Globalisation Institute

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Group.png Globalisation Institute Powerbase Sourcewatch WebsiteRdf-icon.png
Gi.png
Formation2005
Typethink tank
Interestsglobalisation, water

Introduction

'The Institute was officially launched at a reception at London's Soho House in 2005 with speeches by Bill Emmott, Editor of the Economist, and Alan Beattie, World Trade Editor of the Financial Times'.

According to themselves,"The Globalisation Institute is a Brussels-based think tank that promotes ideas to help Europe thrive in the global economy. Located in the heart of Brussels' European quarter, close to the European Commission's Berlaymont headquarters, it works by researching, developing and promoting practical policy options that recognise political realities.

Its main areas of interest involve developing policies that promote a positive, pro-technology approach to the environment, increase competitiveness, harness enterprise to fight global poverty, and increase world trade.

Philosophically liberal, its intellectual influences include the Manchester School anti-Corn Law campaigners like Richard Cobden and John Bright; French economists Jean-Baptist Say and Frederic Bastiat; and Austrian economists like Carl Menger" [1].

Conservative affiliations?

It appears that the Globalisation Institute has close links with the leadership of the Conservative Party. Moreover, it seems that their promotion of enterprise as the means to tackle poverty has impressed the now Conservative leader David Cameron.

In 2005, Cameron launched the Globalisation Institute report 'advocating a greater role for Microfinance in Britain's Department for International Development', perhaps indicating the Conservatives intended international development policy direction should they be elected at the next election.

While they state "Andrew Mitchell, the (then) Shadow Secretary of State for International Development, has described the Institute as increasingly influential".

They also boast of their influence as to how their policies are so well developed that they could transposed into policy.

Stating how,

"Other speakers at our events have included George Osborne MP, the UK's Shadow Chancellor, who praised the Institute’s role in developing and marketing off-the-shelf policy options" [2].

Globalisation Institute and Water

The Globalisation Institute published a paper by Mischa Balen, titled Water For Life The case for private investment and management in developing country water systems. The title does rather allude to the ideological focus of the report.

There are various strands to the report, including a critique of public water utilities 'failure', the efficiency of the private sector, the need for good regulation conducive to companies accumulation strategies - though according to Balen this is not really needed, companies in their pursuit of profit will naturally need to look after customers to protect their profits and regulation is just to re-assure customers, the need for governments to protect private property rights and the need for incentives and 'proper' charging. Another main messages is the criticism of others ideological leanings, for example the World Development Movement and anti-privatisation campaigners in Ghana are criticised for their opposition to privatisation.

Polemic in tone and content Balen appears not to entertain the possibility that his unswerving faith in markets and the private sector, may be ideological in itself. And, that the private sector is not the utopia required in order to solve the crisis of 1.4 billion doing without clean water and 2.5 without sanitation services. He does acknowledge that "Occasionally, problems can crop up in the private sector, but even so it is no reason to suppose that private companies are unable to deal with such events" [3] . But, there is no exploration of what these problems and events are. Or, the litany of Private Sector failures across the world [4] [5]. Or, indeed the reconfiguaration strategies of the water TNC's who recognise that they do not have the reources nor the inclination to provide for all the people in the world without water [6] [7].

People

Its main personnel are:

Objectives

According to Alex Singleton:

'We have two main objectives. The first involves “policy engineering” - the development of practical policy options aimed at the European Commission and other policymakers, backed up by the promotion of those ideas. The second involves making the broader intellectual case for free and competitive markets, and individual freedom. The GI works therefore to promote its agenda both in today’s political debate and also to move the goalposts of tomorrow’s debate.'

On 1 September, 2007, the Globalisation Institute opened a permanent office in Brussels on the basis that 'Many policymakers in Brussels have commented that while they value following the Institute's output on trade and globalisation from afar, they would very much like access to the Institute's thinking and events in Brussels itself. With trade policy decided in Brussels, along with much of the decision-making about how we engage with globalisation in its broadest sense, expanding into Brussels is a logical next step in the development of the Institute.' [8]

Background/history

This website is published by GI Publishing Limited, a non profit distributing company registered in England and Wales.

Registrant name: Alex Singleton Director-General of the Globalisation Institute - Also has connections with DFID (Department for International Development) dfid Last Accessed June 3rd 2007

Futhermore also has a large involvement in the Adam Smith Institute- Adam Smith Institute last Accessed 3 June 2007


References

  1. Globalisation Institute, About the Globalisation Institute, Accessed 16th June 2009, Web Archive
  2. Globalisation Institute How the Institute Started, Accessed 16th June 2009, Wb Archive,
  3. Mischa Balen, (2006)Water For Life The case for private investment and management in developing country water systems (p7-8), Accessed 16th June 2009
  4. See for example Food and Water Watch Reasons Why Water Privatisations Fail, Accessed 16th June 2009
  5. Food and Water Watch World Water, Accessed 16th June 2009
  6. Eric Swyngedou, 'Re-tooling the Washington Consensus: The contradictions of urbanising H2O under neo-liberalism' (2008)
  7. David Hall, 'Water Multinationals - no longer business as usual', (March 2003)
  8. http://www.globalisation.eu/blog/announcements/gi-to-open-brussels-office-on-1-september-200704201087/