Six Faces of Globalization: Who Wins, Who Loses, and Why It Matters

Six Faces of Globalization

Author/s (editor/s):

Anthea Roberts
Nicolas Lamp

Publication year:


Publication type:


‘Six Faces of Globalization is a very smart book, and not just for people interested in globalization. The authors manage to help readers understand the many faces of globalization by identifying multiple narratives that fuel different political movements and perspectives of the punditocracy. Ultimately, however, this is a book not just about globalization, but also about the power and importance of narrative: how it is constructed and how it can contribute to a far more nuanced and complex understanding of the forces of change. Highly recommended.’—Anne-Marie Slaughter, CEO, New America

About this book

An essential guide to the intractable public debates about the virtues and vices of economic globalisation, cutting through the complexity to reveal the fault lines that divide us and the points of agreement that might bring us together.

Globalisation has lifted millions out of poverty. Globalisation is a weapon the rich use to exploit the poor. Globalisation builds bridges across national boundaries. Globalisation fuels the populism and great-power competition that is tearing the world apart.

When it comes to the politics of free trade and open borders, the camps are dug in, producing a kaleidoscope of claims and counterclaims, unlikely alliances, and unexpected foes. But what exactly are we fighting about? And how might we approach these issues more productively? Anthea Roberts and Nicolas Lamp cut through the confusion with an indispensable survey of the interests, logics, and ideologies driving these intractable debates, which lie at the heart of so much political dispute and decision making. The authors expertly guide us through six competing narratives about the virtues and vices of globalisation: the old establishment view that globalisation benefits everyone (win win), the pessimistic belief that it threatens us all with pandemics and climate change (lose lose), along with various rival accounts that focus on specific winners and losers, from China to America’s rust belt.

Instead of picking sides, Six Faces of Globalization provides a holistic framework for understanding current debates. In doing so, the authors showcase a more integrative way of thinking about complex problems.

Reviews and endorsements

‘At a time when many of us have only one view of the world, so much so that we only read the books and watch the media that support our vision, Roberts and Lamp present us with a real challenge: they lay out convincingly and comprehensively many different narratives of globalization and its political and economic effects. The book thus implicitly challenges the narrative that each of us finds most compelling. Like in a movie by Kurosawa, our view of events depends on our position. This book compels us to change our position, move out of our comfort zone, and see the world differently and more broadly.’—Branko Milanovic, author of Capitalism, Alone

‘As in the proverbial story of five blind men trying to make sense of an elephant, globalization presents itself in different forms to its proponents and opponents. This immensely useful book clarifies the debates around globalization by developing six narratives rooted in contending values and perceptions of reality. It helps us not only understand the best version of other sides’ narratives, but also move beyond our own conceptual straitjackets.’—Dani Rodrik, Harvard University

Six Faces of Globalization is … an indispensable guide to how and why many people have abandoned the old, time-tested ways of thinking about politics and the economy. This is the book the world needs to read now. It deserves a spot on every shelf of books about globalization.’—Richard Baldwin, Graduate Institute, Geneva

‘Anthea Roberts and Nicolas Lamp have written a brilliant and extremely valuable book. They process an enormous amount of information but also, crucially, narratives and storylines about economic globalization and offer us a new way to sort and evaluate the various claims that circulate. The debates about ‘winners and losers’ explored in Six Faces of Globalization will be with us for years and will be the stuff of headlines for the foreseeable future.’—Quinn Slobodian, author of Globalists: The End of Empire and the Birth of Neoliberalism

Policymakers and business leaders will appreciate this level-headed and wide-ranging look at a hot-button issue.’—Publishers Weekly

Talks and Events


Talk, 22 October 2021, Cambridge Lauterpacht Centre, UK

Talk, 28 October 2021, Oxford Public International Law Discussion Group, UK

Book launch, November 2021, Harvard Law School, US

Book launch, November 2021, Australian National University, Australia

Talk, 25 February 2022, Center for Chinese Law, Hong Kong University, Hong Kong

Past Events

Public lecture, Winners and Losers in an Age of Economic Globalization | ANU College of Law, Australian National University

Cite the publication as

Roberts, A., Lamp, N., 2021, Six Faces of Globalization: Who Wins, Who Loses, and Why It Matters, Harvard University Press, Cambridge.

Updated:  10 August 2017/Responsible Officer:  Director, RegNet/Page Contact:  Director, RegNet