out the way they told us it all would. But to think global governance can be implemented to watch over the globalizers is a mistake too. Rodrik tells us to return more control to the nation-states and their people to determine for themselves w ...more
If there's one guide to a future that wants to minimize chances of Brexits, Trumps, trade wars or badly-drawn TTIP's, it's this one. Revitalizing the world economy to thrive under globalization does not imply ever more globalization, but a reassertion of a state's sovereignty to choose what's best. The political trilemma is a necessary foundation of anyone's argument calling for more democracy, nation state or globalization.

An absolute must-read.
Dec 03, 2015 Ajay rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ipe
Fascinating. This book simultaneously challenged a sizable chunk of what I thought I knew about international economics while at the same time confirming other priors, as a result, it is the kind of book that forces you to think deeper (and hopefully better) about issues concerning globalization.

Have to dock a couple of stars because it seems like Rodrik dismisses PC concerns too early in the first half of the book.
Paul Heidebrecht
Jul 06, 2011 Paul Heidebrecht rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Best work on globalization I have read. Economics is a complicated narrative without simple solutions. So is globalization. It will always be good for some and bad for others. States will struggle to adapt. You can't always have democracy and success in the market. But strong national governments are essential to survival and progress. Sorry, small government lovers.
Ami Iida
Apr 24, 2015 Ami Iida rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: interested in finance ,globalization,national sovereignty
Shelves: finance
Political trilemma of the world economy

Can not be achieved at the same time , taking any two can not be achieved one or any remaining

1. " globalization ( international economic integration ) "
2. " national sovereignty ( independence of the state ) ."
3. " democracy ( personal freedom ) "

Jul 03, 2016 Valentin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good written book. Dani Rodrik clearly explains the political trilemma of the world economy - hyperglobalization, the nation state and democratic politics. We cannot simultaneously pursue democracy, national determination, and globalization. The global rulemaking by democracy, supported by accountability mechanisms that go far beyond we have at present is a chimera.
Marc Chéhab
Apr 24, 2013 Marc Chéhab rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful book, beautifully argued and highly relevant. I have a little bit of a background in international political economy and economic history, so I would add that I suggest other books for a general overview: Frieden, Global Capitalism, and Eichengreen, The Globalization of Capital. Rodrik I think shouldn't be read for history, but for the framework he provides.
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Dani Rodrik is the Rafiq Hariri Professor of International Political Economy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
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