This is not another book on globalization. In fact, before my publisher pushed me to call it High Noon, I had my heart set on It's Not Globalization, Stupid.
Why take a swipe at globalization? Because like all mushy concepts, it confuses rather than enlightens. Many people tend to relate it only to economic items, like world trade and capital flows, when there clearly are some other big things going on—such as the planet's population going from 5 billion a decade ago to about 8 billion less than a generation from now. Worse, some people imagine that globalization is dark‐ suited men getting together every Monday morning in Washington or New York to decide how best to make money by degrading the environment and promoting poverty and distress throughout the world. More innocently, most people mix up two things: global changes and the failure to respond correctly to them.
So wherever you turn, you'll see that the concept of globalization brings about a mild paralysis of the brain. It leads to misdiagnoses, witch-hunts, and spectacular misunderstandings. And as the debate gets muddled, we all end up distracted from one of the most pressing challenges on this planet: global problem-solving. If we needed a reminder of how urgent that particular challenge is, the events of September 11, 2001, provided it.
The objective of this short book is to instill clarity into today's debates. In doing so, my vantage point won't be that of the official from