The Resistible Rise of Market Fundamentalism: Rethinking Development Policy in an Unbalanced World

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9781842776360: The Resistible Rise of Market Fundamentalism: Rethinking Development Policy in an Unbalanced World

“Stabilise, liberalise and privatise” has, since the debt crisis of the early 1980s, been the mantra chanted at developing countries by international financial institutions, donor countries and newspaper columnists with quasi-religious conviction. Policy debate has increasingly polarised into the rhetoric of extremes: trade liberalisers versus protectionists, cosmopolitan versus nationalist, the right-thinking versus the wrong-headed, and so on. In The Resistible Rise of Market Fundamentalism Richard Kozul-Wright and Paul Rayment expose the mix of selective evidence, mythical economic history, simplistic assumptions and opportunistic bias which comprise this prescription for economic development. They argue that attempts to apply a universal model of development have not only met with little or no success but are dangerously at odds with democratic principles. Insisting on a ready-made, “one size fits all” model increases the risk of policy reactions that are likely to undermine the peace, prosperity and global integration that the G7 countries and the international organisations are seeking to promote and in which the developing countries seek to share. Instead, developing countries must be given the freedom to experiment, to develop their own policies and discover what works in their own, national circumstances. On this basis, Kozul-Wright and Rayment set out a pragmatic, constructive and more hopeful approach to development than the simplicities of market fundamentalists.

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Richard Kozul-Wright is Senior Economic Affairs Officer, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). Paul Rayment is Director of Economic Analysis at the Commission for Europe of the United Nations.

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'The Resistible Rise of Market Fundamentalism is one of the more intelligent and better-informed books about globalisation published so far. Mixing historical details with a strong grasp of the contemporary data, its commonsense political economy approach casts a clear light on the biases and asymmetries in todays globalisation process, challenges the neo-liberal dogma that there are no economic policy choices left to be made and boldly sets out the case for alternative development strategies. Read it if you really want to understand what is going on in the world economy.' Ha-Joon Chang, University of Cambridge 'An incisive critique of orthodoxy and timely reminder of what development is all about' Thandika Mkandawire, United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) 'An insightful, timely and very welcome contribution to the ongoing debate on how to bring about a more equitable and balanced international economic order.' Rubens Ricupero, Fundacao Armando Alvarez Penteado, Sao Paulo, formerly Secretary-General of UNCTAD

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