Book Review: Six Faces of Globalization: Who Wins, Who Loses, and Why It Matters

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Book Review: Six Faces of Globalization: Who Wins, Who Loses, and Why It Matters

Six Faces of Globalization: Who Wins, Who Loses, and Why It Matters, written by Anthea Roberts and Nicolas Lamp is an essential guide to the intractable public debates about the virtues and vices of economic globalization, cutting through the complexity to reveal the fault lines that divide us and the points of agreement that might bring us together. Globalization has lifted millions out of poverty. Globalization is a weapon the rich use to exploit the poor.

Globalization builds bridges across national boundaries. Globalization fuels the populism and great-power competition that is tearing the world apart. When it comes to the politics of free trade and open borders, the camps are dug in, producing a kaleidoscope of claims and counterclaims, unlikely alliances, and unexpected foes.

Roberts and Lamp distinguish between six views of globalization. The first view is that it is a win-win situation. The free trade regime that has prevailed in most countries of the world has delivered more and more abundant consumer goods and goods of a larger variety. It has also provided newer and newer technologies. Who could have dreamed of the internet and social media in the 1970s? Some goods such as computer chips and associated means of communication have become much cheaper over time.

3D imaging and robotics have made some kinds of surgery possible that have saved many lives and given a new painless existence to many people. True, inequality has grown exponentially over time and old jobs have been destroyed by automation. But newer kinds of service industries are creating new jobs and safety nets that can mitigate the effects of inequality and raise the real standard of living for people.

Green technologies in the form of water power, wind power, and solar power have been around for some time. Now cars are running by using hydrogen and lithium fuel cells. They have been joined by green steel – that is, steel produced without using carbon – invented by a Swedish company. The Jodhpur IIT has used microbial cells based on canna to produce electricity. The obstacles against the use of emerging green technologies are two-fold: One is the greed of fossil fuel-producing companies, which manipulate government policies with the help of pliant politicians. The other is the attempt to monopolize by big corporations like the Adani Green Energy Limited.

 
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