A Stream of Windows: Unsettling Reflections on Trade, Immigration, and Democracy


A Stream of Windows: Unsettling Reflections on Trade, Immigration, and Democracy



Jagdish Bhagwati firmly believes that those who work at the frontiers of economics should also get down into the trenches of public policy in the only way they can: through advocacy. His frequent writings in leading newspapers and magazines are further testimony to his conviction that academics can best do public good by becoming a public nuisance. Running through his writings is the contrary voice, questioning popular positions, challenging the consensus.

Bhagwati has an agenda to advance, a vision of the good society that economic policy must help to shape. The good society he has sought over the years is one whose economics embrace openness, in particular in trade and immigration, and whose politics are democratic, not just for the elite few but with the effective participation of the many, including women and minorities.

A Stream of Windows offers a selection of the author's policy writings from the past ten years. The title, from a James Schuyler poem, suggests the fluidity of a stream, contrasted with a stagnant pool, as well as the windows the author seeks to open to bring in fresh air. The image captures the essence of the author's writings, which forcefully opposed the demonization of Japan in the 1980s and early 1990s, and which expose the folly of current U.S. policy equating free trade with free trade areas, challenge the bipartisan bashing of illegal immigrants, refute the conventional view that democracy hinders development, and much more.



Publication Date



MIT Press


Cambridge, MA


“This is a sparkling collection of recent policy writings by a most brilliant and versatile scholar, as well as a passionate and upright advocate of free trade and democracy.”
Otto Graf Lambsdorff, former German Minister of Economics

“Jagdish Bhagwati is that rare economist who thinks broadly and writes clearly. His high intelligence, lively style, and good humor are all in evidence in this collection.”
Fareed Zakaria, Managing Editor, Foreign Affairs

“In A Stream of Windows a most eminent economist of our times once again shows himself to be an outstanding opinion shaper and communicator for the benefit of the citizens of our global village.”
Arthur Dunkel, former Director General of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade

“Jagdish Bhagwati is a giant among trade policy scholars. This book provides ample evidence for that assertion. The reader will be beguiled and informed by Bhagwati's rare combination of profound insight, mischievous wit, and elegant presentation.”
Sylvia Ostry, Canadian Ambassador for Uruguay Round and Prime Minister's Personal Representative for the Economic Summit

“Provocative and insightful, Jagdish Bhagwati's collection of policy writings presents a free trade agenda, based on solid theoretical grounds, that will surely be influential in the years to come."
Jaime Serra, Mexican Nafta Chief Negotiator

“Although Mr. Bhagwati may be best known as a proponent of open trade, this volume will enhance his reputation as a proponent of open societies, in which free markets exist in a context of free human beings.... Anyone who reads this engaging description of the ways the world works will emerge a lot less confused and at least a little more optimistic.”
Adrian Karatnycky, Wall Street Journal


Also available as an eBook through the Columbia University Libraries.


Economics | International Economics | Political Economy | Social and Behavioral Sciences

A Stream of Windows: Unsettling Reflections on Trade, Immigration, and Democracy

Find in Library