Bello, Walden. Deglobalization: Ideas for a New Economy 2002. Zed Books Ltd. London, UK and New York, USA. Fernwood Publishing, Halifax, N.S. Canada.

Victorians had the rare chance to hear Walden Bello discuss his thoughtful and constructive theories about globalization and the new global democracy movement at the Small World Social Forum in November. The New Internationalist magazine says,” Clear analysis and impressive scholarship have made Bello on of Asia’s key progressive thinkers.” In Deglobalization, Bello explains the crisis of legitimacy in the institutions and actions of global financial powers – the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organization and the G-8. This set of organizations have imposed on the world – both states and people, a system that empowers corporations and their servant governments while it  weakens governments that try to serve the interests of people and impoverishes the majority of the world’s population. There is little argument these days; we can see the results of these policies from Bangkok to BC, from Qatar to Calgary, and Victoria to Venezuela. Global capitalism reaches everywhere, even as Bello shows it is in crisis and failing its own objectives.

Fortunately, most of the world’s people are not greedy, stupid nor passive. And an unpredicted and creative global movement for democracy, justice, peace and a healthy environment is sweeping the world. Bello is the scholar/chronicler/participant of this movement. Bello says we must deconstruct while we construct. We need to decommission the financial institutions while we build a pluralist system of governments.

This system will finance local development, based on human needs that de-emphasize growth rather than ecological equilibrium, will make decisions based on democratic choice, not the imperative of market forces, redistribute land and resources equitably for all and make sure that corporations and the state are constantly monitored by civil society.

Bello concludes by saying: a more fluid, less structured, more pluralistic world…will be enable nation and communities to carve out the space to develop based on their values, their rhythms and the strategies of their choice. This short concise volume is a guidebook no activist should travel without.

Filed under Book Reviews, Walden Bello