Today, despite many significant achievements in science, technology, medicine, transportation and communications, and a vast increase in world trade, the globalized world economy is facing serious socio-economic, political, cultural and environmental problems, of potentially catastrophic proportions.
Although many attempts have been made by international organizations like the World Bank and IMF to raise living standards, the dire poverty of billions of people and the widening gap between rich and poor, both within and between countries, point to the failure of these policies. Consequently, we face global crises of inequality, injustice, poverty, marginalization, exclusion and environmental degradation. There has also been a huge rise in crime, corruption and now terrorism. Economic and political failures have resulted in mass migrations across national borders, causing further problems of xenophobia, fear, mistrust, racism and intolerance, which are threatening the fabric of societies all over the world. So, what has gone wrong?
Dr Mofid, who has taught economics at university for over 20 years, argues that the root of the problem lies in the way economics is taught, with its narrow focus on “self-interest” and “competition” as the sole motivating factors in economic activity. This ignores equally important considerations like compassion, co-operation and the common good, which are essential for a prosperous and harmonious society. Globalization today is regarded by many as a means of securing for richer individuals, corporations and nations an ever larger slice of the wealth produced, polluting the environment in their greedy pursuit of more, and locking billions into hopeless poverty. In Globalisation for the Common Good, the author argues that it is possible to achieve a balance between economically efficient production and an equitable distribution of the wealth in a sustainable environment, so that everybody who is willing to work can share in the benefits of globalization. He puts forward an alternative economic model which has firm theological, spiritual and ethical foundations.
Dr Kamran Mofid has taught economics and business studies at various universities in the United Kingdom and Canada. He is the author of Development Planning in Iran, The Economic Consequences of the Gulf War and Promoting the Common Good: Bringing Economics and Theology Together Again.
Keywords: Global economy, globalisation, economic reform