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Grand Narratives

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Globalisation is not an easy phenomenon to understand and write about. To make it an entertaining read is an even tougher task. On that cue, this book is an enviable feat. Edited meticulously by J.S. Sodhi, Tracking Globalization features essays by seven economists on the colour and character of globalisation as we know it today. And Sodhi's is an aesthetic effort. All articles in the volume speak sans jargons and delivers in-depth understanding of the subject, making it a good read both for policymakers striving to make globalisation work for India and the lay reader.

The essays track the journey of globalisation in India over the past two decades, coinciding with the economic reform process that began in 1991. The authors take stock of the effects of globalisation and examine the pulls and pressures of retaining a global approach in policymaking. While Nobel laureate Amartya Sen's paper ‘Development As Freedom: An Indian Perspective' highlights common aspirations and problems existing in every state in India in terms of globalisation, Meghnad Desai dwells into the complexities of developing India's position as an important player in the global market. Jagdish Bhagwati and Joseph Stiglitz stress the inevitability of India playing an important role in the globalisation process and illustrate why it will be a challenge to make various stakeholders understand the importance of making globalisation work in India. Of the three other papers, Edmund Phelps and Avinash Dixit discuss tangible and intangible aspects of globalisation and challenges in policymaking, while Robert Skidelsky tracks "neo-capitalism", as he examines the crisis of capitalism by debating the approaches of John Maynard Keynes and Karl Marx towards globalisation.

(This story was published in Businessworld Issue Dated 19-09-2011)