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Edited by Inge Amundsen
Stefano Ponte, Gary Gereffi and Gale Raj-Reichert
This introductory chapter provides an overview of what global value chains (GVCs) are, and why they are important. It presents a genealogy of the emergence of GVCs as a concept and analytical framework, and some reflections on more recent developments in this field. Finally, it describes the chapter organization of this Handbook along its five cross-cutting themes: mapping, measuring and analysing GVCs; governance, power and inequality; the multiple dimensions of upgrading and downgrading; how innovation, strategy and learning can shape governance and upgrading; and GVCs, development and public policy.
Shafiullah Jan and Mehmet Asutay
Jonathan Morduch and Timothy Ogden
The rhetoric of social investment is grand and clear, and the basic vision is simple: to support a new sort of capitalist endeavor driven by pursuit of social progress rather than just pursuit of profit. Yet the reality can be messy. How could it not be? Modern history has been shaped by the tensions between unbridled capitalism and struggles for social and economic justice. So it is not surprising that in the same 12 months that publishers release hope-filled books on social investment like A World of Three Zeros: The New Economics of Zero Poverty, Zero Unemployment and Zero Net Carbon Emissions (Yunus 2017), other publishers release bubblebursting exposes like Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World (Giridharadas 2018). Against the backdrop of these tensions, the world of social investment somehow embraces both market denialism and market fundamentalism. It depends on large subsidies while deploying anti-subsidy rhetoric. Definitions and practice have become so squishy that the coiner of one of the seminal terms of social investment, the “triple-bottom line”, recently suggested “recalling” the term because it is now essentially meaningless (Elkington 2018).
Xiaolan Fu, Owusu Essegbey and Godfred K. Frempong
Multinational enterprises are everywhere engaging in a myriad of economic activities. The perceptions of their impact on the nation’s economy range from negative at one extreme to positive at the other extreme. Granted that the truth is somewhere in between, the crucial issue is the impact of the MNEs on the nation’s economy and how national policies are shaped to enhance that impact. In this regard, there is the need for empirical research that unravels the contextual ramifications, which either constrain or facilitate positive impact on the national economy. This is particularly vital given that the role of MNEs in the economic activities and development of various countries is deepening with globalisation. Such a role can be expected to increase as globalisation continues to be fuelled by the advancement of technology, regionalisation and geopolitics, among others. Indeed, MNEs are increasingly able to pursue their economic interests across geographical and national boundaries. On the one hand, countries ought to welcome this development and eagerly promote the participation of MNEs in their national socio-economic activities, given the potential for impact on economic growth. On the other hand, countries need to ensure that MNEs’ engagement in the host countries remains positive and with the least negative outcomes on growth and development. There are several ways of doing this. For example, appropriate, homegrown policies and regulatory practices which are informed by knowledge of the nature and extent of MNEs’ activities in the host countries are important approaches to enhancing the positive impacts of MNEs. To a large extent, the effectiveness of engaging MNEs in socio- economic development depends on how countries are able to strategise to create the necessary conditions for their activities on the basis of researched evidence and proven knowledge of MNEs’ capacities and potential for impacts in the national contexts of their operations.