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Globalization, What Now?

By Lael Brainard and Robert E. Litan

No sooner had Americans digested the horror of September 11 than voices on both sides of the debate began making the connection to globalization. In this book, Lael Brainard and Robert Litan examine how the United States can sustain its strong national interest in promoting globalization while responding effectively to the causes and consequences of terrorism. They examine the issue within the spectrum of two extreme possibilities: that globalization could march on unimpeded or that its pace could be slowed or even reversed.

Among the issues they consider:

  • whether strains on the global economy as a direct consequence of September 11 will deal significant blows to the pace of globalization
  • the difficult balance required to respond to the need for greater security without compromising the U.S. commitment to open borders and international engagement
  • the extent to which enhanced security will necessitate fundamental changes to the infrastructure supporting international transactions, particularly cross-border movements of goods, people, information, financial capital, and mail
  • whether the United States will consider a significant reorganization of American international economic policy that will move forward the trade agenda in a way that demonstrates to the developing nations they have a real stake in it
  • the potential that coalition building, reconstruction, and addressing the “root causes” of the current crisis will militate in favor of increased foreign assistance (bilateral and multinational)

To the extent that September 11 heralds a sustained redirection of America’s national security and economic policy, it could be a pivotal event for the future pace and direction of globalization. The war on terrorism puts at risk many of the gains globalization has brought, but it may also present opportunities to smooth some of the rough edges of the globalization associated with American policies of the past decade. The authors of this book outline ways to meet this important challenge.

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