Political Economy

India is getting a raw deal on the EU-India Trade Agreement

As India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi headed to Brussels on 30 March for the EU-India summit, the speculations were that the meeting would renew the talks on the stalled EU-India broad-based trade and investment agreement (BTIA). The European Union is India’s biggest trade and investment partner, and the trade agreement can in principle be a great boost to the Indian economy. But […]

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    Could export opportunities convince small and medium firms the UK should stay in the EU?

Could export opportunities convince small and medium firms the UK should stay in the EU?

QuoteSearcher commissioned a follow up study on small and medium enterprises (SMEs) decision makers and their opinions on exporting in the European Union and worldwide. The original study was a YouGov survey on SME decision makers to understand their opinions on the EU and what effect, in any, a “Brexit” would have on their businesses. One of the key findings from […]

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    There are clear divisions in the UK’s financial services sector over a Brexit

There are clear divisions in the UK’s financial services sector over a Brexit

Until recently the City has sought to maintain a low profile on Brexit. For an industry still very much in the public gaze, there is little incentive to stick their head above the parapet as long as the outcome of the referendum result remains shrouded in uncertainty.

Finance, above all else, is deeply uncomfortable about making public interventions into politics […]

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    Coal today may be like the doomed ‘natural ice’ industry of the 19th century

Coal today may be like the doomed ‘natural ice’ industry of the 19th century

Communities in Australia’s mining heartland are in trouble and are calling on government to sustain them and rehabilitate closing mine sites. This month Alinta Energy will shut South Australia’s last two coal-fired power plants. Alinta has already closed its Leigh Creek mine and shackled government with responsibility for the purpose-built town that serviced the mine for over 30 years. […]

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    You can’t deny message encryption to some individuals without denying it to all

You can’t deny message encryption to some individuals without denying it to all

Some of the more dramatic headlines surrounding the new surveillance law, the Investigatory Powers Bill (‘IP Bill’) which is currently making its way through parliament, have surrounded its impact on popular messaging apps such as WhatsApp, Apple’s iMessage and many more. Will the IP Bill ‘ban’ what is generally known as ‘end-to-end encryption’, where the content of a message […]

European banking union: should the ‘outs’ join in?

The ultimate rationale of banking union

Banking union was conceived as a reply to one of the root causes of the European debt crisis: the sovereign-bank loop. To break the loop, euro-area leaders decided to move responsibility for banking supervision and resolution to the European level.

Banking union consists of the SSM (Single Supervisory Mechanism) and the SRM (Single Resolution Mechanism). […]

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    Business-government collaboration may help solve complex social issues

Business-government collaboration may help solve complex social issues

Many proposed policies that could improve social welfare never see the light of day because of intractable debates among critical stakeholders and particularly business opposition. We suggest that collaborative governance approaches involving government and business stakeholders may successfully formulate policies that address complex social issues, and that otherwise lack policy support.

Many businesses are promoting social welfare by voluntarily eradicating […]

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    The traditional growth model does not serve the current needs of society

The traditional growth model does not serve the current needs of society

This is not meant to be an alternative to traditional growth models. Growth is a behavioural response to needs that become new demands, sparked by social trends, business opportunities and entrepreneurs. There is no novelty in this. And there is also no real distancing from free markets theory, the free movement of people and goods, and open government policies. […]

We may have underestimated the true cost of quitting the EU

As if terrorism, refugees, Schengen, debt, and Greece were not sufficiently big worries in each of themselves, the EU now has also to face the “English Question”. A referendum on Britain’s EU membership will take place before the end of 2017 (Copsey and Naughton 2014). In or out, remain or leave, the relationship between the UK and the EU […]

The EU and the Commonwealth: let’s do (trade with) both

The UK has a finger in many pies: the EU, NATO, the United Nations Security Council and the Commonwealth, to name just a few. Of these, the Commonwealth – which has just finished its latest summit meeting – obviously has the closest specific link to British culture and history, since it’s mainly comprised of our former colonies. (A few Commonwealth […]

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    India plays catch-up with China to enhance its involvement in Africa

India plays catch-up with China to enhance its involvement in Africa

A month ago, the third India-Africa Forum Summit (IAFS) in Delhi elevated India’s relations with the continent to an unusually prominent position between 26-29 October.  Now, once again, China overshadowed India’s relations with Africa with the 6th Forum on China Africa Cooperation in Johannesburg in early December.

The series of Africa events organised by the government of India culminating in […]

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    There’s no such thing as an “optimal” size of the state

There’s no such thing as an “optimal” size of the state

“Unsustainable” is how the Chancellor described the size of the state in Britain in the latest Spending Review and Autumn Statement. A similar description was given by the German Chancellor Angela Merkel about government spending in the European Union, notably on welfare.

But, actually, there isn’t an “optimal” size for the state. Looking around the world, government spending as a […]

When the business community unites as a lobbying force

The capacity to build alliances with other firms and to stymie the competition from rival groups is a key aspect of business activity. However, the competition across different groups is not limited to the marketplace. It often extends to the political arena. Business activity is the target of many contemporary regulatory policy efforts. The reverse is also true: firms frequently […]

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    As the world economy slumps, African countries embrace intra-regional trade

As the world economy slumps, African countries embrace intra-regional trade

By and large, the world is caught in a phase of global economic transition: the possibility of the US and Europe exiting the zero-interest-rate terrain lurks in the horizon, despite seeming remote in the recent past; in China, the government is attempting to rebalance growth from over-reliance on exports as aggregate growth moderates toward the 6-to-7 percent band in […]

China has an image problem in Africa

China is swiftly becoming one of the world’s largest investors, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa, with the biggest investments made in Nigeria, Sudan, South Africa and Angola. In 2012 China was estimated to have a total stock of $531 billion in investments abroad, with four percent of it — $22 billion — in Africa. A small sum at first glance, […]

Britain needs Europe a lot more than Europe needs Britain

The option of Britain leaving the European Union sounds superficially attractive. Who doesn’t like the idea of freedom and independence? But it isn’t as simple. In fact, Britain needs Europe a lot more than Europe needs Britain. Isolation is costly.

Look at international trade. The British economy is heavily exposed to the European Union. The EU is by a mile […]

China’s Challenges – Book Review

China’s Challenges. Jacques deLisle and Avery Goldstein (eds). University of Pennsylvania Press. 2015.

China is facing a number of daunting and complex challenges. The extraordinary pace of economic development experienced over the last thirty years has fundamentally transformed Chinese society, altering the distribution of wealth, relations between citizens, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the state as well as the […]

A positive international image helps countries export more

Do countries do well by doing good? More precisely, does a country admired by others reap any benefit? My research indicates that the answers to these questions is “yes” and “yes”. I have taken advantage of a quantitative measure of soft power to show that a country sells more exports to nations that perceive it to be a force for good, holding […]

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    TPP may benefit both global businesses and the developing countries where they operate

TPP may benefit both global businesses and the developing countries where they operate

Posted September/2015
At times, negotiations have been close to failing in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the free trade area (FTA) being negotiated by 12 countries in the Americas, Asia, and the Pacific. These difficulties can be explained by two main factors. First, countries involved (Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the US and Vietnam) are […]