Political Economy

How far should we push globalisation?

Photo by Fabian Mohr (CC-BY-SA-2.0)
The recent discussions about CETA, the trade agreement between Canada and the European Union, focused almost exclusively on two questions. They are important but certainly not the most fundamental ones. In this article I first discuss these two questions and then turn to the more fundamental question of how far we should push globalisation.

The first question […]

Gastro-nationalism is rising across Europe

Photo by epSos.de, under a CC BY 2.0 licence, via Wikimedia Commons
Anyone who has gone shopping for groceries recently may have been struck by what seems to be a new trend: the increasing desire of food producers to indicate their country of origin when packaging their products. It is a phenomenon that is particularly prevalent in the dairy aisle, where […]

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    Foreign investment in critical areas like nuclear power need a formal vetting process

Foreign investment in critical areas like nuclear power need a formal vetting process

Hinkley Point A power station, by Rick Crowley, under a CC BY-SA 2.0 licence
One of the first decisions taken by Theresa May as prime minister was to delay deciding on the £18 billion Hinkley Point nuclear power project. Because it was a centrepiece project as part of former chancellor George Osborne’s “Golden Age” of closer bilateral ties with China, the […]

Why the future of the euro remains uncertain

Safety net, by /\ \/\/ /\, under a CC-BY-SA-2.0 licence
The Euro crisis, which first peaked in 2010 and continues to haunt the Eurozone today, has been the most serious economic crisis in the history of the European Union. In fact, taken together, the global financial crisis and the Eurozone crisis have by now caused more lasting economic damage in parts […]

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    Network analysis shows offshore finance as a complex network of ownership ties

Network analysis shows offshore finance as a complex network of ownership ties

The EU made a move in August to force Apple to pay €13 billion in unpaid taxes. The episode has quickly become emblematic of the EU’s fight against corporate tax avoidance, a dispute which intensified in the aftermath of the 2009 financial crisis. As Europeans see it, this is about the need to provide a level playing field between […]

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    What Brexit advocates could learn from the Greek bailout referendum

What Brexit advocates could learn from the Greek bailout referendum

We are living in a new political climate in which key decisions are made on emotions, not facts; elites are distrusted to the point of identifying a conspiracy against the popular will; and leaders are seen as making gross miscalculations in their national strategies. The ‘people’ know better: they seek new leaders who acknowledge their innate good sense and […]

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    Immigrants could well be Denmark’s new disruptive innovators

Immigrants could well be Denmark’s new disruptive innovators

Recently, I had the honour to analyse the challenge of immigration and refugees at the Danish National Association of Economists and Lawyers (Djøf). For quite some time there has been a political debate on what to do with immigration and refugees both in Denmark and Europe. What should we do with them? Let them in? Not let them in? […]

Both sides of the UK debate are misleading the public

Claims and counter-claims about how much it costs the UK to belong to the European Union abound. Unsurprisingly, both sides of the debate cherry-pick the statistics that support their side of the argument, but both are also prone to misrepresent the facts and to neglect data that tell a different story.

Part of the explanation for this confusion is that […]

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    The OECD and the lost battle to impose sanctions on tax havens

The OECD and the lost battle to impose sanctions on tax havens

David Cameron, the European Commission and the OECD have all promised to get tough on tax avoidance in response to the Panama Papers leak. Any measures they take will be part of an international political process begun almost 20 years ago at the OECD, the organisation charged by the G8 and more recently the G20 to develop international standards […]

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 […]