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Introduction

Kaldor, Mary; Stiglitz, Joseph E.

This is an introduction to the book "Law and Economic Development with Chinese Characteristics: Institutions for the 21st Century." This book looks at what has traditionally been one of the central responsibilities of the nation-state—providing security to its citizens, protecting them against risks posed, for instance, by the threat of violence, economic disorder, or environmental hazards. As we have noted, today many of the risks come from beyond the nation-state and have to be addressed globally. This book is unusual in bringing together discussions of three arenas that are typically covered by scholars from distinct fields. Security experts, environmentalists, political scientists, sociologists, and economists seldom break bread together, let alone engage in analytic discussions or in policy debates. We brought these disparate scholars together partly because we believe that there are strong parallels between what is going on in each of these areas—a study in one arena may provide insights into the others. But there is an even more profound reason why these topics need to be addressed together: They are inextricably intertwined. The failure to provide a modicum of economic security is giving rise to extremism, which may manifest itself in violence and physical insecurity. Violence, in turn, impedes growth and leads to economic insecurity. Today, in many parts of the world, climate change is bringing droughts, floods, and unparalleled levels of economic insecurity. And if the consequences of this economic insecurity in places such as Pakistan are not addressed better than they have been, there is more than a little risk that already high levels of violence will worsen. The chapters in this volume provide a convincing case that the world can provide “protection without protectionism” in each of the arenas that we examine: That economic, physical, and environmental security can be enhanced best by global cooperation, far better than can be achieved by withdrawing behind closed doors. That this is the better way is clear. Whether it is the path the world will take is less so.

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Also Published In

Title
The Quest for Security: Protection without Protectionism and the Challenge of Global Governance
Publisher
Columbia University Press

More About This Work

Academic Units
Economics
Published Here
April 15, 2019
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