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Daniel Cohen

Daniel Cohen is Professor of Economics at the École Normale Supérieure and the Université de Paris-I. A member of the Council of Economic Analysis of the French Prime Minister, he is the author of The Wealth of the World and the Poverty of Nations, Our Modern Times: The Nature of Capitalism in the Information Age, Globalization and Its Enemies, and Three Lectures on Post-Industrial Society, all published by the MIT Press.

Titles by This Author

A Worried View of Economics

What happened yesterday in the West is today being repeated on a global scale. Industrial society is replacing rural society: millions of peasants in China, India, and elsewhere are leaving the countryside and going to the city. New powers are emerging and rivalries are exacerbated as competition increases for control of raw materials. Contrary to what believers in the “clash of civilizations” maintain, the great risk of the twenty-first century is not a confrontation between cultures but a repetition of history.

In this pithy and provocative book, the noted economist Daniel Cohen offers his analysis of the global shift to a post-industrial era. If it was once natural to speak of industrial society, Cohen writes, it is more difficult to speak meaningfully of post-industrial "society." The solidarity that once characterized industrial society no longer exists. The different components of large industrial enterprises have been systematically disassembled: tasks considered nonessential are assigned to subcontractors; engineers are grouped together in research sites, distant from the workers.

The enemies of globalization—whether they denounce the exploitation of poor countries by rich ones or the imposition of Western values on traditional cultures—see the new world economy as forcing a system on people who do not want it. But the truth of the matter, writes Daniel Cohen in this provocative account, may be the reverse. Globalization, thanks to the speed of twenty-first-century communications, shows people a world of material prosperity that they do want—a vivid world of promises that have yet to be fulfilled.

The New Nature of Capitalism in the Information Age

The "modern times" of the early twentieth century saw the rise of the assembly line and the belief that standardization would make the world a better place. Yet along with greater production efficiency came dehumanization, as the division of labor created many jobs requiring mindless repetition rather than conscious involvement with work.

An Introduction to Modern Political Economy

translated by Jacqueline Lindenfeld Are robust economic growth and tight social cohesion something of the past, or is contemporary stagnation simply part of a long economic cycle that is bound to bring brighter days?

The present situation, in which poor nations are becoming richer and rich nations poorer, gives credence to the idea that the former phenomenon is responsible for the latter. The great fear of many in the West is that trade with India, China, or the former Soviet Union will cause a collapse of the welfare state and of society's well-being.