1-20 of 31 Results

  • Keyword: financialization x
Clear all

Chapter

Cover The Institutions of the European Union

10. The European Court of Auditors and the European Ombudsman:  

the EU’s ‘watchdogs’

Andreea Nǎstase and Christine Neuhold

Both the European Court of Auditors (ECA) and the European Ombudsman (EO) have been coined as European Union (EU) ‘watchdogs’. They have very different mandates: the Court audits the EU’s finances and the Ombudsman investigates complaints of maladministration by EU institutions and bodies. It might then come as a surprise that they have quite a lot in common. Their main EU institution of scrutiny is the European Commission, and they need to preserve their independence as oversight institutions. Neither has the power to impose sanctions on the institutions they investigate. Both the Court and the Ombudsman also cooperate with their national counterparts. In this chapter, we shed light on these EU ‘watchdogs’, which have thus far been under-researched. We do this by examining the key features of their institutional set-up and how they work. We also analyse how they have succeeded in interpreting their role beyond legal provisions and how they have dealt with crisis.

Chapter

Cover Politics in the European Union

13. The European Commission  

This chapter examines the European Commission’s functions and structure, along with its role in policy making. The Commission initiates legislation, may act as a mediator, manages some policy areas, is guardian of the Treaties, is a key actor in international relations, and the ‘conscience of the European Union’. The chapter proceeds by discussing the debate on the extent to which the Commission is an autonomous political actor or simply an agent of the member states. Finally, it analyses the increasing challenges faced by the Commission in securing effective implementation of EU policies and its response to concerns over its financial management of EU programmes.

Chapter

Cover Comparative European Politics

12. Politics and Markets  

Neil Robinson and Owen Worth

The political economy of Europe has changed significantly in the last four decades because of globalization, the collapse of communism, and financial crises. This chapter first discusses the different varieties of capitalism that emerged in Europe after World War II. It looks at how they have been put under pressure by economic internationalization and the dominance of neoliberal ideas, which together have weakened economic management at nation-state level. The chapter also looks at the development of capitalism in Eastern Europe and explanations for variance in post-communist capitalist development. Finally, the chapter considers the challenges to the management of Europe’s political economy posed by the international financial crisis that dominated much of Europe’s politics after 2007, along with the initial response to the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.

Chapter

Cover Global Political Economy

8. The Evolution of the International Monetary and Financial System  

Eric Helleiner and Melsen Babe

This chapter explores the international monetary and financial system, which plays a central role in the global political economy (GPE). Since the late nineteenth century, the nature of this system has undergone several pivotal transformations in response to changing political and economic conditions at both domestic and international levels. The first was the collapse of the integrated pre-1914 international monetary and financial regime during the interwar years. The second transformation took place after the Second World War, when the Bretton Woods order was put in place. Since the early 1970s, various features of the Bretton Woods order have unravelled with the globalization of finance, the collapse of the gold exchange standard, and the breakdown of the adjustable peg exchange rate regime. These changes have important political consequences for the key issue of who gets what, when, and how in the GPE.

Chapter

Cover International Relations and the European Union

20. Acting for Europe: Reassessing the European Union’s Role in International Relations  

Christopher Hill, Michael Smith, and Sophie Vanhoonacker

This chapter summarizes major common findings of the volume. It also stressing the different approaches and specialist areas covered by the chapters. It looks at the European Union’s (EU’s) substantive impact (or lack of it) on world politics, which has grown steadily in broad terms albeit with obvious gaps and setbacks. The three lenses introduced in Part 1, whereby the EU is analysed as a system of international relations, as a participant in wider international processes, and finally as a power, are then revisited to make possible the overall conclusions. The first conclusion is that while the EU has its distinctive attributes it is now largely integrated into the academic subject of International Relations, rather than being confined to European Studies. The second concluding thought is that the EU has significant powers as well as a wide-ranging presence in the international system, even if it may not yet be termed a ‘power’ The next conclusion is that the accelerating processes of change underway in the international arena continue to pose new challenges both for the EU and for analysis. The final conclusion is that the series of challenges which the EU has faced since the financial crisis of 2008 have produced some proactive responses but have also exposed its weaknesses as a collective actor on the world stage. The latest of the challenges, the war in Ukraine, has provoked the EU into an unusually rapid, forceful and united response. Only time will tell if that can be maintained.

