Neither Free Trade Nor Protection provides a critical exploration of mainstream and alternative theories of international trade and presents original evidence of trade’s consequences. It rejects the choice between openness and closure. Mainstream economists almost always support ‘free trade’ but their arguments for this are flawed and too often rely on a caricature of their opponents as simple-minded protectionists. Meanwhile, many critics successfully emphasize shortcomings of the orthodoxy but struggle to identify a more positive agenda, either seeing free trade as a desirable, if unachievable, end or equally simplistically blaming trade for international inequality. Both sides of the trade debate share much in terms of how they understand the objectives of national wealth and in how they overlook other economic processes and social questions. Bill Dunn’s examination covers:
• critical interrogation of both mainstream and heterodox theories
• systematic evaluation of contemporary evidence
• historical context
• trade, restructuring and the crisis of the 2000s
• economics as a social science
Written in plain English, this book will appeal to students, researchers and political activists alike. It is an indispensible resource to those seeking a deeper understanding of alternative approaches to the mainstream theories of trade and economics.