This chapter analyses the special nature of banks, and how the importance of the banking sector and its stability overlaps with the preservation of competitive banking markets. Banks have a unique standing in the economy, and are regarded as more vulnerable to instability than other firms as they provide liquidity and are involved in inter-bank lending markets and the payment system. Due to the systemic nature of banks, governments try to avert a crisis that can affect the whole banking sector by ensuring that banks which are ‘too big to fail’ remain sustainable. Such intervention has a distortive effect on competition, as it prevents ‘self-correction’ of the market. State aid measures that characterized the response of regulators in the recent financial crisis were based on the premise of the special nature of the banking sector and its importance to the economy. In addressing the special nature of banks the chapter looks into the approach adopted towards banks under State aid control, tackling issues such as ‘too-big-to-fail’ and the BRRD and SRM.
Promises and Limits of Democratic Participation in Latin America
The introduction defines political/democratic innovation as the capacity of government to express political will and civil society inputs in several formats. Usually, these inputs are linked to the introduction and/or implementation of public policies, through which civil society and the state interact in order to democratize the state itself. It based on this definition that different experiences of innovation will be analysed.
Changes, Challenges and Policy Implications for Europe in Times of Austerity
The chapter provides an overview of the debates on social services, a key component of both the service sector and the welfare state, highlighting the different socioeconomic underpinnings of these activities and proposing a number of analytical tools. In the first section, social services are positioned within the contemporary discussion about the service economy, the welfare state, social and territorial cohesion, as well as the post-Keynesian restructuring process. The specificities and key social and economic implications of these activities are stressed. In the second section, the importance of a time- and space-sensitive approach to analysing changes and understanding the great variety of national and regional restructuring trajectories is emphasised, and the notions of welfare ‘regimes’ and ‘models’ are reviewed. In the third section, the main restructuring trends at work since the 1980s and the effects of the 2008 financial crisis are ‘unpacked’, highlighting their key features and socio-economic implications and identifying relevant analytical dimensions. The importance of the ‘vertical’ division of authority within the state and of the ‘horizontal’ division of responsibility among providers is discussed, stressing the need to distinguish among the main ‘functions’ involved in delivering public social services: regulation, funding, coordination, production.
The Evolution of Australian Policy on Trade and Investment
Andrew D. Mitchell, Elizabeth Sheargold and Tania Voon
Although a major proponent of multilateralism, in recent decades Australia has become an enthusiastic participant in bilateral and regional economic initiatives. This chapter provides an overview of Australia’s entry into preferential trade agreements and bilateral investment treaties, situating each generation of these agreements in its political and economic context. It examines how the scope, objectives and content of these agreements have changed over time, identifying key factors that have influenced these changes. The chapter also explains the meaning of ‘regulatory autonomy’ in this book and outlines the structure and purpose of the rest of the book. By their very nature, trade and investment agreements limit regulatory autonomy, by precluding States from implementing policies that adversely affect international trade or foreign investment. This chapter explains why services, intellectual property and investment are of particular concern for Australia, as explored in greater detail in subsequent chapters. Keywords: international economic law, investment, policy space, public international law, regionalism, trade