“THE CREATION, TRANSFORMATION AND MANAGEMENT OF MARKETS: THE INTERACTION OF GOVERNMENTS AND THE PRIVATE SECTOR – FROM ANTIQUITY TO ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE”: A CENSUS OF THE BOOK “WORLD HISTORY OF PROTECTIONISM” BY ALI LAIDI, PASSES COMPOSES, SEPTEMBER 2022
(English Version to Appear Soon)
When I started my studies in international trade, the courses offered (at the universities of London and Chicago) were full of theoretical analyses whose aim was to convince students who were taking the courses of the superiority of “free trade” and to demonstrate how the policies that harmed this “free trade” were harmful and detrimental to well-being of countries and their people. At the basis of the theoretical analyses were copious references to the works of an Englishman, David Ricardo, supported by comments on episodes where, apparently, one could see the damage perpetrated by policies that limited trade, for example during the decade of 1930.
But, there was a small problem. Where was the serious examination of economic history (and the history of the policies that accompanied and formed that history)? And, since international trade can hardly be explained without reference to the markets within the borders between States, who were the actors responsible for the morphologies of the markets? Since the agents, public and private, who participate directly and indirectly in the creation, transformation and management of markets do not generally respond to the famous characterization of an “invisible hand” defined by Adam Smith, but, on the contrary, are very often entities quite other than “faceless”, why was in-depth research not carried out? What about the motivations and interests (economic or otherwise) of these agents and their choice of instruments to be used to achieve their objectives (economic or not)?
Professor Laidi’s magnificent book offers us answers to these important questions. And the answers are of a richness and contemporary relevance that deserve deep reflection, especially at this time when the world is at crossroads of political, economic, strategic challenges, including even the survival of the planet and its inhabitants. To guide us, and also to ensure thorough analysis, the author organizes his material into five main parts preceded by a brief but extremely important introduction.
Read more here.