Research Hub Question: Can globalisation benefit all?
Research Hub Leaders: Prof Stephen Kinsella
Application Deadline: 23.59 20 December 2018
Submit Application to: Richard Arnold (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Macroeconomics has little reflection about the degree to which macroeconomic outcomes are determined by social connection, social context and social history. History, culture, and geography matter more than standard macroeconomic models allow for. As we ask whether “Globalisation Can Benefit All”, we surely have to understand the impact of globalisation on local social connections, local social contexts, and local social histories as well. Below is a non-exhaustive discussion of some topics and related questions to this research agenda.
• The impact of corporate power and its accountability: the influence and power of large global companies has increased while their contribution to local treasuries and communities has diminished. This has implications for regional economic structures and local businesses that may affect social factors in communities through these external forces driving change. Does this affect people’s sense of identity and belonging to these areas? Are these changes always beneficial, or does an erosion of identity have negative political and social implications?
Corporate power can also interfere with the democratic political process and the passing of legislation that may benefit the consumer but incur costs to local firms. The reach of multinationals stretches around the globe in consumer markets and through global supply chains. As multinational firms operate on such a scale, to who are their practices accountable? What are the social implications of different rules for corporations with power and those without?
• Differing levels and extents of public service provision: if globalisation focuses economic activity in certain areas, then this may also affect the provision of public spending. Certain areas receiving less public investment may become increasingly socially detached from the main centres of economic activity. Even within local areas, certain social groups can become isolated from how the government spends e.g. from lower investment in integrative public housing in affluent areas or a relative decline in the quality of state education. How does globalisation affect government spending patterns, and what might this mean for social integration?
• Belonging and connection to neighbours: how does globalisation undermine our sense of local belonging? What is the role of local narratives forged through time which bind neighbours together providing a sense of belonging, community and shared contribution. Are some forms of economic disruption, such as technological change, seen as somehow different to disruption from trade or even migration? What can we learn from other disciplines to help us understand belonging that can perhaps help us understand our macroeconomy?
This call looks for projects which address these issues in constructive and timely manners. We have a limited budget and therefore we will have a one stage application process. We will choose a short list from all application we receive and from this short list carry out an external referee process. The selected applicants will be invited to present at a workshop after which we will choose two, or at the very most three projects, depending on their costs.
We welcome cross-disciplinary proposals that combine history, anthropology, sociology, psychology and economics. Or projects that use mixed quantitative and quantitative methods perhaps combining modelling and/or ethnography and archival research. Although, a project that provides radically innovative insights into UK macro-economic institutions and is within one discipline will be considered that favourably, too. All projects should have direct policy relevance.
10 December 2018