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Why investment matters: The political economy of international investments

Why Investment Matters: The Political Economy of International Investments

Author: Kavaljit Singh

FERN, UK/Belgium
The Corner House, UK
CRBM, Italy
Madhyam Books, India

About the Book

Investment matters. The millions of dollars that are moved around the world
every minute of day profoundly affect who gets to eat and who doesn’t; who
has a job and who doesn’t; and who accumulates wealth and at whose expense.
Influencing investment decisions requires an understanding of how investment
works. Kavaljit Singh explains the central role of transnational
corporations (TNCs) and other key players in determining investment
patterns. He debunks some of the myths surrounding investment flows, and he
suggests ways in which investment can be brought back under the democratic
control of people and governments. Kavaljit Singh maps out investment flows,
trends and regulatory frameworks and shows where citizens can work — and are
working — to reclaim investment for the public good.

With the help of case-studies, statistical data and cogent analysis, the
book makes a critical appraisal of contemporary investment issues. Written
in a simple language and style, the book addresses several pertinent issues

 What are TNCs and their different forms?
 How have they become powerful in recent years?
 Why cross-border mergers and acquisitions are problematic?
 How to assess the rise of private equity funds and Southern TNCs?
 How the developing world has become the exporter of capital?
 What does the growing power of TNCs mean for economy, workers and
 Who benefits from foreign investments? Who loses?
 How TNCs indulge in transfer pricing?
 The role of bilateral, regional and multilateral investment agreements.
 The governance of international investments since 1940s.
 The double standards of developed countries on foreign investments.
 What strategies are required to bring TNCs under the democratic control
of governments and people?
 Are corporate codes of conduct the solution?
 Why state regulation?
 What lessons to be learnt from campaigns against TNCs?
 What are key elements for building a campaign?
 Is there a backlash against foreign investments?


Data Notes
1. Defining International Investments
2. Recent Trends in International Investment Flows
3. Are International Investment Flows Beneficial?
4. The Regulatory Framework
5. The Governance of International Investments: A Historical Perspective
6. International Investment Frameworks: A Fragmented Landscape
7. Regulating Investments: Voluntary or Mandatory Approaches?
8. Strategizing Campaigns
9. Resources

Praise for the Book

"Change will not come about through individuals acting alone but in concert.
By informing the public of the issues - and through identifying areas where
policies and practices can and should be changed - this book will greatly
increase the effectiveness of such collective action."
Saskia Ozinga, FERN

"If investment is to contribute to the public good, then it is critical that
the public have the means to define that good; to frame the policies and
laws that would channel investment in support of that good; and to hold
investors to account where their actions undermine that good. This book
provides an essential primer."
Nicholas Hildyard, The Corner House

"The time has come for campaigners and civil society to look behind the
curtains of international institutions and national governments and see who
are the real drivers of the global investment agenda. Kavaljit Singh helps
enormously in this crucial exercise by clearly showing how investment is the
Achille’s heel of the neoliberal globalization agenda."
Antonio Tricarico, CRBM

About the Author

Kavaljit Singh is Director of Public Interest Research Centre, New Delhi. He
is the author of widely published books, "Questioning Globalization",
"Taming Global Financial Flows" and "The Globalization of Finance".

Publication Date: April 2007
Pages: 176

The entire book is available for free download from following websites:

The printed copies of the book are available for a price of Euro 10
(exclusive of postage and packing). For printed copies or other queries, Contact:

Judith Neyer
4, Avenue de l’Yser
B-1040 Bruxelles
Phone: +32 (0)2 742 2436
Fax: +32 (0)2 736 8054