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Jonathan Michie

Since the 1980s it had been fashionable to suggest that there was little that individual countries could do in the face of global economic forces, and any attempt to pursue independent policies would be doomed to failure. ‘Even China’, it was often said, was embracing the global free market. The idea that developing countries, such as India, could promote their own developmental interests by sheltering behind exchange controls or national planning had been swept away along with the Berlin Wall. In the globalized economy of the twenty-first century, it was argued, national governments had to go with the flow of global markets. As the 2008 international financial crisis was breaking, the global strategy firm Oxford Analytica held one of its usual daily analysis sessions, but open to those attending its annual conference. The chair briefly summarised the unfolding global crisis, and then went round the table asking the various national experts to report. Despite the consensus referred to above, the reports did not paint a picture of a uniform globalised market to which each country related in the same way. The US and UK had been referred to in the opening statement, being very much at the centre of whatever it was that had caused the worst economic crisis since the 1930s. But when the expert on Brazil was called, he reported that the socialist President Lula had kept its financial sector rather independent of the global markets. Next India, and here too it was reported that it actually hadn’t opened itself up to the global market quite as much as might have been thought. Then China, where, it was reported, the Communist Party had maintained rather a firm grip.

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Colin Turner

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The Global Energy System

The Trans-national Strategy and Policy Interface

Colin Turner and Debra Johnson

There is a long precedent of transnational energy systems due to the spatial disparities between the locations of production and consumption. Within primary energy supply an extensive global system of distribution has emerged for primary energy sources, notably oil and gas, as many developed states have sought to ensure their energy security. As such there are strong pressures for integration within the global energy systems. These market-based pressures are also driven by other forces linked into these forces such as hegemonic power and international governance. However, there are also forces for fragmentation within the global energy system based on a mix of geo-politics, national political concerns and the uneven development of energy infrastructure.

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The Global Information Infrastructure System

The Trans-national Strategy and Policy Interface

Colin Turner and Debra Johnson

Arguably the global information infrastructure (GII) arguably demonstrates the highest degree of globality of all the economic infrastructures under consideration within this research. The GII itself is a modular concept consisting of a multitude of technologies. At the core of the spread of the GII is the internet. This technology has an embedded globality from its outset and access to it is seen as a key barometer of the economic development. This process has been supported by the development of an extensive oceanic cable system. However, this embedded globality is increasingly being challenged as many starts to restrict access to or movements of data. This has been shaped by the growing narratives on the so-called ‘splinternet’.

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The Global Transport Infrastructure System

The Trans-national Strategy and Policy Interface

Colin Turner and Debra Johnson

This chapter investigates the main trends in global transportation infrastructure by initially examining how these state-based physical structures are adapting to global flows across the main forms of passenger and freight transportation. It is evident across each of the sectors that there are substantial forces for infrastructural integration. These are created by a series of forces, many of which lie on the soft infrastructure side of the global transportation system (such as trade facilitation, service liberalisation, etc.). As such, the forces for integration are suggestive of enabling flows to which national systems respond. However, these integrative forces are limited by variability in soft and hard infrastructure systems (both natural and man-made) which limit the fluidity of transport flows between and across NIS.

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Infrastructure and Territoriality

The Trans-national Strategy and Policy Interface

Colin Turner and Debra Johnson

Infrastructuring is core to understanding state territoriality. It is the provision of the physical structures that are central to understanding the control that states seek to assert over their territory. This infrastructuring strategy is contextualised in terms of a defined infrastructural mandate which identifies the multi-functional role that infrastructure plays in state territoriality. The infrastructural mandate stresses that states seek a National Infrastructure System to perform a number of functions, namely to offer territorial integration, security, control and growth.

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The nature of the Global Infrastructure System

The Trans-national Strategy and Policy Interface

Colin Turner and Debra Johnson

State-based National Infrastructure Systems (NIS) is undergoing a process of adaptation shaped by the forces of globality. This globality is generating a global infrastructure system based on the interaction between NIS. This global system of interacting national infrastructure has the potential to impact upon state territoriality through the conduit offered by the infrastructural mandate. In analysing this process the chapter identifies that interaction between NIS occurs through three potential channels. The first is direct cross-border interaction (which normally occurs across contiguous space). The second is through third party (transit) infrastructure, which is especially a concern where a state is landlocked or requires long-distance transmission systems (such as pipelines) across third-party states. The third is transmission across the global commons.

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Reflections on the Global Infrastructure System

The Trans-national Strategy and Policy Interface

Colin Turner and Debra Johnson

This chapter brings together the themes addressed within the previous chapters to over conclusions as the state and pressures/processes within the global infrastructure system. In reflecting how there is an evident nexus between the state infrastructuring and territoriality, it is also apparent that National Infrastructure Systems are adapting to the pressures acting upon them by the forces of globalization. However, seeking to balance territorial requirements of the National Infrastructure System with globalization has led to a sustained (and, in some cases, a newly emergent) fragmentation of the global system.

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John W. Meyer

The final chapter by John Meyer makes clear the long trajectory neo-institutional research and theory has taken, from the initial formulations and seminal papers in the late 1970s and early 1980s to our current selection of papers that make up the chapters in this volume. Classical texts focus squarely on the embeddedness of organizations in broader societal environments and analyze these linkages, while focusing less explicitly on the inner side of organizations. This inner side, organizations’ internal differentiation, contradictions, and conflicts as well as the activities and orientations of individual and organizational actors come to the forefront in our book. In addition, Meyer’s chapter makes clear that we need a broader historical perspective in order to take the current organizational forms and the unprecedented rise of organizations in the modern, globalized, and (neo-) liberal era into account. The unquestioned verities of this (modern) era have to be seen as socio-historical constructs that evolved over time and that are increasingly questioned now and, therefore, might look different in the future.

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Silviya Svejenova and José Luis Alvarez

The focus of the chapter by Silviya Svejenova and José Luis Alvarez is on the proliferation of top management positions, the so-called ‘C-Suite’ in business firms. In a neo-institutional vein, the increase in the number of such positions is linked to the broader institutional environments in which business firms are embedded. However, according to the authors the above linkage does not automatically trigger a ‘taken-for-granted’ response by which new chief officer roles come into organizational life. Instead, such roles are actively constructed by strategically operating organizations in response to the institutional complexity that is increasingly characterized by competing and at times conflicting logics.