Tabb, William K.
Tabb, William K.
Education: University of Wisconsin, Ph.D., 1968.
Queens College, City University of New York, Flushing, NY, professor of economics.
The Political Economy of the Black Ghetto, Norton (New York, NY), 1970.
The Long Default: New York City and the Urban Fiscal Crisis, Monthly Review Press (New York, NY), 1982.
(Editor, with Larry Sawers) Sunbelt/Snowbelt: Urban Development and Regional Restructuring, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1984.
(Editor) Churches in Struggle: Liberation Theologies and Social Change in North America, Monthly Review Press (New York, NY), 1986.
(Editor, with Arthur MacEwan) Instability and Change in the Economic World, Monthly Review Press (New York, NY), 1989.
(Editor) The Future of Socialism: Perspectives from the Left, Monthly Review Press (New York, NY), 1990.
The Postwar Japanese System: Cultural Economy and Economic Transformation, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1995.
Reconstructing Political Economy: The Great Divide in Economic Thought, Routledge (New York, NY), 1999.
The Amoral Elephant: Globalization and the Struggle for Social Justice in the Twenty-first Century, Monthly Review Press (New York, NY), 2001.
Unequal Partners: A Primer on Globalization, The New Press (New York, NY), 2002.
Economic Governance in the Age of Globalization, Columbia University Press (New York, NY), 2004.
William K. Tabb's primary fields of research interest are East Asian economics, the history of economic thought, and the process of globalization; he has written extensively on these subjects. The Postwar Japanese System: Cultural Economy and Economic Transformation, for instance, considers ways in which culture affects the economy of a nation, specifically Japan following World War II. Tabb shows how cultural behaviors unique to the Japanese were responsible for much of the differences between economic progression there versus other nations. He also hypothesizes as to the potential effect of this cultural difference into the future. There are many layers to the discussion, including the downsides to swift economic development, such as high levels of stress on workers. Yuzo Murayama observed in the Independent Review that "Tabb goes astray in predict- ing the roles of the Japanese economy in Asia, mainly by failing to grasp the multifaceted dynamism of East Asian economic growth," but the critic went on to add that "one learns that although integrating social and cultural factors into the analysis of economic development is desirable, proposing it is one thing and doing it another," giving a clear picture of the difficulties inherent in such a situation.
In Unequal Partners: A Primer on Globalization, Tabb speaks against uneven globalization, insisting that all parts of the world should benefit from the new technologies becoming available, and that community, security, and social solidarity should rank above normal economic life. He also gives an overview of global institutions and provides an explanation as to the purpose of the various institutions. Patrick J. Brunet, writing for Library Journal, felt the work is "too scattershot and poorly written to sustain interest," but concluded that the author manages to "eventually cover the main issues and raise some valid concerns." William M. Dugger, in a review for the Journal of Economic Issues, remarked more positively that Tabb's effort is "well written and should be widely read. Students interested in global justice, economic development, and international trade should find it a great help. It is an outstanding primer."
Economic Governance in the Age of Globalization discusses the points in favor of globalization, and goes on to describe the various global organizations that provide a form of overall governance when dealing with an international economy. "Tabb rightly emphasizes that whoever controls the agenda of organizations greatly influences their direction and effectiveness," wrote Oliver Marnet in the Journal of Economic Issues. "His book is an original contribution to the discussion on the current state of globalization by asking critical questions regarding the impact of global economic governance institutions on the important issues of sovereignty, equity, and accountability." Journal of International Affairs critic Anastasia Xenias called Tabb's effort a "comprehensive study of all that is wrong in global economic governance," but pointed out that the author offers few solutions.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Independent Review, spring, 1997, Yuzo Murayama, review of The Postwar Japanese System: Cultural Economy and Economic Transformation, p. 618.
Journal of Economic Issues, December, 2002, William M. Dugger, review of Unequal Partners: A Primer on Globalization, p. 1119; March, 2005, Oliver Marnet, review of Economic Governance in the Age of Globalization, p. 282.
Journal of International Affairs, spring, 2005, Anastasia Xenias, "Globalization and Justice for All: The Duty of the United States?," review of Economic Governance in the Age of Globalization, p. 299.
Library Journal, May 1, 2002, Patrick J. Brunet, review of Unequal Partners, p. 115.
Political Science Quarterly, fall, 1997, David Arase, review of The Postwar Japanese System, p. 510.
Queens College Web site,http://qcpages.qc.cuny.edu/ (October 9, 2006), faculty profile of William K. Tabb.