April 29, 2005

Economist will discuss globalization effects

by Pete Rosenbery


Caption follows story

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- A world-renowned economist will discuss supporting globalization at a lecture next month at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Jagdish N. Bhagwati, a University Professor at Columbia University, presents "In Defense of Globalization," at 5 p.m., Thursday, May 12, in the Student Center Auditorium. Bhagwati delivers the commencement address for the College of Liberal Arts at 5 p.m., Friday, May 13, at the SIU Arena, and is receiving an honorary doctor of arts degree.


Media Advisory

Reporters and photographers are encouraged to cover Bhagwati's lecture. For more information, contact professor Sajal Lahiri at 618/536-7746.


Professor Sajal Lahiri, Vandeveer professor of economics at SIUC, said Bhagwati's fight for globalization dates to the 1960s, when "globalization was not fashionable."

"He is one of the absolutely top economists in the world today," Lahiri said. "It's a big catch for us to have him talk to the community."

Bhagwati's schedule is a busy one. While at SIUC, Bhagwati he is scheduled to participate in a debate being organized by the BBC via satellite links, Lahiri said.

Bhagwati advocates the unfettered movement of goods, services and capital between countries, Lahiri said. Many countries impose trade barriers – something Bhagwati argues should be taken away.

"One of the nice things about his stand is many people argue for free trade in the rest of the world, but they want the jobs in their own country to be protected," Lahiri said. "But he has been arguing for freer trade in every country."

The lecture in making a case for globalization will be presented in non-technical terms, Lahiri said.

Bhagwati, a native of India, is also founder of some of the key international economic journals, Lahiri said.

In addition to serving on the Columbia University faculty, he is a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. Bhagwati is an external adviser to the World Trade Organization and a member of United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan's High-level Advisory Group on the New Partnership for African Development.

He is the author of more than 300 articles and 50 volumes. Bhagwati also is a frequent contributor to the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and The Financial Times and is a frequent guest on CNN, the BBC and MacNeil-Lehrer News Hour.

A book signing of Bhagwati's 2004 book, "In Defense of Globalization," precedes the lecture. The book signing begins at 4:15 p.m. in the Student Center Auditorium reception area.

The Vandeveer chair was endowed in 1960 through a gift of Ashland Oil and Refining Co. stock made to SIUC by the late philanthropist W.W. Vandeveer, a University alumnus. The Vandeveer chair is the first endowed chair at SIUC.

Promoting programming for the University community and region that involves individuals with national or international distinction is among the goals of Southern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment, the blueprint for the development of the University by the time it celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2019.