Chapter

Cover The Globalization of World Politics

20. International organizations in world politics  

Susan Park

This chapter examines the role that international organizations play in world politics. It explains what international organizations are, whether we need international organizations in international relations, and what constraints and opportunities exist for international organizations to achieve their mandates. The chapter also considers the reasons why states create international organizations and how we can analyse the behaviour of such organizations. Two case studies are presented: the first looks at Africa's premier financial institution which is the African Development Bank which was created in 1964 to facilitate regional cooperation and financial autonomy and the second considers ‘non-liberal’ IOs with a specific examination of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.

Chapter

Cover The Member States of the European Union

7. Spain: Pragmatic Europeanism or the End of Unconditional Support for European Integration?  

Ana Mar Fernández Pasarín and Francesc Morata

This chapter examines the different aspects of Spain’s adaptation to the European Union, and more specifically how Europe became a source of benefits and modernization for the country. Spain is the only country among all those which have joined the EU after 1958 whose political parties and citizenry were in full support of acccession. Europeanization has affected most policy areas, particularly economic and social policies in response to EU pressures during the financial crisis. The chapter first considers the pattern of Spain’s relations with the EU before discussing the overall assessment of its EU membership among public opinion and political parties. It then analyses the impact of EU membership on Spain’s political institutions and governance, judicial politics, and policy adaptation in areas such as the Common Agricultural Policy and environmental policy. The chapter concludes by exploring how Spain’s unconditional support for integration has become more conditional since the financial crisis.

Chapter

Cover Politics in the Developing World

28. Brazil as a Global Player?  

Leslie Elliott Armijo

This chapter examines Brazil’s emergence as a global power, with a particular focus on how the country has striven to play a bigger role on the international scene. It first provides a brief historical background on Brazil before discussing contemporary Brazilian foreign policy — especially its leaders’ vision of the country as a consequential global player in an increasingly multipolar world. This is seen through the active campaigning for continental integration in which Brazil has played an important role by means of several initiatives. The chapter explores Brazilian foreign policy initiatives in four global issue arenas: trade, climate, financial governance, and nuclear proliferation. It concludes with the suggestion that in terms of material power resources and influence, Brazil was not a global power in the twentieth century, even as it notes the country’s aspiration to become a major international player in the early twenty-first century.

Chapter

Cover Global Political Economy

11. Globalization’s Impact on States  

Colin Hay

This chapter discusses globalization's impact on states. There is no topic more controversial in the field of global political economy than the impact of globalization on the accountability, autonomy, capacity, and sovereignty of the nation state; and the controversy has only intensified since the onset of the global financial crisis. Arguably, the democratic character of governance in contemporary societies is at stake in such debates. The chapter reviews the extensive controversy that surrounds such questions, focusing attention on the principal mechanisms in and through which globalization is seen to impact upon the nation state and the empirical evidence that might either substantiate or question the existence of such mechanisms. It also provides a detailed assessment of the case for and against the globalization thesis, examining the extent to which global economic integration might be seen to restrict the parameters of domestic political autonomy. Moreover, the chapter differentiates between the politics of globalization and the globalization of politics. It concludes by considering the complex and sometimes paradoxical relationship between globalization, democracy, and the nation state.

Book

Cover International Relations Since 1945

John W. Young and John Kent

International Relations Since 1945 provides a comprehensive introduction to global political history since World War II. The text has been comprehensively updated to cover the period between 2001 and 2012. Discussing the World Trade Center bombing and concluding with the run-up to the 2012 US presidential elections, a new final section outlines broad developments including the changing world order and the global financial crisis. Three new chapters look at terrorism, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the rise of major new powers, including China. Student learning is supported by a range of helpful learning features, including biographies of key figures and chronologies of events.

