The way globalization actually works in Europe.

AuthorWatson, Megan
PositionGlobalization and Europe: Prospering in the New Whirled Order - Book review

Globalization and Europe: Prospering in the New Whirled Order

By Daniel S. Hamilton and Joseph P. Quinlan

Center for Transatlantic Relations, John Hopkins University, 184 pages

Seen from 15,000 meters, globalization is a clear and beneficial force. Seen from the street, the view is muddled, and the winds of change appear more threatening. Europe as a whole has gained from globalization. But tell that to the assembly worker without a job or the IT technician forced to take a pay cut.

It is with the assembly worker and IT technician in mind that Daniel Hamilton and Joseph Quinlan set out the case for giving a stamp of approval to globalization's impact on Europe. In their book, Globalization & Europe: Prospering in the New Whirled Order, they explain and evaluate the "gains and pains" that Europe has--and will--experience and deliver the invaluable service of breaking down the scorecard of globalization by each country, by economic participant and by different measures of the economy.

Hamilton and Quinlan--respectively, a diplomat-turned-academic and a New York-based international banker--do not hide the fact that they believe Europe has been one of the big winners of the globalization sweepstakes and that Europeans stand to continue to benefit if Europe adopts the necessary attitude and measures. However, they are also quick to acknowledge that globalization affects individuals, industries and countries in different ways and that anxiety over globalization is common and entirely legitimate. That provides a useful cautionary balance to their favorable verdict and prognosis for globalization in Europe.

One of the primary causes of fear about globalization is that many Europeans believe their jobs are being "off-shored" and lost to developing countries like India or China where wages and production costs are much lower. When a person sees their jobs and income endangered, it is difficult to see the broader benefits of globalization--like higher flows of goods and ideas or higher GDP growth. Recognizing this, Hamilton and Quinlan spend a great deal of time investigating and trying to explain exactly how employment stands to be affected by the new "whirled order" in the world.

While globalization is certainly responsible for the loss of some jobs, Hamilton and Quinlan make the case that it is not the villain that is often depicted. They document that, thanks to globalization, employment has actually increased in the last 20 years and that...

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