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Essay on The Corporate Spreadd by John Madeley

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The Corporate Spread by John Madeley was intended to be a persuasive essay arguing that transnational corporations are secretive, unaccountable and one of the most influential actors in the global political economy (Madeley, 2013, pp. 1,17). While it is certainly possible that the general conclusion of Madeley’s essay is true; a reader of it couldn’t know because his writing lacks evidence and is full of speculation. In fact this is so much the case that it reads more like a wordy opinion piece you would find in the editorials of a newspaper than a reading used for academic instruction.

Initially, the paper starts out fine as the author introduces and defines what a transnational corporation is and provides a bit of background on foreign direct investment. Continuing the discussion on foreign direct investment is where the integrity of the essay begins to fall apart. He proceeds to describe: employment increases in TNC’s, 147 policy changes in host countries and increases in foreign direct investment (Madeley, 2013, p. 2). The problem is that the time period that Madeley is addressing covers twenty-six years and he fails to provide any context to consider this statistic in. There is no discussion about policy changes for national investment in those nations, nor is context provided demonstrating that 147 policy changes is even significant.

The author then moves on to explain to the reader how TNC’s are different from national corporations. Madeley concludes that large TNC’s have “enormous power over the governments of most developing countries, especially smaller countries” (2013, p. 5). The author does provide some supporting arguments to this claim suggesting that TNC’s are subject to preferential treatment over domestic fi...


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...transnational corporations are self-serving, abusive and morally incomprehensible with great yet completely untrue examples such as how the TRIMS agreement means that countries have to overturn economic nationalistic laws, when in fact membership in the WTO and subsequent acceptance of the TRIMS agreement is completely voluntary (Madeley, 2013, p. 11) (World Trade Organization, 2013). In all respects of his writing he has failed to persuade this reader who prefers evidence and comparative analysis to conjecture and moral imposition.



Works Cited


Madeley, J. (2013). The Corporate Spread. In H. Whiteside, & A. Ayers, Global Political Economy : Course Reader (pp. 1-17). Burnaby, BC, Canada: Simon Fraser University.

World Trade Organization. (2013). Accessions. Retrieved 11 03, 2013, from World Trade Organization: http://www.wto.org/english/thewto_e/acc_e/acc_e.htm



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