The best books on how to make globalization work for all people

Why am I passionate about this?

As a boomer and working-class kid, I experienced living conditions improving rapidly. This sparked my interest in studying international and development economics to explore how we can create a better and more equitable world. As professor of international economics, I have been researching and teaching for many years about what is now known as “globalization”. This taught me two things that inspired me to write my latest book: First, to understand the process and consequences of (de-)globalization, in-depth study is essential to avoid popular misconceptions about the global economy; and, second, globalization needs to be carefully managed to make it work for all people.


I wrote...

Understanding the New Global Economy: A European Perspective

By Harald Sander,

Book cover of Understanding the New Global Economy: A European Perspective

What is my book about?

My book maps the terra incognita of future economic globalization: the rise and fall of nations, the direction new technologies will or should take, the future of trade and investments in goods and services, the (non-)emergence of a global knowledge economy, the globalization of money and finance, and the appropriate governance for this new global economy.

I argue that economic globalization is not passé, but is changing its character. To substantiate this, my book clarifies the fundamental issues and trade-offs in the emerging new global economy. It is therefore both a non-technical introduction to international economics for (executive) students and an accessible guide to today's global economy for professionals and general readers alike.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of The Globotics Upheaval: Globalization, Robotics, and the Future of Work

Harald Sander Why did I love this book?

What holds the future of globalization in store?

I learned a lot from Baldwin’s insightful book, which posits a fast and dramatic rise of digital service trade between high- and low-wage countries.

Such services could range from well-known digital back-office services, such as airline ticketing in India, to more speculative “global robotics”, dubbed “globotics”, such as cross-border controlling of robots via virtual reality devices.

Baldwin points to new opportunities emerging to developing economies that hitherto were unable to gain from the globalization of manufacturing value chains. But he also warns of potentially dramatic social consequences in high-wage countries.

Whether you agree or disagree with his diagnosis, this is essential reading to be prepared for the next wave of globalization and its potential social disruptions.

By Richard Baldwin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Globotics Upheaval as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'A manifesto for future-proofing our jobs and prosperity' THE SUNDAY TIMES

We stand on the edge of a new era that will bring change to our world on a par with the Industrial Revolution. Automation, artificial intelligence and robotics are changing our lives quickly - but digital disruption goes much further than we realize. Richard Baldwin, one of the world's leading globalization experts, argues that the inhuman speed of this transformation threatens to overwhelm our capacity to adapt. But while the changes are now inevitable, there are strategies that humanity can use to adapt to this new world, employing the…


Book cover of The Globalization Paradox: Democracy and the Future of the World Economy

Harald Sander Why did I love this book?

This is one of the most influential books on economic globalization written in the last decade, and it will certainly continue to be crucial to understand the future of globalization.

Rodrik’s Globalization Paradox pinpoints the key policy trade-offs in a globalized economy: If policymakers opt for “hyper-globalization” while insisting on national decision-making, they could find their societies in the “golden straitjacket” of global capitalism.

Alternatively, they could give up sovereignty to democratically legitimized “global governance”.

As the latter is difficult to achieve and often unacceptable to national policymakers, Rodrik argues for limiting hyper-globalization.

The existence of a globalization paradox as well as Rodrik’s conclusion, has been hotly discussed, but the ongoing debate only proves the importance of his book.

By Dani Rodrik,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Globalization Paradox as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this eloquent challenge to the reigning wisdom on globalization, Dani Rodrik reminds us of the importance of the nation-state, arguing forcefully that when the social arrangements of democracies inevitably clash with the international demands of globalization, national priorities should take precedence. Combining history with insight, humor with good-natured critique, Rodrik's case for a customizable globalization supported by a light frame of international rules shows the way to a balanced prosperity as we confront today's global challenges in trade, finance, and labor markets.


Book cover of Creating a Learning Society: A New Approach to Growth, Development, and Social Progress

Harald Sander Why did I love this book?

I enjoyed this book because it provides a demanding, essential, and controversial reading.

Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz and his long-time co-author Bruce Greenwald make three crucial points: First, learning is the key to innovation and thus to economic and societal progress; second, many of our institutions, especially the strong protection of intellectual property rights often inhibit learning and innovation; and third, openness to trade is not always the best way to promote learning.

Instead, the authors advocate “an infant-economy protection” of the entire manufacturing sector in developing economies.

Whether or not you follow the authors in their conclusions, this book is an intellectual treat for anyone who enjoys a challenging read.

By Joseph E. Stiglitz, Bruce Greenwald,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Creating a Learning Society as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

It has long been recognized that an improved standard of living results from advances in technology, not from the accumulation of capital. It has also become clear that what truly separates developed from less-developed countries is not just a gap in resources or output but a gap in knowledge. In fact, the pace at which developing countries grow is largely a function of the pace at which they close that gap. Thus, to understand how countries grow and develop, it is essential to know how they learn and become more productive and what government can do to promote learning. In…


Book cover of The Populist Temptation: Economic Grievance and Political Reaction in the Modern Era

Harald Sander Why did I love this book?

