Definitions and Players

Definitions

  • Colonialism:- exploitation by a stronger country of weaker one, the use of the weaker country’s resources to strengthen and enrich the stronger
  • Deregulation:- removal of government controls over an economic sector
  • Imperialism:- a policy of extending a country’s rule over foreign countries, a political orientation that advocates imperial interests, any instance of aggressive extension of authority
  • Neocolonialism:- control by a country of its former colonies (or other less developed countries) by economic, political or other means
  • Outsourcing:- Originally a term for contractual arrangements with software houses for computer services, but since extended to mean the transfer of manufacture or service to the responsibility of another company in exchange for payment. This now applies to almost anything, including mercenaries, and the new supplier could be in another country completely
  • Privatisation:- to make private; especially to change (as a business or industry) from public to private control or ownership
  • Unbundle:- to price products separately, to separate industries, companies, services etc into the smallest component parts capable of independent survival

The Players

    Colonialism in its original form no longer exists. After the Second World War, the United Nations required that colonial powers define a date for independence of their mandates and trusts. This led to a push for independence by the colonies too, and by 1994 all had succeeded. This is by no means the same as saying that colonialism in all its forms has gone forever. On the contrary, the reasons for colonialism have never changed, and the wish is still predominant in those countries that have sufficient power to be able to exert influence.
    Neocolonialism uses a combination of methods to achieve influence, among them free trade. This is not a new concept, having been successfully used by the British in the mid-19th century, but the methods have been refined and expanded considerably. The U.S., for instance, exerts considerable influence over certain Third World nations, and other developed countries where possible, as a result of its national economic power and its dominance of international financial organizations, such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and to a lesser extent the World Trade Organisation (WTO). Similarly, European powers have continued to affect significantly the politics and the economics of their former colonies, and they have consequently been accused of neocolonialism – the exercise of effective sovereignty without the formality of colonial rule.
    The increasing power and number of multinational companies, and the global economy, have further complicated the situation. Whereas governments can be expected to act in the interests of their own country, (not always apparent, and certainly not guaranteed), multinationals will act predominantly in their own interests. The global economy includes private investors that make money by investing where it is advantageous to do so. Their allegiance is to themselves or their clients, and they cannot be expected to align with any country’s policies.

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