Tribes: How Race, Religion, and Identity Determine Success in the New Global Economy

Tribes: How Race, Religion, and Identity Determine Success in the New Global Economy

by Joel Kotkin
     
 

In this original examination of business, history and ethnicity, Joel Kotkin shows how "global tribes" have been at the center of the world's economy for hundreds of years - and how they will dominate commerce in the twenty-first century. Though the world's economy is becoming increasingly interdependent, Kotkin shows that as national borders dissolve, the impact of… See more details below

Overview

In this original examination of business, history and ethnicity, Joel Kotkin shows how "global tribes" have been at the center of the world's economy for hundreds of years - and how they will dominate commerce in the twenty-first century. Though the world's economy is becoming increasingly interdependent, Kotkin shows that as national borders dissolve, the impact of "tribalism" has never been stronger. And he offers some intriguing predictions on how certain "tribes" will adapt to coming economic changes. Among the "tribes" featured are:. The Jews: The oldest of global tribes, the Jews figured prominently in the origins of modern transnational business. Although small in numbers, and in the face of their millennia-old dispersion, they have produced more Nobel Prize winners - and billionaires - than most major European and East Asian countries. The British: Although no longer as dominant as they once were, the British and their progeny in North America remain the most important ethnic grouping in the world economy, controlling by far the largest accumulation of foreign investment and most of the world's largest corporations. The Japanese: The first Asian group to form a truly global ethnic economic network, the Japanese are second in size and scope only to the Anglo-Americans. Their "diaspora by design" now constitutes a one-world city stretching from Bangkok to London and linked by banks, trading companies and media as well as hundreds of special schools that educate thousands of youngsters in the essentials of "the Japanese spirit." The Chinese: The fifty-five million overseas Chinese are the fastest-growing economic force in the world, controlling an empire that includes the booming regions of coastal China, the high-tech centers of California's Silicon Valley and the most vibrant sections of Manhattan. The three major financial centers of the Chinese - Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong - possess combined foreign reserves twice as large as those of Japan, Germa

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Kotkin relates tribal values to economic prosperity in this analysis of ethnicity and the global economy. (Apr.)
Library Journal - Library Journal
Francis Fukuyama, move over. The theory of individualism as the prime motivator in a new world system is being challenged. Kotkin, an economic reporter and coauthor of The Third Century (Crown, 1988) here offers a different paradigm for the future of the global economy, asserting that ethnic solidarity has been and will continue to be an important force in world business. Kotkin focuses on five groups: Jewish, British, Chinese, Japanese, and Indian. In trying to explain the material success of these particular ``tribes,'' he emphasizes historical patterns common to them all: a strong ethnic identity that allows the group to undergo economic and political changes without loss of essential unity; a global network based on mutual trust and communal self-help; and an open-minded approach to the adoption of scientific and technological innovations. On this basis, he argues that potentially powerful economic groups of the future may include Palestinians and Armenians. Ethnic stereotyping is dangerous territory, and Kotkin jumps headlong into the controversial minefield. Highly recommended for all libraries. See also Lawrence Harrison's Who Prospers? How Cultural Values Shape Economic and Political Success , LJ 7/92.--Ed.-- Ruth M. Mara, U.S. Information Agency, Washington, D.C.
David Rouse
Today one need not look too far to find many examples of the major role ethnicity and ethnic identity play in shaping world events. Kotkin, coauthor of "The Third Century" (Crown, 1988) and "California, Inc." (Rawson, Wade, 1982), argues that globally dispersed ethnic groups, with their worldwide business and cultural networks, will "increasingly shape the economic destiny of mankind" as national boundaries fade. He examines the Jews, British, Japanese, Chinese, and Indians in order to illustrate his notion of "global tribalism." While each of these groups does exhibit a strong ethnic identity, mutual dependence and trust, and technical expertise, and while Kotkin offers up numerous fascinating and well-documented observations (there are more than 60 pages of notes), some of his conclusions are overdrawn to the point of perpetuating stereotypes. Consequently, "Tribes" will spark both debate and comment.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780679412823
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
12/29/1992
Edition description:
1st ed
Pages:
343
Product dimensions:
6.39(w) x 9.50(h) x 1.24(d)

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