[Titans or Behemoths: The Multilateral Development Banks, Vol 5]

By Culpeper, Roy; Bryan, Ingrid | International Journal, Fall 1997 | Go to article overview

[Titans or Behemoths: The Multilateral Development Banks, Vol 5]


Culpeper, Roy, Bryan, Ingrid, International Journal


Titans or Behemoths: The Multilateral Development Banks, volume 5, by Roy Culpeper (Ottawa: North-South Institute, 1997, xx, 191pp).

Risking Free Trade: The Politics of Trade in Britain, Canada, Mexico, and the United States by Michael Lusztig (Pittsburgh PA: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1996, x, 180pp).

Who Elected the Bankers? Surveillance and Control in the World Economy by Louis W. Pauly (London and Ithaca NY: Cornell University Press, 1997, XIV, 184pp, US$25.00).

The New World Order in International Finance, edited by Geoffrey R.D. Underhill (New York: St Martin's, 1997, XVII, 331pp, US$49.95).

The accelerated integration of the world economy and its impact on citizens, on the ability to govern, and on the present structure of international organizations have led to a plethora of studies in most social science disciplines. Historians point out that capital and trade reached similar levels of integration in the decades leading up to the first world war. However, the speed at which change is taking place today is unprecedented. Several issues have been explored in depth, including the impact of liberalized trade on wages and unemployment of blue collar workers in industrial countries; of freer trade and capital flows on the environment; of capital flows on the ability of states to conduct their own monetary, fiscal, and social policies. There are also analyses of or prescriptions for the national and international regulatory regimes, if any, that are necessary in the new global environment. Regrettably, and as always, there is little communication among scholars of various disciplines.

The books under review here make important contributions to the growing literature and can be read with interest regardless of the disciplinary background of the reader. With some exceptions, annoying jargon is kept to a minimum. Three of the books deal with international lending and finance, but I will begin with the fourth.

Lusztig's exploration of the question of why countries liberalize trade is not particularly interesting to a traditionally trained economist because the answer is obvious. Countries act in that manner because it is in their interest to do so. Most introductory economics textbooks devote a chapter to the benefits of free trade by explaining comparative advantage: if each country produces and exports those products which it produces relatively efficiently, the world and each country will be better off in the sense that the value of output and, therefore, total income (gross domestic product) will increase. However, most of them by-pass the problem of trade liberalization: the way it creates gainers and losers in each country and the unhappiness of workers in those industries which are losing their protection at the prospect of becoming unemployed or of being paid less. The main beneficiaries are consumers and resources employed in the export industries. While in theory the gainers compensate the losers, in reality this does not often happen. The losers are more likely to distrust and therefore attempt to block any move towards free trade. Democratic governments, which have to be re-elected, are sensitive to such pressures. Economists have begun to look seriously at these problems, most promisingly through a transaction cost approach focussing on impediments to the development of efficient markets.(f.1)

Lusztig takes a political science approach, arguing that free trade may be achieved as a by-product of a pursuit of other objectives or a means to their realization. In a sense free trade may be one of the bargaining chips thrown in to achieve something else. He argues that existing theories ignore this possibility.

In Lusztig's model, trade liberalization refers only to policies which remove direct import barriers affecting at least one-third of total trade volume - an arbitrary figure which he does not defend - and which constitute clear departures from past policies and are politically controversial. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

[Titans or Behemoths: The Multilateral Development Banks, Vol 5]
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.