by John Ralston Saul
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Globalization, like many great geopolitical ideologies before it, is now officially dead. Despite the near-religious conviction with which it was originally conceived, a growing vagueness now surrounds its original promise that nation states were heading toward irrelevance, to be replaced by the power of global markets; that economics, not politics or arms, would determine the course of human events; that growth in international trade would foster prosperous markets that would, in turn, abolish poverty and change dictatorships into democracies. Yet, contends Saul, little has transpired as predicted. The collapse of Globalism has left us struggling in a paradox — a chaotic vacuum. Instead of surrendering or sharing sovereignty, governments and citizens are reasserting their national interests. The United States appears determined to ignore its international critics. Europe is faced with problems of immigration, racism, terrorism and renewed internal nationalism. Many of these issues call for uniquely European solutions born out of local experiences and needs. Elsewhere, the world looks for answers to African debt, the AIDS epidemic, the return of fundamentalism and terrorism, all of which perversely refuse to disappear despite the theoretical rise in global prosperity. In addition to the negative aspects of Globalism, Saul also objectively analyzes its successes, such as the astonishing growth in world trade and the unexpected rise of India and China, which seem slated to become twenty-first-century superpowers. Insightful and prophetic, The Collapse of Globalism is destined to take its place as one of the seminal books of our time.
John Ralston Saul was born in Ottawa and studied at McGill University and the University of London. His philosophical trilogy—Voltaire's Bastards: The Dictatorship of Reason in the West, The Doubter's Companion: A Dictionary of Aggressive Common Sense, and The Unconscious Civilization—has had an impact on political thought in many countries. The Unconscious Civilization won the 1996 Governor General's Award for Non-Fiction and the Gordon Montador Award for Best Canadian Book on Social Issues. Reflections of a Siamese Twin also won the Montador Award and was chosen by Maclean's magazine as one of the ten best non-fiction books of the 20th century. John Ralston Saul is also the author of five novels. On Equilibrium was nominated for a Libris Award for Non-Fiction Book of the Year. He lives in Ottawa.
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