Labour Research October 2004


Globalization: tame it or scrap it?

Gary Buckman, Zed Books, 229 pages paperback, £9.99

Not another book on globalisation, some readers will probably groan. But few books on globalisation sum up the issues with such clarity.

World trade has grown enormously over the last 200 years - by 2000 it was 20 times larger than in 1950. Today around three-quarters of world trade takes place between rich countries.

The top 500 multinational corporations control about 80% of foreign investment and about 30% of global output. They control 70% of world trade and a third of international trade takes place within them. They employ between 17 and 26 million workers.

Buckman argues that globalisation has mainly benefited the rich countries - far from "lifting all boats" it has largely "lifted all yachts". He describes the solutions offered by the fair-trade and localisation schools of thought - leaving the reader with much to think about.