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Transformations of STate cApitalism in a poSt coronavIruS world

Project description

Responding to ‘predatory’ investors exploiting the pandemic

Industrial and financial systems worldwide were impacted by lockdown measures imposed to contain spread of the coronavirus. Regional value chains, business competition and the world of work also changed dramatically. In this context, the EU-funded STASIS project will focus on the repositioning of European Member States with respect to investment from state enterprises, state-owned banks and state-sponsored investment funds, or what is widely referred to as state capitalist investment. There is concern that firms impacted by the pandemic might be targets of ‘predatory’ state-sponsored investors from beyond Europe. Grounded in geographical political economy, STASIS will use mixed methods of interviews with stakeholders and in-depth reviews of policy documents and case studies.

Objective

States are currently designing new strategies and modalities of intervention in order to adapt to the lasting impacts that the covid-19 Great Lockdown will have on industrial structures, financial systems, global and regional value chains, the nature of business competition, and the world of work. While the forms of reassertion of state authority are likely to be extremely diverse, STASIS focuses in particular on the repositioning of European states with respect to investment from state enterprises, state-owned banks, and state-sponsored investment funds, or what commentators increasingly refer to as ‘state capitalist’ investment. There are concerns that firms impacted by covid-19 may be targeted by 'predatory' state-sponsored investors from beyond Europe, as the crisis is being seized as a strategic opportunity to acquire underpriced assets. STASIS offers an original study of how European states are seeking to regulate state capitalist investment from abroad, in light of the tension between attracting foreign capital and retaining control of critical firms and assets, and as parts of broader attempts to construct new regimes of competition, profitability and growth. It proposes to advance scholarly understandings of the political economy of these investments and regulations, by scrutinising the actors, processes, and multiple forms of contestation they involve within and across economic sectors and European states. It uses mixed methods involving 60 semi-structured interviews with key stakeholders, a close reading of policy documents and public reports, and economic analysis, in order to explore empirically-grounded case studies (a comparison of the regulations implemented by Germany and France, and a comparison of 2 economic sectors: Health & Biotech; Artificial Intelligence & Robotics). The study, grounded in geographical political economy, brings together recent literature on state capitalism, economic geographies of crisis transition, and labour mobilisations.

Coordinator

UPPSALA UNIVERSITET
Net EU contribution
€ 191 852,16
Address
VON KRAEMERS ALLE 4
751 05 Uppsala
Sweden

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Region
Östra Sverige Östra Mellansverige Uppsala län
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Links
Total cost
€ 191 852,16