World on Fire: How Exporting Free Market Democracy Breeds Ethnic Hatred and Global Instability

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Anchor Books, 2004 - Business & Economics - 346 pages
65 Reviews
For over a decade now, the reigning consensus has held that the combination of free markets and democracy would transform the third world and sweep away the ethnic hatred and religious zealotry associated with underdevelopment. In this astute, original, and surprising investigation of the true impact of globalization, Yale Law School professor Amy Chua explains why many developing countries are in fact consumed by ethnic violence after adopting free market democracy.

Chua shows how in non-Western countries around the globe, free markets have concentrated starkly disproportionate wealth in the hands of a resented ethnic minority. These “market-dominant minorities” – Chinese in Southeast Asia, Croatians in the former Yugoslavia, whites in Latin America and South Africa, Indians in East Africa, Lebanese in West Africa, Jews in post-communist Russia – become objects of violent hatred. At the same time, democracy empowers the impoverished majority, unleashing ethnic demagoguery, confiscation, and sometimes genocidal revenge. She also argues that the United States has become the world’s most visible market-dominant minority, a fact that helps explain the rising tide of anti-Americanism around the world. Chua is a friend of globalization, but she urges us to find ways to spread its benefits and curb its most destructive aspects.

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Review: World on Fire: How Exporting Free Market Democracy Breeds Ethnic Hatred and Global Instability

User Review  - Matt - Goodreads

I'd give this book gets 4 stars as a conversation-starter, 3 stars in terms of depth and cohesiveness. The thesis, stated early in the introduction, is "that the global spread of markets and democracy ... Read full review

Review: World on Fire: How Exporting Free Market Democracy Breeds Ethnic Hatred and Global Instability

User Review  - Alexandra Sundarsingh - Goodreads

Chua is a bit hyperbolic in her assumption that the market determines the ways all the cultures described interact, but the book provides a good cursory overview of some of the most violent tensions ... Read full review

About the author (2004)

Amy Chua is a professor at Yale Law School. She lectures frequently on the effects of globalization to government, business, and academic groups around the world. She lives in New Haven, Connecticut.

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