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A Review: World 3.0: Global Prosperity and How to Achieve it, By: Professor Pankaj Ghemawat of IESE

Posted By Guy Pfeffermann, Friday, July 15, 2011
Updated: Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Guy PfeffermanThis May, Professor Pankaj Ghemawat of GBSN member school IESE (Spain) published World 3.0: Global Prosperity and How to Achieve it.

Amid increasing ideological polarization,"World 3.0" provides a refreshingly balanced view of "globalization". Unlike some recent pop-business and pop-economics books, which draw over-simplified conclusions from a few "illustrative" cases, this is a scholarly book grounded in macro and micro economics as well as business knowledge. It is a pleasure to read, studded as it is with apt cartoons and witty headings (e.g., "Anxious in Andorra"), written with verve.

I am impressed by the breadth and depth of the book. It focuses on interactions between individual country and the rest of the world. These are mainly economic and financial (imports, exports, foreign investment, migration, and so forth) but also cultural, psychological, and in the concluding chapter about human potential. The author consider s the likely impact of internationalization on equity as well as well as growth.

The book posits four "Worlds". In World 0.0 life was "nasty, brutish and short". This was a world without Government - think of Somalia or a Tea Party utopia. Fast-forwarding a thousand years, in World 1.0, nations were largely self-contained. Then came the Industrial Revolution, "globalization" with its ardent proponents - e.g., Thomas Friedman's "The World is Flat" and no less zealous detractors such as Naomi Klein.

Professor Ghemawat steps back from these noisy polemics and presents readers with a wealth of facts, which individually as well as in the aggregate demonstrate that while international activities have increased enormously since the Industrial Revolution, they remain modest in relation to national economic, financial and cultural activities. The book is full of surprising statistics. To mention one: Japan is the world's fourth largest exporter, yet in 2009 it total exports of goods and services amounted to only 13 percent of the country's gross domestic product.

World 3.0 is one of "semi-globalization", a realistic world where distance matters hugely and nations retain primary control of their economic destinies. In some areas - for example short-term capital flows - globalization does present risks which governments can mitigate. In many if not most others, there remains plenty of room for facilitating greater internationalization, as this would lead to greater prosperity.

Last but not least, Professor Ghemawat offers several conceptual frameworks which will be useful to governments as well as companies in shaping their own international strategies.

In sum, "World 3.0" offers readers a sane antidote to ideological worldviews, the "silent majority's take" on globalization.

Here is the description of the book as listed on the publisher's website:

World 3.0 Global Prosperity and How to Achieve ItThe world looks far different today than it did before the global financial crisis struck. Reeling from the most brutal impacts of the recession, governments, economies, and societies everywhere are retrenching and pushing hard for increased protectionism. That's understandable, but it's also dangerous, maintains global economy expert Pankaj Ghemawat in "World 3.0". Left unchecked, heightened protectionism could prevent peoples around the world from achieving the true gains afforded by cross-border openness. Ghemawat paints a disturbing picture of what could happen--to household income, availability of goods and services, and other quality-of-life metrics--should globalization continue to reverse direction. He then describes how a wide range of players' private businesses, policy makers, citizens, the press' could help open flows of ideas, people, and goods across borders, but in ways that maximize economic benefits for all. "World 3.0" reveals how we're not nearly as globalized as we think we are, and how people around the world can secure their collective prosperity through new approaches to cross-border integration.

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