The Quest for Security: Protection Without Protectionism and the Challenge of Global Governance

Edited by Joseph E. Stiglitz and Mary Kaldor. Columbia Univ., $39.50 (432p) ISBN 978-0-231-15686-8
Somebody should do something about the world’s problems, argues this dreary collection of academic papers. The assembled professors and think-tankers, with George Soros inevitably weighing in, rummage through a grab bag of insecurities that transcend national boundaries—financial crises and trade-induced economic disruptions, greenhouse gases, terrorism, epidemics, “shifting, diffuse and uncertain threats and catastrophes”—and mull half proposals to revamp the U.N., the G20, international conventions, and unspecified cooperative institutions. A few essays stand out, especially Karl Ove Moene’s stimulating analysis of how Scandinavian social democracies embrace global trade while protecting workers; Nobel economist Stiglitz (Making Globalization Work) contributes useful thoughts on climate change—let’s pay people to preserve forests instead of clear-cutting them to grow biofuels. Unfortunately, most of the articles serve up truisms wrapped in droning rumination. Indifferently written, these essays present the mushrooming field of globalization studies in an uninspired light. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/11/2013
Release date: 04/01/2013
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