Global Economy

The 4Rs of Covid-19: ‘Reflect’; ‘Repair’; ‘Reboot’; and ‘Revolutionise’

The global Covid-19 pandemic is an unprecedented shock hopefully many of us will not be alive to see another as disruptive and pervasive as this one. A health crisis that shut down the entire global economic and trading ecosystem for close to a year; a health crisis that has and continues to reconstitute human beings natural social conditioning; a health crisis that has demonstrated political rhetoric does exactly what it says on the tin ‘listen to my words but don’t see my actions’; and a health crisis that brazenly exposed the insatiable appetite for profit, inequality, and power. Indeed, the global pandemic, 18 months later, is proving that walking and chewing gum is a sticky situation for those who believe in the orthodoxy. This blog is a follow-up to a piece I wrote slightly over a year ago that focussed on the Kenya, and with the benefit of hindsight these reflections do ring true for several corners of the continent. As we begin to consider a world post pandemic, I present my 4Rs of Covid-19 of ‘Reflect’; ‘Repair’; ‘Reboot’; and ‘Revolutionise’ as we aim to build forward together.

The Time and Gender of GVCs: 3 Critical Points on the GVC & Development Report 2019

In this short commentary I briefly raise three critical points against the assumptions at the basis of this report. I discuss the temporality of employment in GVCs; the gendered construction of skills and employment disadvantage; and the need to move the debate from individual wages to social wages in order to truly assess the ‘reproductive’ - or more simply, livelihood - implications of GVCs employment on labouring classes.

The Law of Global Value Chains as Transmission Nodes for Global Inequality

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the weaknesses of the current patterns of production and consumption, exemplified by GVCs and the global trade and investment order in which they operate. These fragilities have resulted in the aforementioned social, economic and financial crises but what they represent most of all, is a crisis of responsibility in which powerful actors, state and private, that have been the main beneficiaries of GVCs, have failed to discharge their ethical and normative obligations to those most vulnerable within their production and supply chains. To this end, a new approach is sorely needed to address the vulnerabilities of a global economy built on fragile GVC governance that serves as new nodes of global inequality and precarity.

Legal Constitution of Global Value Chains in the Digital Economy

WTO members should revisit the liberalization commitments with a view to engaging in further impact assessments of present and proposed liberalization commitments. More importantly, international and national trade policy makers should welcome new imaginaries of a global digital economy, including the use of trade policy tools to make domestic digital economies competitive at the global stage. This requires a re-conceptualization of the foundations of international trade law, and national tax, competition, property, privacy and data protection laws.

Symposium Introduction - Global Value Chains, Trade and Development

This online symposium is the outcome of a workshop on ‘GVCs, Trade and Development’ hosted by the Kent Law School and IEL collective in July 2020 and supported by the British Academy (Grant no. MD19\190020). The workshop engaged with the policy research literature produced by the World Trade Organisation and World Bank since 2013, in particular their Global Value Chain Development (GVCD) reports of 2017 and 2019.

Revisiting Africa’s Stalled Decolonization – A Response

The laws of the international trading regimes are crafted, not by Africans, but by economists and policymakers in the Global North, with the interest of the elites of the Global North at the heart of any prescriptions. That is why neoliberalism and the “free market” is sold as the panacea for Africa’s developmental impasse.

The Importance of Intellectual Property and International Investment Agreements for Overcoming the “Peripheral Economy Trap”: A Response to Ian Taylor’s “Sixty Years Later: Africa’s Stalled Decolonization

Neoliberal Children: A Silent Dialogue with Ian Taylor

Neo colonialism as described by Ian Taylor is as valid then as it is now, but there are alternatives beyond the modern paradigm and we have to run the risk of decolonizing the academy, people are changing and fighting from other ways of life, but our academies? can you hear them? Indigenous peoples, community organizations, peasants and nature are speaking to us. The question is what language and what knowledge we will use to listen and speak them.

Niños Neoliberales: Un Diálogo Silencioso Con Ian Taylor

Neo colonialism as described by Ian Taylor is as valid then as it is now, but there are alternatives beyond the modern paradigm and we have to run the risk of decolonizing the academy, people are changing and fighting from other ways of life, but our academies? can you hear them? Indigenous peoples, community organizations, peasants and nature are speaking to us. The question is what language and what knowledge we will use to listen and speak them.

Did Decolonisation Stall in the Global South? A Conversation with Ian Taylor: Symposium Introduction

In this symposium, our contributors react to Prof Taylor’s paper by interrogating embedded structures of knowledge generation and creation, economic development in Latin America, international law, disadvantageous investment agreements, and continental integration. In particular, the essays explore how these arrangements reshape traditional centre-periphery relations.