- Available in: Print and PDF
- Published: January 1, 2007
Edited by Zaki Cooper
Published 2007 (ISBN: 1 905370 25 3) Price £9.95
The pace of globalisation is increasing, with unprecedented flows of goods, services and people between countries and companies. Levels of overseas investment and foreign ownership have risen dramatically, alongside far-reaching changes in technology, production and corporate organisation. National economies and companies are becoming ever more interdependent, and emerging economies such as China and India are competing in world markets in a way that few could have imaged 20 years ago. The UK has long been a leading advocate of free trade and boasts one of the most open markets in the developed world. British politicians and business leaders have consistently pointed to the benefits of globalisation and argued against economic protectionism. But the “Manchester” free trade view of the world is being challenged, not least by the new “economic patriots” who call for strict limits to free trade and tighter controls over foreign ownership. This shift towards protectionism and defence of corporate national champions – as evidenced recently by a number of high-profile takeover bids in France and Spain – raises serious concern in the UK. As the Prime Minister commented in a speech to the Confederation of British Industry, unless we can show that globalisation is opening up new opportunities for millions and creating more and better jobs, then people will see it increasingly as a vehicle for insecurity rather than for the potential prosperity we know to be the case. This collection of essays opens up the debate about the benefits and costs of more open markets and discusses the winners and losers of globalisation. By way of comment, analysis and case studies, the authors provide an insight into current thinking about world trade and the resurgence of economic nationalism. In particular, the essays explore the impact on the UK of creeping protectionism and develop the argument for a stronger EU commitment to free trade and a more forward-looking and positive approach towards globalisation.