Publisher : Cambridge University Press (April 7, 2014)
Paperback: 224 pages
ISBN-10: 1107678560 / ISBN-13: 978-1107678569
Commentary from Chris Brummer here.
Economic diplomacy is changing. The multilateral organizations that dominated the last half of the twentieth century no longer monopolize economic affairs. Instead, countries are resorting to more modest “minilateral” strategies like trade alliances, informal “soft law” agreements, and financial engineering to manage the global economy.
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Chris Brummer has brought several seemingly disparate trends in the global financial system together under the useful umbrella of minilateralism. In doing so, his lively and engaging writing style gives life to the details of global governance and financial engineering. Most importantly, however, instead of just celebrating the new status quo, he identifies minilateralism as a response to globalization that when improperly managed can create as many problems as it solves.
Professor Brummer ably captures the recent evolution from standard-setting and consensus building via large, multilateral institutions promoting universalist principles, to norms established via smaller coalitions focused on addressing the particularist needs of like-minded partners. Few books tackle so many topics so clearly and elegantly, and bundle them into one compelling narrative. Moving from the regulation of coins in medieval Europe to today’s international money supply and the rise of the Chinese RMB, and from Venetian trade strategy to today’s WTO, Minilateralism offers a compelling history and theory of how economic diplomacy works. For standard-setters looking to understand their role in the global economy, a must read from a top expert in the field.