Robert D. Hisrich and Veland Ramadani
Firm Centred Perspectives
Edited by Mehmet Demirbag and Geoffrey Wood
A Practical Managerial Approach
Robert D. Hisrich and Veland Ramadani
Geoffrey Wood and Mehmet Demirbag
This book seeks to shed further light on the type of capitalism that has emerged in Central Asia, the Caucasus and other peripheral areas of the post-state socialist world, drawing out the implications for both domestic and overseas firms from a broad perspective that is founded in the literature on comparative institutional analysis. We call this cluster of countries the ‘transitional periphery economies’, to set them apart from other emerging and more mature types of capitalism; this reflects the more complex mix of political and market mediation, and informal personal ties, than is encountered in the more developed states of the post-state socialist world. This collection is a wide-ranging one, and incorporates both detailed country studies and chapters dealing with broad thematic issues. What these accounts have in common is that liberalization is not a one-way street, and that there is little connection between liberalization and growth. At the same time, international firms are pragmatic and creative in finding ways of coping with quite different yet durable forms of institutional mediation and coverage. COMPARATIVE CAPITALISM AND THE TRANSITIONAL PERIPHERY Although the early literature on comparative capitalism focused on the case of the developed world, there has been a growing interest in the types of institutional arrangements prevalent in key emerging markets (Lane and Wood, 2012; Wood and Demirbag, 2012; Demirbag and Yaprak, 2015). The early literature on comparative capitalism held that only in the developed world were there the institutional foundations for stable and sustained growth and high levels of overall prosperity, and in other economies there would be strong pressures to converge with either the liberal or coordinated market ideal (Hall and Soskice, 2003). However, since the early 2000s, it has become clear that many emerging markets have proved capable of generating significant growth despite a failure to evolve towards one or other of the mature institutional archetypes, and others have become locked on suboptimal trajectories, with little prospect of meaningful institutional redesign (Lane and Wood, 2012). This has led to efforts to identify new capitalist archetypes that might best describe such persistently different economies. Again, much of the early comparative literature on institutions has tended to focus on the firm as a transmission belt, whereby specific sets of institutional pressures resulted in some outcome or other; what went on inside the firm was, at best, described in terms of stylistic ideal-types (Wood et al., 2014). This, in turn, has led to a subsequent interest in exploring variations in intra-organizational practice, and the effects of the entrants of new players from abroad.
The Political Economy of Regional Infrastructure
William A. Kerr
Singapore, through the colonial era up to the present, has fulfilled an entrepôt role in European-Asian economic trade. This role continues, but Singapore has increasingly promoted and undertaken the role of being a bridge between Asian business culture and western business culture. The government of Singapore has actively encouraged the city to become a centre of western-style financial institutions and a place where an uncorrupt ‘rule of law’ is applied to commercial transactions. On the other hand, the Singapore business community has strong traditional relation-based networks across Asia. It is a place where European Union business persons can operate in a familiar milieu yet connect with wider markets across Asia. To facilitate this relationship both Singapore and the EU have negotiated formal trade, financial and broader-based agreements. The chapter reviews a selection of these formal agreements.
News reports often talk about the political influence that major corporations and industry groups have on EU trade policy decisions. But exactly what role do business actors play in EU trade policy-making? And why do EU policy-makers listen to the demands of firms and their lobby groups? This chapter tries to answer these questions by identifying the type of firms involved in EU trade politics, analysing their political strategies and influence, as well as detailing the institutional setting in which EU trade policy-making takes place. In doing so, this chapter provides a detailed account of business-government relations in current EU trade politics and how these dynamics have changed over time.
What role does the Council of the European Union fulfil in EU trade policy? In this chapter, I argue that the Council fulfils both a legislative as well as an executive function. Starting from the legal foundations, three different instruments of EU trade policy are distinguished, each with their own decision-making procedures and each with a different role for the Council. Supplanting such a legal framework with an administrative perspective provides the reader with the type of practical knowledge that facilitates a better understanding of the existing literature but also clarifies the aptness of a focus on both the Council’s legislative and executive roles. A third layer adds a political perspective by overviewing the academic literature. This perspective highlights the Council’s role (1) as a legislative body, seeking to control the European Commission (particularly in external negotiations), (2) as a defender of national competencies before the court of justice, and (3) as an executive body whose decision-making process is less characterized by political conflict and bargaining and more by collective problem-solving, coordination and cooperation. The chapter ends with a prospective outlook and lays down three directions for future research on the Council in the domain of trade policy.
Sangeeta Khorana and W. Gregory Voss
This chapter focuses on the importance of the impact of e-commerce and digital technologies in the transition from the European single market into a Digital Single Market (DSM). Highlighted is the opportunity that this change may present to enable the growth of the European Union’s international trade by capitalising on the potential of electronic transactions to enhance trust within the European digital framework. Key issues of data protection and data localization – the former leading to trust, while the latter causes fragmentation – and the importance of data security for trust and the interoperability of data flows under the DSM are analysed.