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Many Arms of Globalization


Nagesh Kumar

GLOBALIZATION AND SOUTH ASIA : MULTIDIMENSIONAL PERSPECTIVES
Edited by Achin Vanaik
Manohar Book Service, 2004, pp. 362, Rs. 745.00

VOLUME XXVIII NUMBER 7 July 2004

In tune with the global trends, South Asia also made an attempt to integrate itself with the global economy more intensively during the 1990s. Globalization has affected the region in a significant manner, touching various aspects of economic and social development. Globalization and its impact in the region has also been the subject of very intense debate in different circles. The book under review is an outcome of a four-day conference on Globalization and South Asia organized by the Academy of Third World Studies, Jamia Millia Islamia, sometime in the recent past (the date of the conference is not mentioned in the volume). The book actually presents an exact verbatim record of the conference proceedings and is full of personal references by speakers and those who participated in the discussion. The editor has hardly exercised any role anywhere other than putting these transcripts together not to talk of providing an editorial introduction. I consider it a great opportunity wasted considering the fact that the conference had participation by some well-known experts of the themes covered. With appropriate editing, the book could have been made much more useful and readable.   The first topic addressed by the conference and hence the book is globalization and the Indian economy in two sessions. The first of these focused on new economic reforms and had presentations by Arvind Virmani, Arun Kumar, Sanjaya Baru, and Prabhat Patnaik followed by discussion from the floor. The second session focused more on the impact of the WTO and had presentations by Bibek Debroy and Jayati Ghosh.   The Indian case was followed by case studies of Nepal, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh with respect to globalization by I.N. Mukherjee, P. Sahadevan, C.P. Chandrasekhar, Abhijit Sen, respectively. The focus of these case studies of South Asian countries varies according to the background of the commentators. For instance, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Nepal studies are more tuned to implications of globalization for economic development, while the Sri Lankan case study is more focused on socio-political aspects.   Praful Bidwai spoke on globalization and science and technology. He highlighted the trend of growing dominance of the developed world on technology in the phase of globalization and implications of that. He argued that the skewed nature of technology distribution and access to new inventions is the result of very deliberate changes in legal and economic systems, and intellectual property protection regime.   Mohan Rao touched ...


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