Paradigm Lost

We have long underestimated China's potential. But overestimating it will be just as bad for U.S. policy formulation.

Issue: Fall 2005

In the heady days of the 1990s, "globalization" was a phenomenon requiring "others" to marketize and eventually democratize. Unfortunately, less time was spent considering how globalization, and China's multidimensional entry into the world system, would require change in America itself. This oversight contributed to two problems. Internationally, it turned the United States into a global nanny, telling others how they ought to proceed in making the domestic adjustments globalization seemingly required of them, without paying due attention to the implications for ourselves. Domestically, Americans became complacent about maintaining and enhancing the infrastructure of our own national competitiveness, particularly human capital.

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