Book

Cover The Institutions of the European Union

Edited by Dermot Hodson, Uwe Puetter, Sabine Saurugger, and John Peterson

The Institutions of the European Union is the key text for anyone wishing to understand the functions, powers, and composition of the EU’s institutions. Written and edited by a team of leading international experts, the text offers a comprehensive analysis and explanation of all the most important organizations and their roles in the governance and management of the EU. The fifth edition has been substantially revised, featuring a range of newly authored chapters and including coverage of the most important developments affecting the institutions of the European Union as they contend with the changing dynamics of European integration. Up-to-date chapters examine current challenges, including the rise of populism and how it is wielded by politicians to target EU institutions, the climate emergency, and the EU’s bold new policy commitments to make the Union climate neutral by 2050, as well as the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Authoritative yet accessible, The Institutions of the European Union is the best guide to how institutions work together to provide political direction, manage the European Union, govern policies, and integrate contrasting interests within the EU.

Chapter

Cover European Union Politics

22. Economic and Monetary Union  

Amy Verdun

This chapter introduces economic and monetary union (EMU), describingthe key components of EMU and what happens when countries join. EMU was the result of decades of collaboration and learning, divided here into three periods: 1969–91, from the agreement to creation to its inclusion in the Treaty on European Union (TEU); 1992–2002, from having the plans for EMU to the irrevocable fixing of exchange rates; and 2002 onwards, with EMU established and euro banknotes and coins circulating in member states. The chapter reviews various theoretical explanations, both economic and political, for the creation of EMU and considers some criticisms of EMU. The chapter discusses how EMU has fared under the global financial crisis, the sovereign debt crisis, and the COVID-19 pandemic. These crises highlighted various imperfections in the design of EMU and provided opportunities for further development. This chapter discusses changes made since 2009 to address those flaws and what may be yet to come.

Chapter

Cover European Union Politics

23. The Common Agricultural Policy  

Ève Fouilleux and Viviane Gravey

This chapter examines one of the first European policies, the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). It does so by focusing on the policy’s objectives, instruments, actors, and debates. It looks at the way in which the CAP has evolved since the 1960s, and attempts to explain this evolution by asking and answering a number of important questions: why has the CAP been so problematic for European policy-makers? Why has it proven so resistant to change? Given the constraints identified, how has reform come about? This chapter also looks at some of the challenges facing agricultural policy, as new debates emerge among citizens on the place and the functions performed by agriculture. The chapter grants particular attention to the way the CAP tackles issues such as rural development, relations between agriculture, food and the environment, transparency, and social equity.

Chapter

Cover European Union Politics

25. The Euro Crisis and European Integration  

Dermot Hodson and Uwe Puetter

This chapter discusses the European Union’s (EU) response to the euro crisis that emerged in late 2009, two years after the global financial crisis struck. It identifies the challenges this crisis has posed to the existing institutional set-up of economic and monetary union (EMU) and shows that it had a lasting impact on dicussions over the EU’s future well beyond its most dramatic moments. A timeline of the euro crisis is provided and the main changes to the institutional framework of European economic governance at the time of writing are reviewed. The chapter considers whether the crisis was caused by a deficit of centralized decision-making and whether it has served, in turn, as a catalyst for deeper economic and political integration in the euro area and the Union more generally. The consequences of the crisis for the EU’s legitimacy are also explored from competing theoretical perspectives.

