9 Free trade follies I have seen many a bear led by a man; but I never before saw a man led by a bear. (James Boswell, The Life of Samuel Johnson) Suds on the rise On 15 December 1993, Irishman Peter Sutherland brought down his gavel, ending seven and a half years of hard negotiations that created the World Trade Organization. While only involved for the last six months, Sutherland played the endgame like a chess grandmaster. Once it opened for business, the WTO liberalised trade to an unprecedented level, leading Mickey Kantor, the US Trade Representative to
05c Globalisation 120-143 2/2/11 15:10 Page 120 5 The free trade dilemma: the case of the Liberal Democrats Among the political groups discussed in this book, the Liberal Democrats were the most likely to consciously associate themselves with a particular ideological tradition, that is, liberalism – indeed interviewees claimed to uphold an explicitly liberal approach to globalisation. Of course, this self-identification should not be taken at face value. It does mean, however, that it is necessary to preface a discussion of the Liberal Democrats’ discourse
. Against this background, certain regional free trade areas are worthy of close examination, since it is in the context of free trade areas that the greatest inroads have been made in the economic field in securing both the pursuit of a higher, community interest and, to this end, the subjugation of state interests to the authority of supranational institutions and to the rule of law. The objective of this
This book examines some of the challenges which globalisation throws up for the international community from a legal perspective. It focuses on two aspects of the treatment of foreign investment by states: the general rules concerning access, operation and expropriation of foreign investment and the lex specialis of international taxation. The book describes the implications for developing states which have in the past resisted the international law rules relating to expropriation of foreign investment and sought instead the development of a new international economic order including inter alia the establishment of binding rules addressing the behaviour of transnational corporations. It traces the development of new legal concepts and techniques in different contexts and locations: in bilateral relations, in multilateral conventions and negotiations and in regional economic integration systems. The wide scope of the Uruguay Round and the linking of the separate agreements in the WTO 'package' serve to illustrate how the battle between old and new ideological strands can be played out simultaneously in different ways in different locations and with different results; it serves to highlight how ideology drives the transfer and leakage of legal concepts and principles from one field to another. Many developing states have signed up to the WTO Agreements and have embraced the free trade orthodoxy in other areas. But recent and future developments in relation to the treatment and taxation of foreign investment will constitute in some areas an assault on long-held ideological constructs hitherto shielded from or accommodated within other free trade developments.
The ‘globalisation’ concept has become ubiquitous in British politics, as it has in many countries of the world. This book examines discourse on foreign economic policy to determine the impact of globalisation across the ideological landscape of British politics. It critically interrogates the assumption that the idea of globalisation is derivative solely of neo-liberal ideology by profiling the discourse on globalisation of five political groups involved in making and contesting British foreign economic policy between 1997 and 2009: New Labour, International Financial Services London, the Liberal Democrats, Oxfam and the Socialist Workers Party. In addition to the relationship between neo-liberalism and globalisation, the book also explores the core meaning of the idea of globalisation, the implications for the principle of free trade, the impact on notions of the state, nation-state and global governance, and whether globalisation means different things across the ideological spectrum. Topically, it examines how the responses to the global financial crisis have been shaped by globalisation discourse and the value of ideology as an analytical concept able to mitigate debates on the primacy of material and ideational explanations in political economy.
’ ( Rieff, 2002 : 63). In pure geopolitical terms, nineteenth century sanitary debates between contagionists and anti-contagionists often took on nationalistic tones, pseudo-scientific interpretations of quarantine regulations conveniently hinging on perceived benefits (or lack thereof) from free trade and eventual access to the Suez Canal ( Chakrabarti, 2014 : 85–6). Contemporary examples are likewise not hard to come by. The portrayal of migrants, irrespective of their status, as
many mistakes with respect to multilateralism. A significant one was to give less attention to the WTO [the World Trade Organisation]. He focused much more on the Trans-Pacific Partnership than global agreements. The Republicans also invested in the FTAA [Free Trade Area of the Americas], but, in my opinion, there was more commitment to economic multilateralism under Bush than under Obama. With another Republican president, the pendulum might have swung back anyway, but it is swinging fast with Trump. Now, I am not sure which sectors of American
public–private partnerships trend in humanitarian response and sustainable development, it builds on the liberal theory of peace through (free) trade. It seeks to harness foreign capital and work aid out of business to revive the shattered production and trade in cocoa and coffee in the conflict-marred Northeastern part of the Congo, 15 all the while appealing to the ethical American consumer to buy into luxury treats and support good causes. Both celebrity-led corporate
The Victorian private solider was a despised figure. Yet in the first sixteen months of the Great War two and a half million men from the UK and many more from the empire, flocked to the colours without any form of legal compulsion. This book is the result of reflection on one of the most extraordinary mass movements in history: the surge of volunteers into the British army during the first sixteen months of the Great War. The notion that compulsory service in arms was repugnant to British tradition was mistaken. The nation's general state of mind, system of values and set of attitudes derived largely from the upper middle class, which had emerged and become dominant during the nineteenth century. The book examines the phenomenon of 1914 and the views held by people of that class, since it was under their leadership that the country went to war. It discusses the general theoretical notions of the nature of war of two nineteenth-century thinkers: Karl von Clausewitz and Charles Darwin. By 1914 patriotism and imperialism were interdependent. The early Victorians directed their abundant political energies chiefly towards free trade and parliamentary reform. It was the Germans' own policy which jolted the British into unity, for the Cabinet and the nation were far from unanimously in favour of war until the Germans attacked Belgium. Upper-class intellectual culture was founded on the tradition of 'liberal education' at the greater public schools and at Oxford and Cambridge.
Nineteenth-century England witnessed the birth of capitalist consumerism. This book argues that liberal consumerism managed to steer a course between historical alternatives and helped defuse the heat generated by their clash. It shows how liberal consumerism helped maintain stability in a society that was on the brink of collapse but also what was lost in that victory for both consumers and citizens. The early to mid-Victorian period witnessed a most significant confrontation that pitted competing visions of consumption against one another. It considers the ways in which not only Chartists but also their antagonists in the Anti-Corn Law League, the vanguard of economic liberalism, made sense of hunger and mobilised around consumption. The book discusses the major scandals that rocked the New Poor Law through the late 1830s and 1840s, such as the scandal of the Andover workhouse in 1845, when rumours of cannibalism were widely circulated. An important theme that has been marginalised in recent work on the Chartist movement is the appeal of democratic discourse. The book argues for an intimate connection between popular radicalism and forms of consumer organising in the first half of the nineteenth century. While the early writings of Charles Dickens that brought immediate fame prioritised hunger and scarcity, the writer also revelled in the excesses of middle-class consumerism. The book reconnects the culture and politics of the League and the wider project of free trade, and considers how middle-class charitable initiatives tackled starvation leading to the development of the modern humanitarian campaign.