Regulatory globalisation

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    Globalisation was one of the buzzwords of the 1990s. But almost as soon as it buzzed into the social sciences, it provoked a sceptical reaction (Hirst and Thompson 2003). In one view, globalisation referred to processes of economic integration in which national markets were becoming a part of regional or global markets, in which multinational firms were dominant players. The capacity of states to influence these markets was seen as radically diminished. However, it soon became clear that the economic data could be made to tell different stories. Technical debates arose around whether the indicators used to measure globalisation, such as the rising ratio of merchandise exports to gross domestic product (GDP) using constant prices as a measure, exaggerated the effects of globalisation (Sutcliffe and Glyn 2003). Similarly, depending on how one defined a multinational corporation, there were either tens of thousands (based on a firm with one or more foreign subsidiaries) or very few (based on a firm with an integrated chain of global production). The clearest area of globalisation was the financial sector, where cross-border financial flows between banks and investment in bonds and equities had increased dramatically in scale. Even here, however, in the very heartland of globalisation, there were, and are, stark country differences. For example, expressing foreign assets and liabilities as a ratio to GDP, Lane (2012) points out that advanced economies went from 68.4 per cent in 1980 to 438.2 per cent in 2007, while emerging markets in the same period went from 34.9 per cent to 73.3 per cent. In other words, the cross-border financial integration of the latter group was considerably less. These debates about globalisation, at least to some extent, were referring to different processes rather than just one process of integration and interconnection. Globalisation cannot really be understood without distinguishing among the globalisation of markets, the globalisation of firms and the globalisation of regulation (Braithwaite and Drahos 2000: 8–9). These are distinct processes with contingent rather than necessary connections among them.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationRegulatory Theory: Foundations And Applications
    Editors Peter Drahos
    Place of PublicationCanberra, Australia
    PublisherANU ePress
    ISBN (Print)9781760461010
    Publication statusPublished - 2017


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