Chapter

Cover Global Political Economy

5. Finance  

Lena Rethel

This chapter focuses on the Global Political Economy (GPE) of finance. It begins by exploring the key pillars of the GPE of finance, starting with money, currencies, and the international monetary system, before examining the dynamics of credit and debt. While money is ubiquitous, its usages are characterized by great variety and so are the practices—economic, political, and cultural—to which money gives rise. The chapter then looks at both public and private mechanisms which were established to govern global finance. Recurring financial crises are a key feature of the Global Political Economy. These crises can be triggered in different segments of the global financial system, including currency and debt markets, and can result from shocks outside the financial economy such as the Covid-19 pandemic. The chapter also considers different ideas that may shape the international organization of credit, such as Islamic finance.

Chapter

Cover I-PEEL: The International Political Economy of Everyday Life

4. Debt  

This chapter focuses on the key themes of money and finance in international political economy (IPE) analysis. It describes the concepts of commodification, assetization, and financialization, and how they apply to the case of student debt. In many countries, borrowing money to pay for tuition fees and living costs is an expected part of going to university. Thinking about the emergence of personal indebtedness in the higher education system helps to foreground the international political economy of debt. The chapter then turns to other kinds of debt, including sovereign debt and household debt, and considers the reasons why people go into debt and why debts are repaid (or not). Using Islamic finance as a case study, it looks at alternatives to debt, such as non-conditional grants and risk-sharing contracts. Finally, the chapter reflects on the moral and power dynamics that underpin interest-bearing loans, as well as demands for debt cancellation.

Book

Cover US Foreign Policy

Edited by Michael Cox and Doug Stokes

U.S. Foreign Policy provides a comprehensive overview of the United States’s role in international politics. Chapters focus in turn on the historical background, institutions, regional relations, and contemporary issues that are key to the superpower’s foreign policy making. The second edition includes two new chapters on Barack Obama’s use of smart power and a debate on the nature of U.S. hegemony. All chapters have been updated with important developments including the effects of the global financial crisis, the on-going conflict in Afghanistan, and political uprisings in the Middle East.

Chapter

Cover US Foreign Policy

18. Global economy  

Peter Gowan and Doug Stokes

This chapter examines some of the central debates on how we should understand the United States’ efforts to reshape international economic relations since the 1940s. It first considers debates on the sources and mechanisms of American economic strategy before turning to debates about the substance of American efforts to shape the global economy. It approaches the debates about the substance of U.S. foreign economic policy since 1945 by classifying varying perspectives on this question in three alternative images. The first such image is that of America as the promoter of a cooperative, multilateral order in international economics. The second image is that of an American economic nationalism and the third is that of an American empire. The chapter goes on to analyse the global financial crisis and concludes with an overview of some of the main current debates about the strength of American capitalism in the world economy.

Chapter

Cover Politics in the Developing World

4. The Developing World in the Global Economy  

Robert Ahearne

This chapter examines the role of developing countries in the contemporary global economy. It first provides an overview of trends in the global economy, taking into account the implications of globalization for the developing world and the question of free trade vs protectionism. It then considers three key features of an increasingly globalized economy and their significance for the developing world: trade, foreign direct investment (FDI), and financial flows. It also discusses the role(s) of developing countries in global trade, the advantages and disadvantages of FDI, and two major components of the global economy that can cause serious economic disruptions: the buying and selling of currencies and stocks and shares in local economies, and the rapid movement of capital across borders. The chapter concludes with an assessment of factors that can reduce the economic well-being of countries in the developing world.

Chapter

Cover Foreign Policy

12. Economic statecraft  

Michael Mastanduno

This chapter explores the link between economic instruments of statecraft and the broader foreign policy goals and strategies of states. Economic sanctions are used in conjunction with diplomatic and military measures in response to foreign policy problems and opportunities. However, they are not always effective. The chapter begins with a discussion of the instruments and objectives of economic statecraft, including trade restrictions, financial sanctions, investment restrictions, and monetary sanctions. It then explores the potential of economic incentives as a tool of statecraft and the question of whether economic interdependence leads to harmony, as liberals believe, or conflict among states, as realists predict. It shows that economic interdependence can either lead to peace or conflict depending on the future expectations of policy makers, the nature of the military balance, and the form that economic interdependence takes.