nomics and politics. The book should engage the attention of the growing numbers of �cultural creatives,� citizens able to ask their intellectual and political leaders for informed commentary on the kinds of questions and suggestions posed by Krehm.

Leaders often deplore a lack of new ideas to stimulate innovative policies. Here are some additions to the arsenal of democratic debate. Krehm does not have all the answers, nor does he make any such claim. But he provides essential background and poses some of the decisive questions. The need is for such ideas to be taken up and advanced in a democratic search for adequate public policies. In the light of his discussions of price, interest, inflation and the public sector, among many other topics, citizens can be better positioned to hold leaders in business and politics accountable.

It is not possible in a short review to capture the content of this book in the kind of detail required to do it justice. It is a kind of research report, and addresses many aspects of economic theory and policy with candid observations � concerning money, capital, deregulation and globalization, unemployment and terrorism � grounded in practical considerations and the quest for understanding of essential relationships. The approach contrasts with current tendencies to fragmentation, which breed opportunism.

As Krehm points out, the gravity of our situation is related to the prevalence of self-serving logic at the very highest levels, illustrated by the debacle of the Long Term Capital Management Fund (with its Nobel laureate advisors) and many other examples � including Enron. Stable economic plans and structures require foundations in logic and science rather than the sophistries of legal and sales talent in the services of great wealth.

When a writer taps into universal insights he may do so in terms which reveal the paths he has taken. I find Krehm�s use of a few selected terms perhaps limiting in this sense, but none the less valid. He speak of �non-autistic� where the term �open� in a Popperian or systems sense might apply; and he makes reference to the Tinbergen counting rule were the cybernetic Principle of Requisite Variety may be an alternative formulation. But such commonalities of concepts simply reinforce the fundamentals which underlie the validity of his insights.

Krehm is a thinker passionately concerned with the practical and moral importance of the problems he addresses, with the intellectual integrity of his methods, and the real world specifics that make them urgent. It is easy for the reader, who is likely to have less mastery of the theory and practice, to be confused by abstractions or to be less certain in questions of detail. Certainly the subject matters are not easy. Yet Krehm is an excellent guide, and a master of vigorous and incisive prose. The challenge faced by the reader is no more than the complexities demand.

There are many gems of observation and suggestions in the book, and, as far as I can judge, few errors. He writes: �...800 French students of economics signed a petition in 2000 asking that instead of the �autistic mathematical theory� taught them, the curriculum be revised to include something relevant to society and its problems. Distinguished academics supported their request�. The manifesto of the French students received widespread coverage in the French media, some attention in Britain, but did not rate a mention in the North American press�.� (p. 16). Whether the general press covered it I do not know, but the French movement has now received public support from students and professors of economics from some 22 nations, and there are now Portuguese and Spanish Sections. The �Kansas City Proposal� (from the University of Missouri) addressed an International Open Letter (Sept. 2001) to all economics departments. which began: �Economics need fundamental reform � and now is the time for change.�2

Of course there will never be a last word on these matters, and some of the directions in which Krehm points are now being explored e.g. new theories of complex systems.3 But Krehm�s work merits a place on the bookshelf of anyone concerned for economics as a developing science and professional practice, which includes all economists, business and political leaders, and most especially economic reformers and activists.

Bruce Buchanan

1. Henderson, Hazel (1996). Building a Win�Win World: Life Beyond Global Economic Warfare. Bettett-Koehler Publishers, p. 7.

2. See www.paecon.net.

3. For example, see W. Brian Arthur, Durlauf and Lane 1997. The Economy as an Evolving Complex System II. Sante Fe Institute.



Diplomatic Impunity

"If any of this gets out of this room, I'll kill the person responsible"

George Monbiot. Published in the Guardian 23rd April 2002

Tony Blair might believe he belongs to an international coalition, but George Bush has other ideas. Bush's international war against terrorism has not stopped him from waging a parallel war against co-operation.

Two weeks ago, the US Ambassador to the UN in Vienna failed, for the first time, to attend a meeting of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. This may suggest that America is no longer prepared to abide by the rules against the testing of nuclear warheads. A week ago, the Washington Post revealed that the Pentagon had told the CIA to investigate Hans Blix, the chief UN weapons inspector, in the hope of undermining his credibility. When the CIA failed to discover any evidence of wrongdoing, the deputy defense secretary is reported to have "hit the ceiling".

On Friday, the United States government succeeded in dislodging Robert Watson, the chair of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Dr Watson had been pressing member nations to take the threat of global warming seriously, to the annoyance of the oil company ExxonMobil. Last year it sent a memo to the White House requesting that he be shoved.

Yesterday evening, after a week of arm-twisting and secret meetings, the United States government forced the departure of Jose Bustani, director-general of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. As this column predicted last week, this is the first time that the head of an international organisation has been dismissed during his term in office. The tactics the US has deployed in the past few days to oust Bustani offer a fascinating insight into the way its diplomacy works.

On Friday, the US ambassador organised an illegal meeting with American members of the organisation's staff. He explained that he had arrived late as he'd been trying to find a replacement for Mr Bustani (this is also an illegal manouevre). He told the meeting that the US had been encountering "great difficulty finding people of the right calibre" because no one wants "to be associated with a dying organisation". This was news to the staff, who had previously been told by the US that sacking Bustani would revive the OPCW. But the ambassador explained that if the replacement is "like Bustani ... we will say 'screw the