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Governing the World Economy

Diane Coyle

ISBN: 978-0-745-62363-4 December 2000 Polity 176 Pages


The global financial crisis of 1997-8 revealed that emerging market nations as well as the developed economies are vulnerable to the forces of globalization. It highlighted the need for the governance of the world economy to catch up with the pace and degree of integration through trade and financial markets.

This book argues passionately in favour of the benefits of free markets, despite the crisis. Coyle argues that the freedom to exchange and invest is valuable in itself, like other freedoms, and that it is also the only sure route to economic development. Further liberalization of trade and investment, appropriately regulated, is essential if developing countries are to attain higher living standards. Economic growth, in turn, will slow population growth and create a constituency for environmental action in the developing world.

Coyle also makes the case for a reassessment of the role and capabilities of the international financial institutions. She argues that these need to reflect a more even balance of power, despite the dominance of the US in today's world economy, and that they need to live up to their own rhetoric of transparency and accountability. Chapters on trade and financial markets look in particular at the role of the WTO and IMF, the key villains on the world stage in the eyes of many progressive development campaigners. The book also addresses the shifting political economy of international governance, looking at the way information technology has led to the development of a global opposition to the inter-governmental organizations.

This book will be read by students of economics and politics, and all those interested in debates about the nature and trajectory of the world economy.



Chapter One: Frankenstein Finance.

Chapter Two: Myths and Reality In Financial Markets.

Chapter Three: Division of the Spoils.

Chapter Four: A New International Architecture.

Chapter Five: The New 'New Economy'.




'Diane Coyle has written a clear and rigorous analysis of the international trade and investment system. If we are to understand the challenges of globalisation, this is one book that we should all read.' Meghnad Desai, London School of Economics

'Diane Coyle has her finger on what will surely be one of the foremost political issues of the coming decade -- the ascendancy of globally integrated finance capitalism, and in particular who benefits and who loses from it. Her insights are thoughtful, her conclusions sound, her explanations consistently instructive. And as usual, her lively writing crackles with concrete examples and thought-provoking facts.' Benjamin M. Friedman, Harvard University

'Diane Coyle, one of the best of the very bright generation of economic writers British journalism has thrown up in recent years.' Denis MacShane, The Independent

'This thoughtful book by the economics editor of The Independent packs a fair amount into its 166 pages. A passionate free marketeer, who also believes that free markets need a great deal of scrutiny, Coyle argues that present trading conditions offer a rare opportunity to improve the world economy.' The Sunday Times

A An important and stimulating contribution to current debates on globalisation and its impact on the world economy. Written in clear and accessible style, this book will appeal to anyone interested in international economic and political affairs.

A The author offers a vigorous defense of the benefits of the free market which, she argues, is the only sure route to economic growth.

A While she defends the merits of the free market, Diane Coyle also makes some innovative suggestions as to how it might be better managed