Is This the End of the Liberal International Order? Niall Ferguson vs. Fareed Zakaria

Edited by Rudyard Griffiths. House of Anansi (PGW/Perseus, U.S. dist.; UTP, Canadian dist.), $14.95 (81p) ISBN 978-1-4870-0335-7
This provocative book is a record of a rousing public debate between author and journalist Fareed Zakaria and historian, filmmaker, and author Niall Ferguson, examining whether the liberal globalization that has shaped post-WWII international alignments can survive “an era of rising nationalism, protectionism, and populism.” It was the 2017 edition of the Munk Debates, which are held annually in Toronto and aim to provide a forum for leading observers to discuss global public policy. Ferguson argues that the liberal order is over because it was neither liberal nor orderly. The primary beneficiary of this order, he notes, has been decidedly illiberal China. Moreover, globalization has primarily benefited elites at the top of the knowledge economy while leaving many workers behind. Zakaria counters that the liberal order is still intact and that, in fact, the post-WWII era saw greater stability and more sustained prosperity globally than any other time in history. While he recognizes the problems of inequality and corruption, Zakaria believes that stresses and strains in the liberal order do not portend its demise. Regardless of whether the cases made here sway opinions, readers interested in this important and timely question will devour both men’s intelligent and thought-provoking arguments. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 02/12/2018
Release date: 12/01/2017
Genre: Nonfiction
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