[Marxism] Myths about globalisation?
andromeda246 at hetnet.nl
Mon Dec 6 07:10:29 MST 2004
(two studies that look like they're worth having a look at - JB)
The Myth of the Global Corporation
by Paul Doremus, William W. Keller, Louis W. Pauly, Simon Reich
Critics and defenders of multinational corporations often agree on at least
one thing: that the activities of multinationals are creating an
overwhelmingly powerful global market that is quickly rendering national
borders obsolete. The authors of this book, however, argue that such
expectations commonly rest on a myth. They examine key activities of
multinational corporations in the United States, Japan, and Europe and
explore the relationship between corporate behavior and national
institutions and cultures. They demonstrate that the world's leading
multinationals continue to be shaped decisively by the policies and values
of their home countries and that their core operations are not converging to
create a seamless global market.
With a wealth of fresh evidence, the authors show that Japanese and German
multinationals, in particular, remain only weakly committed to laissez-faire
policy orientations and continue to exhibit strong allegiance to national
goals in such areas as investment and employment. They also bring to light
the consequences of enduring differences in government policies on, for
example, industrial cartels, capital markets, and research and development.
The authors agree that the world economy is becoming more complex and
integrated as overt barriers to trade and investment fall away. But they
conclude that the extent of this integration is decisively limited by
structural divergence at the level of the firm. The book will be essential
reading for those seeking to understand the growing interdependence of
still-distinctive industrial societies and the wellsprings of the true
The Myth of the Powerless State (Cornell Studies in Political Economy)
by Linda Weiss
Linda Weiss brings an unconventional view of the role of state, which
contrasts with the prevailing literature on this theme. She considers the
Japanese model as very viable, because of its ability to adapt to changes in
international environment and transform its industrial structure according
the market demands. According to the author, Japan's succes rests in
combination of developmental and distributional fuctions. This fact enables
the state better transformation of its structure than in market-led
economies like USA or GB. Very interesting is the point, that distributional
function doesn't weaken the developmental capacity of the state, rather
reinforces it. The low income inbalance, the solidarity of firm with its
employers also strengthens the capability of state. On the other hand she
finds several difficulties with the German model, which exerts huge
adaptibility in already existing sectors, but is weak in introducing new
progressive technology industries like microelectronics. The German state
has responded to this situation by creating of the new ministry for research
and its role increased after reunification whereby it provided the largest
amount of investments to the East. On these examples author illustrates that
the role of German state in the economic development has increased. In case
of Sweden came to separation of development and distribution, leading to
problems Sweden is currently facing. Author also presents an interesting
opinion, that neoliberal states as USA, Great Britain and New Zealand may
due to the large income discrepancies and weak public-private coordination
face severe adaptation problems.
The author pays attention to the issue of globalization too. She concludes
that globalization reinforces rather than diminishes the state. On the base
of evidence on FDI and international trade she concludes, that the claims
about the extent of globalization are strongly exaggerated.
The international corporations also remain strongly embedded in their home
nation-states which provide them with information and services.
On the ground of this evidence the autor concludes, that nation-state in the
economic realm is not weaker, but even stronger. In my opionion is this
contention true, but in other realms like that of culture the state's role
has been undoubtely weakened.
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