Austin Bay

Drezner slams globalization popularizers like Thomas Friedman and his "The World Is Flat." That includes the crowd that has written off the nation-state as dying or already dead.

Drezner says bluntly that, on this planet, "states make the rules," and rules matter a great deal. He provides case study after case study of agreements ranging from Internet protocols to money laundering to prescription drug safety. He scotches claims of a borderless globe where standards are "a race to the bottom." The "pop globalization" description Drezner concludes is "simple, pithy and wrong."

Drezner examines the case of exporters abandoning markets, perhaps based on regulatory issues, but a competitor fills the niche. No, all regulations don't necessarily "converge" to a single standard, but globalization does increase the "rewards for policy coordination."

And who enforces the rules in a global political economy? The nation-states.

The size of a nation's market ("aggregate demand") is a very powerful force, and the United States is the superpower of markets. Global exporters who kill American pets and sicken American seafood lovers will be shut out of the market. When shut out, they impoverish themselves.

Austin Bay

Austin Bay is the author of three novels. His third novel, The Wrong Side of Brightness, was published by Putnam/Jove in June 2003. He has also co-authored four non-fiction books, to include A Quick and Dirty Guide to War: Third Edition (with James Dunnigan, Morrow, 1996).
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