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Globalization and its Discontents

Globalization and its DiscontentsBy Joseph Stiglitz
Review by Gabriela (PPE)

As I had not studied economics before I went to university, I was apprehensive about reading an economics book which was heavy in abbreviations and terminology I did not understand. However, Globalization and its Discontents defined each term which involved unfamiliar language, allowing me to actually understand (and enjoy!) the content.

In the book, Stiglitz provides a very critical and controversial account of globalisation (the integration of national economies), focusing on the International Monetary Fund’s (the IMF) policies and how their input did not have positive consequences. For example, in East Asia the IMF forced countries to increase interest rates, inflating the financial crisis. Stiglitz then continues to examine more recent policies and I was surprised by the similar mistakes made by the IMF.

Throughout the book Stiglitz is uncompromising in his criticism of globalisation. Although Stiglitiz is a credible source (he was the World Bank Chief Economist!), such a one sided view caused me to wonder why globalisation had occurred. A quick google of the book revealed many reviews questioning Stiglitz selective examples of IMF policy, showing me I should not form my opinions from just one source. I found the skills of being able to critique opinion and form conclusions from different perspectives to be incredibly useful in my interview at Oxford, which I definitely improved by reading Globalization and its Discontents.

Globalization and its Discontents by Joseph Stiglitz
ISBN-10: 014101038X
ISBN-13: 9780141010380

Try checking the availability of this book at your school or local library or explore second hand bookshops and websites. You may also wish to purchase from either Amazon or Blackwell’s.

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