The rise of nationalistic populism and the backlash against globalization have been of particular concern to me in recent years.

This new populism has stimulated a lot of research and many books. For me, however, Eichengreen’s book stands out in three ways.

First, it builds on valuable lessons from history; second, it skillfully and in a highly readable way summarizes what current research is saying; and third, it offers constructive policy recommendations to contain populism.

In particular, Eichengreen advocates economic and political reforms to address the concerns of the disaffected.

As a European studies scholar, I particularly recommend reading his ideas for reforming the European Union to make it more immune to a populist backlash.

By Barry Eichengreen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Populist Temptation as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the last few years, populism - of the right, left, and center varieties - has spread like wildfire throughout the world. The impulse reached its apogee in the United States with the election of Trump, but it was a force in Europe ever since the Great Recession sent the European economy into a prolonged tailspin. In the simplest terms, populism is a political ideology that vilifies economic and political elites and instead lionizes 'the people.' The people,
populists of all stripes contend, need to retake power from the unaccountable elites who have left them powerless. And typically, populists' distrust…


Book cover of The Economics of Belonging: A Radical Plan to Win Back the Left Behind and Achieve Prosperity for All

Harald Sander Why did I love this book?

Financial Times columnist Martin Sandbu laments “the end of belonging”, a decades-long but unwritten social contract in postwar Western-style social market democracies that promised boomers and their parents broadly shared prosperity.

Being a boomer myself, I know all too well what he is talking about. However, he argues that globalization is often used as a scapegoat, and posits that national policies to offset the negative side effects of (global) markets are feasible even in a globalized world.

He proposes a range of policies from wealth taxes to minimum wages, active labor market policies, and macroeconomic stimuli to create a high-pressure economy, but emphasizes that it is crucial to put together a comprehensive package of all suggested policies to make (global) markets work for everyone.

By Martin Sandbu,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Economics of Belonging as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A radical new approach to economic policy that addresses the symptoms and causes of inequality in Western society today

Fueled by populism and the frustrations of the disenfranchised, the past few years have witnessed the widespread rejection of the economic and political order that Western countries built up after 1945. Political debates have turned into violent clashes between those who want to "take their country back" and those viewed as defending an elitist, broken, and unpatriotic social contract. There seems to be an increasing polarization of values. The Economics of Belonging argues that we should step back and take a…


You might also like...

Cold War: A Novel of the Berlin Airlift

By Helena P. Schrader,

Book cover of Cold War: A Novel of the Berlin Airlift

Helena P. Schrader Author Of Cold Peace: A Novel of the Berlin Airlift, Part I

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

I first went to Berlin after college, determined to write a novel about the German Resistance; I stayed a quarter of a century. Initially, the Berlin Airlift, something remembered with pride and affection, helped create common ground between me as an American and the Berliners. Later, I was commissioned to write a book about the Airlift and studied the topic in depth. My research included interviews with many participants including Gail Halvorsen. These encounters with eyewitnesses inspired me to write my current three-part fiction project, Bridge to Tomorrow. With Russian aggression again threatening Europe, the story of the airlift that defeated Soviet state terrorism has never been more topical. 

Helena's book list on the Russian blockade of Berlin and the Allied Airlift

What is my book about?

Stopping Russian Aggression with milk, coal, and candy bars….

Berlin is under siege. More than two million civilians will starve unless they receive food, medicine, and more by air.

USAF Captain J.B. Baronowsky and RAF Flight Lieutenant Kit Moran once risked their lives to drop high explosives on Berlin. They are about to deliver milk, flour, and children’s shoes instead. Meanwhile, two women pilots are flying an air ambulance that carries malnourished and abandoned children to freedom in the West. Until General Winter deploys on the side of Russia...

Based on historical events, award-winning novelist Helena P. Schrader delivers an insightful, exciting and moving tale about how former enemies became friends in the face of Russian aggression — and how close the Berlin Airlift came to failing under the assault of “General Winter.”

Cold War: A Novel of the Berlin Airlift

By Helena P. Schrader,

What is this book about?

Fighting a war with milk, coal and candy bars....

In the second book of the Bridge to Tomorrow Series, the story continues where "Cold Peace" left off.

Berlin is under siege. More than two million civilians in Hitler's former capital will starve unless they receive food, medicine and more by air.

USAF Captain J.B. Baronowsky and RAF Flight Lieutenant Kit Moran once risked their lives to drop high explosives on Berlin. They are about to deliver milk, flour and children's shoes instead. Meanwhile, two women pilots are flying an air ambulance that carries malnourished and abandoned children to freedom in…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in globalization, the economy, and populism?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about globalization, the economy, and populism.

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