The Kimchi Matters: Global Business and Local Politics in a Crisis-Driven World

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9780972456210: The Kimchi Matters: Global Business and Local Politics in a Crisis-Driven World
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From renowned international business expert Marvin Zonis: a penetrating analysis that cuts through the fog of polemic and misperception surrounding globalization and returns our attention to the issues that should really matter to everyone concerned about international business, economics, and politics.

"Globalization is perhaps the defining international business and political story of the past two decades, so big, in fact, that many other stories were overlooked: why some countries succeed in achieving stability; why others fail; and why it matters. An ironic side-effect of globalization is that these relatively small, local -stories-the budget policies of Argentina, the corruption of Indonesia, the stability of Saudi Arabia, among many, many others-matter more than ever before. They are played out in distant countries, but with the click of a mouse or the boarding of a plane their effects are transmitted around the globe.For the uninitiated, kimchi is the unofficial Korean national dish: unassuming cabbage soaked in chilis, -garlic, and ginger until pungent, fiery, and blood-red in color. To be sure, kimchi has its charms; but for today, at least, it remains a very local dish. Today, almost everyone eats Big Macs (one hundred twenty-one countries at last count), which is unprecedented, amazing, revolutionary: in short, the "big story" of globalization. But one lesson of September 11 is that the small stories, of national politics, regional economics, and local struggles, cannot be overlooked. Everyone eats Big Macs; but the kimchi matters.

This is a book about the kimchi."

-From the Introduction

In The Kimchi Matters, Zonis provides a useful anti-dote to other works that have done little more than simply explain the phenomenon of globalization and the processes that make the world more interconnected-trade, travel, technology, etc. Zonis demonstrates that nothing good will come of globalization and global business without sufficient attention paid to the unique situations in different countries.

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"The Bush administration, despite its early intentions and expectations, is up to its knees in ‘nation-building.’ The Kimchi Matters is a clear and cogent argument for understanding local political dynamics as the essential foundation for any such undertaking. This book is a ‘must-read’ for all the architects of American policy, those who seek to replace them, and all Americans who will have to deal with the consequences of their policies." --Ted Koppel, "Nightline," ABC News

"The Kimchi Matters is the best account yet of the difficulties facing conventional approaches to economic development around the world. The authors offer fascinating insights into the local factors that make business and governments succeed and fail." --Gen. Wesley Clark

"The Kimchi Matters explains how and why positive aspects from globalization—the spread of free markets, overseas investment, foreign development aid—can run aground on the rocks of local politics. Professor Zonis and his colleagues identify wide-ranging lessons and provide essential insight for success internationally, whether in business or foreign policy."--Daniel Yergin, author of The Prize and Commanding Heights: the Battle for the World Economy

"This excellent and highly readable book provides outstanding analysis of the origins of political upheavals and of how public discontent, political demands, leadership responses, and government policies impact business and investment. The authors exhibit a strong knowledge of what goes on behind the scenes in emerging-market countries all over the world. This is a ‘must-read’ for anyone now engaged or planning to be involved in international business." --Mark Mobius, CEO, Franklin Templeton Investments

"The twenty-first century is a new ball game in many ways, including the interconnectivity of economic and political issues around the globe. This book will help you understand many of these important issues." --David M. Walker, comptroller general of the United States

"The Kimchi Matters offers you fifteen very useful principles of how countries work, so you can invest in a country with your eyes wide open. Only by knowing the contingencies in a given country can you hope to manage business risks, protect assets, and produce the ROI that justifies global business ventures." --Lawrence A. Weinbach, chairman, president, and CEO, Unisys Corporation

About the Author:

Marvin Zonis is professor emeritus of international political economy at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Busines. He also works as a consultant to businesses and governments, has testified before committees of the U.S. Congress, and appeared on numerous network television programs. His books include The Eastern European Opportunity and Majestic Failure: The Fall of the Shah.

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