CFR Resources

James McBride, “What’s Next for the WTO?,” last updated March 23, 2018.

Written in the wake of the failure of the Doha Development Round and in light of the Donald J. Trump administration’s trade policies, a backgrounder that examines the challenges faced by the World Trade Organization and what its future might be. (2,100 words)

Ankit Panda, “The Role of the UN Secretary-General,” last updated February 26, 2017.

A quick primer on the history and responsibilities of the United Nations’ chief administrative officer. (1,700 words)

The Role of the UN General Assembly,” last updated September 24, 2018.

An accessible backgrounder on the central and most representative part of the United Nations. (1,800 words)

The UN Security Council,” last updated September 24, 2018.

An introduction to the most powerful and highest-profile organ of the United Nations—how it works, why it faces criticism, and what its future may hold. (2,400 words)


James Fallows, “The World Comes to a Tiny Town: Eastport’s Lesson in Globalization,” Atlantic, September 4, 2016.

A charming story that uses three vignettes to show the ways in which globalization has reshaped the small town of Eastport in coastal Maine. Fallows has no political ax to grind in this article, and he links to previous reporting on Eastport that shows the change over time. (2,000 words)

Thomas L. Friedman, “It’s a Flat World, After All,” New York Times Magazine, April 3, 2005.

Based on Friedman’s best-selling book The World Is Flat that includes his basic theory of globalization, a piece that is accessible and offers much to consider and critique. (5,200 words)

Rose George, “‘Like Being in Prison With a Salary’: The Secret World of the Shipping Industry,” Longreads, August 2013.

An excerpt from the author’s book Ninety Percent of Everything that describes the author’s journey on a container ship, while also retelling the history of maritime shipping. (4,200 words)

Robert Z. Lawrence and Lawrence Edwards, “Shattering the Myths About U.S. Trade Policy,” Harvard Business Review, March 2012.

An article that argues for free trade and against three common anti-trade claims, and makes recommendations for U.S. trade policy. (3,100 words)

Quinn Slobodian, “Trump, Populists and the Rise of Right-Wing Globalization,” New York Times, October 22, 2018.

An op-ed that argues that President Donald J. Trump and the right are selectively anti-globalization: they want free movement of goods and money but not of people. (1,100 words)

Noah Smith, “The Dark Side of Globalization: Why Seattle’s 1999 Protesters Were Right,” Atlantic, January 6, 2014.

An article that draws parallels between the Occupy movement of 2011 and the WTO demonstrations of 1999, arguing that both ultimately made good points. (1,000 words)

Kim Wall, “The Weekly Package: How Cubans Deliver Culture Without Internet,” Harper’s, July 2017.

A fascinating story of how Cubans, despite poverty and restrictions on free speech, still manage to access the internet—an example of just how strong the pull of globalization can be. (6,000 words)


Alexis Madrigal, “Containers,” March 9, 2017.

A podcast series, hosted by a technology reporter, that provides a guided tour of container shipping today. (8 episodes, about 30 minutes each)


An interactive map that shows the real-time position of ships around the world.

Planet Money Makes a T-Shirt,” NPR, December 2, 2013.

A multimedia story with short videos and text that tracks the global journey of a T-shirt, from raw materials to finished product. 


Jagdish Bhagwati, In Defense of Globalization (2007).

A clear and readable book that does just what its title suggests, taking on critiques from all sides with wit and evidence. (344 pages)

Tom Standage, The Victorian Internet: The Remarkable Story of the Telegraph and the Nineteenth Century’s On-line Pioneers (1998).

A fun, easy-to-read history of the invention of the telegraph and how it changed the world in many of the same ways that the internet would change the world in the following century. (256 pages)

Joseph E. Stiglitz, Globalization and its Discontents Revisited: Anti-Globalization in the Era of Trump (2017).

An updated edition of Siglitz’s best-selling 2002 book that adds a hundred pages on globalization in the wake of Brexit and the election of President Donald J. Trump to a thoughtful discussion of how the choices of international organizations and the governments of wealthy countries have often harmed developing countries. (528 pages)

Steven Wallace, Obroni and the Chocolate Factory: An Unlikely Story of Globalization and Ghana’s First Gourmet Chocolate Bar (2017).

A business memoir that traces the story of a man who traveled around the world as he built the supply chain for his gourmet chocolate company. (256 pages)

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