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Spring 2004
Globalization's Missing Middle
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This is today's world of economic integration. The benefits of globalization are more than merely theoretical, but on the ground they have also been considerably less than was promised. The losers middle-income countries and poor people in the West are caught in the crossfire between the stringent demands for success in the knowledge economy and the harsh realities of competing against countries where people will work for much less while still doing a good job.

Improving the lot of the current losers from globalization remains a critical global challenge in terms of not only economic justice, but of political stability as well. The 1990s refrain, championed by the United States, that more markets will ultimately do the job seems increasingly unrealistic, and, for many, disingenuous. Global markets are great for expanding the pie, but the negative fallout of concentrated losses and uncertainty cannot be ignored. Squaring this globalization circle will no doubt be hard, but the stakes could scarcely be higher.

Geoffrey Garrett is vice provost and dean of the UCLA International Institute, and director of the Burkle Center for International Relations. The full study on which this article is based can be found at www.international.ucla.edu.


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