Open Society: Reforming Global Capitalism

Open Society: Reforming Global Capitalism

Open Society: Reforming Global Capitalism

Open Society: Reforming Global Capitalism


Lauded by the New York Times as "brilliant and persuasive", and published in more than thirty-five foreign editions, George Soros's The Crisis of Global Capitalism became an instant classic. A must read for anyone concerned with the complex market forces that rule our global economy and that have thrust us into a state of financial flux and international economic insecurity.

Now Soros takes a whole new look at the arguments he made in that book, incorporating the very latest in global economic and political developments. He shows how the recovery following the economic meltdown of 1998 may have been a false dawn, leaving us in a much more precarious position than we realize. He also explores surprising connections between events like the war in Kosovo and the economic wealth of nations. And he offers new insights into the fates of Russia, Asia, Europe and the United States.

Demonstrating that our still unquestioning faith in market forces blinds us to crucial economic instabilities, Open Society provides an inspiring vision of how to fix the flaws in the system - suggestions that have already influenced leaders at the IMF, the World Bank, and in many national governments.


This is a book of practical philosophy: It offers a conceptual framework that is meant to serve as a guide to action. I have been guided by that framework in both my moneymaking and philanthropic activities, and I believe that it can also apply to society at large: It provides the guiding principles for a global open society. This is an ambitious undertaking. In executing it, I shall have to cover a lot of ground and move on several levels: philosophical and practical, public and personal.

On the practical level, I have established a network of foundations devoted to fostering open societies. This network covers all the countries of the former Soviet empire and it has branched out to other parts of the world: South Africa, the ten countries of Southern Africa, the sixteen countries of Western Africa, Haiti, Guatemala, Burma, and more recently Indonesia. There is also an Open Society Institute in the United States. Each national foundation has its own board and staff who decide their own priorities and take responsibility for the activities of the foundation within their own countries. They support civil society; they also try to work with the central and local governments because a democratic and effective government is an essential part of an open society, but often the are at loggerheads with the government or some of its activities. In some countries, notably in Slovakia and Croatia, the foundations were successful in mobilizing civil society in opposition to repres-

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