Conversations with History: Institute of International Studies, UC Berkeley

 See the
Conversations with History Blog

See a webcast of this interview:

Hear a podcast of this interview:

The Myths of Globalization: Markets, Democracy and Ethnic Hatred: Conversation with Amy Chua, Professor of Law, Yale, and author, *World on Fire*; January 22, 2004, by Harry Kreisler

This interview is part of the Institute's "Conversations with History" series, and uses Internet technology to share with the public Berkeley's distinction as a global forum for ideas.

Welcome to a Conversation with History. I'm Harry Kreisler of the Institute of International Studies. Our guest today is Amy Chua, who is a Professor of Law at Yale University and the author, most recently, of World on Fire: How Exporting Free Market Democracy Breeds Ethnic Hatred and Global Instability.

  1. Background ... influence of parents ... education ... becoming a lawyer ... clerkship with Patricia Wald ... international practice
  2. Origins of an Idea ... working on privatization in Mexico ... ethnic cleavages ... sensitivity to role of ethnicity in capitalism ... murder of aunt in Philippines
  3. Markets and Democracy ... ethnic dominant minority ... volatile mix of markets and democracies in developing countries ... differing reasons for the ascendancy of different groups ... the case of Jews in Russia ... the case of Chinese in Indonesia ... one outcome: crony capitalism ... Philippines ... a structure with incentives for politicians to mobilize ethnic hatred ... Rwanda
  4. Understanding U.S. Myopia ... no market-dominant minority ... upward mobility ... historical resistance to premature democracy ... in a hurry to get the job done ... naiveté ... backpedaling engenders resentment
  5. Policy Implications ... not anti-democratic ... stop pushing laissez-faire policies abroad ... learning to give back
  6. Conclusion ... law and ethnicity ... advice to students

© Copyright 2004, Regents of the University of California

Photos by Jane Scherr. Site questions: Email iis_webmgr at