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11 - Embedded Liberalism and Global Business

Domestic Stability versus Corporate Autonomy?

from Part III - Engineering the Embedded Liberalism Compromise: Addressing the Future in Times of Turmoil

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 September 2018

Gillian Moon
Affiliation:
University of New South Wales, Sydney
Lisa Toohey
Affiliation:
University of Newcastle, New South Wales
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Summary

Chapter 11 reflects on a reduction since the post-war period in the power of governments to control factors affecting 'domestic stability'. Two changes effected by corporations have reduced states’ ability to nurture domestic stability through the means of such “merely national social bargains” as the Embedded Liberalism Compromise: the evolution of global supply chains and the automation revolution. Both changes spring directly from the gradual expansion of economic liberalism, particularly in relation to investment and capital, and involve a dramatic alteration to both traditional methods of production and the terms and availability of employment. The significance of the changes is that they have been commercially driven, cost-reducing alterations imposed by non-state actors (corporations), developments over which domestic governments have little regulatory reach. Yet their impacts may be seen in populist-led political developments – even instability – in the United States and in Europe and Britain, the very nations states which brokered the Compromise seventy years ago. The changes challenge the role of governments in safeguarding domestic stability, as many of its elements will be managed by corporations applying commercial considerations. It concludes that these aspects of domestic stability are now largely in the hands of non-state actors, with domestic governments no longer in a controlling position.
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The Future of International Economic Integration
The Embedded Liberalism Compromise Revisited
, pp. 185 - 198
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2018

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