robert wade

Why developing countries should not abandon the WTO

MSc Development Studies candidate, Beatriz Osorio Garabosky tells us why it’s important for developing countries to have strong leadership positions in the WTO. 

Two weeks ago, on May 14th, Roberto Azevêdo, the Brazilian Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), announced his 1-year early resignation. Although claiming it is for personal reasons, his announcement has symbolic implications for multilateralism.

It means that […]

Compliance hasn’t carried much weight in the past

Professor Robert Wade responds to Gillian Tett’s article, “Alphabet soup of green standards needs a new recipe”, for the Financial Times. 

“Compliance hasn’t carried much weight in the past”, letter, Financial Times, 21 January 2020
From Prof. Robert H. Wade

Gillian Tett describes the pressure on the Big Four accounting groups “to create a common framework for companies that want to report […]

How rich, liberal societies got to be that way

Professor Robert Wade responds to Martin Wolf’s recent article, “Liberalism triumphant and embattled”, for the Financial Times: 

05 July 2019


Martin Wolf, in “Liberalism triumphant and embattled” (July 3),  says:  “Societies based on liberal ideas are the most successful in history,”  He illustrates his column with a chart of countries placed by GDP per head on the vertical axis and a […]

An unlikely combination that may help us move on

Professor Robert Wade adds to the recent article from Rana Foroohar for the Financial Times: 

03 October 2018   


Rana Foroohar is right to say that president Donald Trump’s trade policy is a response to fundamental flaws in the world trade and investment system (“Time to grapple with global trade”, October 1).

The present rules press all sizable economies to adopt free or almost free […]

Global playing field is level but only for the west

Professor Robert Wade adds to the recent article from Dani Rodrik for the Financial Times, in which he states that the US and Europe are hypocritical when complaining about China’s infringement on ‘global norms and rules’. 

8  August 2018   


Dani Rodrik, in “Global trade needs rules that adapt to economic diversity”, misses an important point ( August 6).

He says that “when the US and Europe […]

Veni, vedi, quite a lot of vinci in the Bosphorus

Professor of Political Economy, Robert Wade, tells us about his swam across the Bosphorus for the From Asia to Europe open water swimming race. 

From Robert Wade, 23 July 2018:   

Returned to London last night from a quick two-day visit to Istanbul.  Purpose was to swim in the “From Asia to Europe” “race”, 6.5 kms. Event is organized once a year (this the […]

Challenging the wisdom of ‘more globalisation’

Professor Robert Wade responds to the recent article for the Financial Times by the chief economic adviser to the Government of India, Arvind Subramanian’s, in which he claims the golden age of globalisation is now behind us…  


26 April 2018 


Arvind Subramanian is correct that today’s workers in developing countries face a tougher market for converging in living conditions with counterparts in developed countries than did those […]

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    Politics and the cross-continental swim, Asia to Europe, at Istanbul: dangerous currents in both

Politics and the cross-continental swim, Asia to Europe, at Istanbul: dangerous currents in both

Professor Robert Wade travelled to Istanbul in late July 2017 to take part in the annual cross-continental 6.5 km swim “race” along the Bosphorus. Here he describes his experience as a participant in the race, as well as his time in a country that is going through great political change. 

I am hardly a long-distance swimmer, but I have been […]

August 22nd, 2017|Fieldwork and Travel, News from the Department, Topical and Comment|Comments Off on Politics and the cross-continental swim, Asia to Europe, at Istanbul: dangerous currents in both|

The Future of Developmental States

Dr Geoffrey Swenson, LSE Fellow in the Department of International Development, writes on the 2016 Development Dialogue featuring Professor Robert Wade and Professor Thandika Mkandawire.

This year’s Development Dialogue addressed an important issue in international development: ‘The Future of Developmental States’. As originally conceived, the ‘developmental state’ described state-led macroeconomic planning in certain Asian states following World War II. Developmental […]

Empire spawned a new economic paradigm

Yesterday (03/04/17), Professor Robert Wade had a letter published in the Financial Times in which he responds to a letter from Professor Nicholas Boyle entitled: ‘British’ need help to come to terms with their past.

Sir,  Professor Nicholas Boyle (Letters,  March 30) describes some of the neglected effects on Britain of acquiring and running a global empire for over 200 years. We should […]