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Globalizing America

The USA in World Integration

Edited by Thomas L. Brewer and Gavin Boyd

The authors address questions in current business and policy literature regarding the structural linkages evolving in the globalization process. The authors conclude that the US administration and American firms have to be more responsive to the interests of the international community that are being vitally affected by the integrating effects of transnational production and world trade.
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Chapter 2: Deepening integration and global governance: America as a globalized partner

John Kirton


John Kirton INTRODUCTION The argument that intensifying transnational flows of private sector forces are altering and eroding the capacity of states to manage their national economies and the multinational firms operating or based within them has long been a standard claim in international political economy (Angell, 1912; Stanley, 1939; Cooper, 1968; Vernon, 1971; Keohane and Nye, 1977). In its current manifestation, with the rubric of ‘globalization’ replacing earlier concepts of ‘interdependence’, the debate over the force of such flows and their implications for the American economy, its multinationals and the management of both, has passed through several stages. The first asserted that the new communications technologies, initially evident in the realm of globalized finance and subsequently in integrated transnational production, produced a seamless global economy and polity in which multinationals and markets would converge toward a new single set of prices, practices, characteristics and ultimately identities designed to maximize wealth in the single global environment, with little regard for their distinctive national origins, or efforts at national government control (Reich, 1990; Ohmae, 1995). The second stage emphasized how, in the face of the new global orientation and power of multinationals and markets, even the more powerful governments in the world were suffering a substantial diminution of their ability to manage the global, and even their own domestic economy, to the point where they were reluctant even to attempt interventions they now calculated would fail (Peterson, 1995; Strange, 1996; Bergsten and Henning, 1996). The third stage, in reaction to the occasionally...

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