From Finance & Development, The Rise of Sovereign Wealth Funds: We don't know much about these major state-owned players. The first chapter from Reputation and International Cooperation: Sovereign Debt across Three Centuries by Michael Tomz. The first chapter from The Social Construction of Free Trade: The European Union, NAFTA, and Mercosur by Francesco Duina. A review of Making Globalization Work by Joseph Stiglitz.  Why capitalism needs terror: An interview with Naomi Klein, and a review of The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism. Comment is free debates The Shock Doctrine.  The thesis of a new book by Naomi Klein is that unconstrained free-market policies go hand in hand with undemocratic political policies (and more and more and more and more, and an excerpt). Robert Kuttner on the myth that nations become more democratic as they become more market-oriented.

From New Left Review, Richard Walker and Daniel Buck on The Chinese Road: The PRC’s breakneck transition to capitalism seen through the prism of 19th-century Europe and America, as its cities rehearse the processes analysed by Marx: commodification of land and labour, formation of markets and capitalist elites. What lessons might the West’s past hold for China’s future? Death by consumerism: As part of its "civilising mission" - and to deter independence - China is taking control of the Tibetan economy. Modernity is being imposed by force, creating ghettos and spreading deprivation across the countryside. The Tao of Junk: Pundits bemoan our trade deficit with China. But those container ships aren't heading home empty. China's eternal empire: Its power — dating back thousands of years — has always rested on restricting basic rights. A review of The First Emperor of China by Frances Wood. 

From LRB, Perry Anderson on Depicting Europe. A review of Geert Mak's In Europe: Travels Through the Twentieth Century. Overweight but underpowered: The European Union is an economic giant with surprisingly little clout. From Transit, directly after the fall of communism, hopes burgeoned for democracy and capitalism in a "new" eastern central Europe. What does the current climate of populism, and in many cases an accompanying extremist nationalism, mean for these hopes? Central Eastern Europeans must be given the time they need to unravel their complex legacy of Communism and Fascism. From Eurozine, Poland's relations with Germany, Russia, and Ukraine are determined by its perception of these countries' contrition — or lack thereof — for wartime damages. Sovereignty Wars: The troubled relationship between the European Union and Russia is about more than policies or interests - it reflects a fundamental clash between two political visions of the post-cold-war world.

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