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International Economics and Confusing Politics
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International Economics and Confusing Politics

9781847208170 Edward Elgar Publishing
The late David Robertson, formerly University of Melbourne, Australia
Publication Date: 2008 ISBN: 978 1 84720 817 0 Extent: 256 pp
The IMF, the World Bank and GATT/WTO have had to adapt to changing circumstances in the past 60 years as they guided the world economy to growing interdependence and prosperity. Now they face several simultaneous challenges. In this book, David Robertson discusses the rise of new economic players, including proliferating NGOs, self-promoting UN agencies and ‘emerging’ economies (such as Brazil, China and India), which call into question the management of G7 governments.

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The IMF, the World Bank and GATT/WTO have had to adapt to changing circumstances in the past 60 years as they guided the world economy to growing interdependence and prosperity. Now they face several simultaneous challenges. In this book, David Robertson discusses the rise of new economic players, including proliferating NGOs, self-promoting UN agencies and ‘emerging’ economies (such as Brazil, China and India), which call into question the management of G7 governments.

This volume assesses the future of international economic relations as economic imbalances are exacerbated by these developments and by changing international alliances. The author also considers the interests of small developing countries, which are acting collectively to seek ‘a place at the table’, as well as more preferential treatment. International socialism has re-invented itself as ‘participatory democracy’, which is employed by ‘civil society’ to challenge inter-governmental agencies. The future of international economic integration will depend on how these developments affect trade, finance, aid and development policies.

Providing a review of international economic relations, while taking account of political, environmental and social issues, this analytical assessment of anti-globalisation forces will be of interest to anyone concerned with international affairs.
Critical Acclaim
‘David Robertson does an excellent job identifying and analysing the various parties involved in shaping the international economy. . . Robertson provides an important insight into the costs of protectionist policies and the anti-globalisation movement.’
– Christopher J. Coyne, Economic Affairs

‘This volume must be read and recommended to the policy makers of developed and developing countries alike.’
– Global Business Review

‘In a world in which noisy anti-globalization groups get huge media attention, it is refreshing to read this more-measured analysis of the interface between international economics and politics, and of the positive role institutions such as the WTO can play to improve our lot.’
– Kym Anderson, The World Bank, US

‘David Robertson is an expert guide on the intricacies of international trade politics, the WTO, and so-called civil society. This valuable book incisively cuts through the rhetoric surrounding international trade and should be read by all who care about the future of the world trading system.’
– Douglas A. Irwin, Dartmouth College, US

‘This book is an amazing and unusual piece of scholarship. It reviews with equal candour the activities of industry groups, NGOs and the multilateral organisations, giving readers an understanding of where the debate about globalisation is taking the world economy.’
– Peter J. Lloyd, University of Melbourne, Australia

‘This is a carefully crafted, well balanced and eminently readable monograph. It bravely tackles some of the critical, yet controversial, issues of contemporary international political economy. The author pulls no punches, and, as a consequence, his analysis and policy recommendations are particularly pertinent and refreshing.’
– John H. Dunning, University of Reading, UK and Rutgers University, US

‘The great historic lesson of the second half of the 20th century was that opening national economies to international trade and flows of capital, knowledge and enterprise boosts prosperity and liberty. Yet, in recent decades promoters of Green and other single issues have turned against openness. In this book, David Robertson draws on his wide practical experience and academic knowledge to unmask the follies, and warn of the damages from protectionism.’
– Wolfgang Kasper, University of New South Wales, Australia

‘David Robertson supplies a definitive account – the definitive account – of the economics and politics of global commerce. His book is impressively informed about the vicissitudes of international trade and rests on extraordinary knowledge of the treaties and institutions that have governed its perilous course through recent decades. Unusually in a work of such learning, the author openly confronts the enemies of free trade. He exposes the self-interest of international lawyers and NGOs when they attempt to restrict trade and his analyses of failings in the EU and UN are hard to refute. International Economics and Confusing Politics is a signal resource for anyone concerned with the management of the global economy.’
– Eric Jones, Melbourne Business School, Australia and Netherlands Institute of Advanced Study
Contents
Contents: Preface 1. International Political Economy 2. Internationalism: In the Beginning. . . 3. Trade Relations 4. Trade and Development 5. The WTO and the Doha Round 6. The Regional Trade Alternative 7. Promoting Economic Development 8. Globalization and Civil Society 9. A System Under Siege 10. Economics and International Politics Index
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