Global Political Economy Briefs
The new Global Political Economy Briefs sit alongside SPERI’s successful British Political Economy Brief series.
No. 9: Oil: The Missing Story of the West’s Economic and Geopolitical Crises by Helen Thompson
This Brief argues that oil still shapes the present economic and political world. All but one of the recessions in the US since the Second World war were preceded by a sharp rise in the price of oil. Without understanding the story and the impact of oil, we cannot understand the present economic and geopolitical landscape.
No. 8: Paying a ‘Fair Share’: Multinational Corporations’ Perspectives on Taxation by John Mikler and Ainsley Elbra
In this Brief Mikler and Elbra address the issue of global corporate tax avoidance and consider how multinational corporations (MNCs) can be made to pay their fair share of tax. They focus in particular on the strategies to avoid taxation deployed by Apple and Google and consider in depth the public enquiries undertaken in the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom into the methods of avoidance adopted.
This brief analyses the positions of key employer organisations within Germany, France and Ireland in relation to Brexit and their trading relationship with the UK.
This Brief assesses the strategic positioning of alternative financial centres in the aftermath of Brexit. It shows how three major rivals to the City are organising to attract ‘low hanging fruit’ from London.
No. 5: Negotiating Flexibility at UNGASS 2016: Solving the ‘World Drug Problem’? by Matthew Bishop
This Brief summarises and analyses key aspects of the political economy of the so called ‘War on Drugs’. Prohibition, led by the US, has been the favoured policy to counter drugs since the 1960s, but in recent years a number of significant shifts have taken place and stimulated calls for reform. In April 2016, the United Nations General Assembly held a Special Session (UNGASS) on the ‘World Drug Problem’. UNGASS 2016 did not secure the radical reforms that many wished to see. Six months on from the special session, this SPERI Global Political Economy Brief assesses the consequences of UNGASS 2016: it explores why the special session was called; assesses what actually happened at UNGASS, both before and after; and analyses the implications for a creaking global drug regime.
No. 4: Property Taxation and Economic Development: Lessons from Rwanda and Ethiopia by Tom Goodfellow
The new Brief charts the rapid urbanisation that has taken place in recent decades in Rwanda and Ethiopia, two of the world’s poorest, but most rapidly urbanising, countries, and the attempts in both countries to introduce effective property taxation reforms. It explores the range of factors in both countries that have led to the taxation reforms achieving poor results to date.
Download SPERI Global Political Economy Brief No. 4: Property Taxation and Economic Development: Lessons from Rwanda and Ethiopia
No. 3: Where now for flexicurity by Jason Heyes and Thomas Hastings
This Global Brief explores the state of flexicurity in the EU. Flexicurity is based on the idea that modern labour markets should be flexible but should also offer strong support and security for workers. Research by Jason Heyes and Thomas Hastings shows that across the EU there has been a significant shift towards weaker job security and employment support since the global financial crisis. The findings raise serious questions about the viability of the EU’s ‘flexicurity’ agenda which underpins the European Commission’s social policy and labour market programmes.
The Brief presents research findings from a two-year research project, led by SPERI Associate Fellow Rowland Atkinson and involving academics from Goldsmiths and York universities, which involved interviews with the super-rich in London and Hong Kong. It looks at the drivers behind growing international investment, why London is the preferred city of choice for the global super-rich, and the social impact upon the city which is experiencing a domestic housing crisis.
The Brief concludes by making a series of policy recommendations that could be implemented to address the city’s housing crisis. The researchers call for the creation of an Inclusive City Fund paid for by a new levy on sales of luxury London homes worth over £5 million. This ‘premium property’ levy could raise over £85m a year for new social and affordable housing in London. You can read coverage of the Brief in the Guardian and the Daily mail.
No. 1: Ethical Audits and the Supply Chains of Global Corporations by Genevieve LeBaron and Jane Lister
Incidents such as the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory in Bangladesh in April 2013 and the exposé of slavery and human trafficking in the Thai shrimp industry in 2014 have focused attention on the supply chains of global corporations. The new Brief demonstrates that, despite increased ‘audits’ and inspections, labour abuses, poor working conditions and environmental degradation within global supply chains remain widespread. Ultimately, the Brief concludes that the auditing system for global supply chains is ‘working’ for corporations, but failing workers in developing countries and the planet. You can read coverage of the Brief in the Guardian here.