Free Trade Reimagined: The World Division of Labor and the Method of Economics by Roberto Mangabeira Unger | 9780691145884 | Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Free Trade Reimagined: The World Division of Labor and the Method of Economics

Free Trade Reimagined: The World Division of Labor and the Method of Economics

by Roberto Mangabeira Unger
     
 

ISBN-10: 0691145881

ISBN-13: 9780691145884

Pub. Date: 01/24/2010

Publisher: Princeton University Press

Free Trade Reimagined begins with a sustained criticism of the heart of the emerging world economy, the theory and practice of free trade. Roberto Mangabeira Unger does not, however, defend protectionism against free trade. Instead, he attacks and revises the terms on which the traditional debate between free traders and protectionists has been

Overview

Free Trade Reimagined begins with a sustained criticism of the heart of the emerging world economy, the theory and practice of free trade. Roberto Mangabeira Unger does not, however, defend protectionism against free trade. Instead, he attacks and revises the terms on which the traditional debate between free traders and protectionists has been joined.

Unger's intervention in this major contemporary debate serves as a point of departure for a proposal to rethink the basic ideas with which we explain economic activity. He suggests, by example as well as by theory, a way of understanding contemporary economies that is both more realistic and more revealing of hidden possibilities for transformation than are the established forms of economics.

One message of the book is that we need not choose between accepting and rejecting globalization; we can have a different globalization. Traditional free trade doctrine rests on shaky empirical and theoretical ground. Unger takes a new approach to show when international trade is likely to be useful or harmful to the socially inclusive economic growth that every nation wants. Another message is that the movement of people and ideas is more important than the movement of things and money, and that freedom to change the institutions defining a market economy is just as important as freedom to exchange goods on the basis of those institutions.

Free Trade Reimagined ranges broadly within and outside economics. Presenting technical issues in plain language, it appeals to the general reader. It puts a disciplined imagination in the service of rebellion against the dictatorship of no alternatives that characterizes life and thought today.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691145884
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
01/24/2010
Pages:
240
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.60(d)

Table of Contents

Themes and Scope of this Book 1

Chapter 1 7
Troubles: The Enigmas of Free Trade Familiar Problems, Disturbing Solutions 7
The History of Free Trade and Protection: Subversive Lessons 15
The Authority of Free Trade Doctrine: Reasons Amounting to Objections 20

Chapter 2 25
Troubles: The Incompleteness of Comparative Advantage The Doctrine of Comparative Advantage 25
Incompleteness: Indeterminacy Resulting from Failure to Justify Unique Assignments of Comparative Advantage 28
Incompleteness: Confusion Resulting from Uncertainty about the Limits of Our Power Collectively to Shape Comparative Advantage 36
Incompleteness: Embarrassment Resulting from the Assumption that the World Is Divided into Sovereign States 44
Beyond Incompleteness: The Sham Similarity between Postmarginalist Economics and Physics 51
Condemned to Eternal Infancy: Implications of the Method Inaugurated by Marginalism 56
A Note Relating Ideas in this Book to the Dominant Tradition of Thinking about Comparative Advantage 65

Chapter 3 77
Ideas
In Search of a Point of View 77
Specialization and Discovery:When Competition Inhibits Self-Transformation 78
Politics over Economics:When Restraints on Trade Imply No Surrender to Special Interests or Costly Dogmas 81
Order and Revision:When Free Trade Strengthens the Capacity for Self-Transformation 87
Alternative Free Trade, Alternative Globalizations: The Market Liberated from the Doctrine of the Market 90
The Division of Labor Reimagined and Remade: From the Pin Factory to the Factory of Innovation 95
A Central Conception:Mind against Context 100

Chapter 4 110
Theses
Nature of These Theses 110
The Thesis of Relative Advantage 110
The Thesis of Politics over Economics 138
The Thesis of Self-Revision 150

Chapter 5 166
Proposals
From an Analysis to a Program 166
The World Trade Regime and Its Reconstruction 167
Free Trade Reformed: The Reconciliation of Alternatives 179
Free Trade Reformed: Experimenting with the Form of the Market Economy 185
Free Trade Reformed: Free Movement of Things and Money Chastened, Free Movement of People and Ideas Enhanced 193
Free Trade Reformed: From Wage Slavery to Free Labor 198
The Troubles of Free Trade and the Possibilities of Economics 213

Name Index 223
Subject Index 225

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