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Foreign States in Domestic Markets

Hosted by the European Institute

Online and in-person public event (MAR.2.08 Marshall Building)


John Alty

John Alty

Visiting Professor in Practice at the European Institute

Robert Basedow

Robert Basedow

Assistant Professor at the European Institute LSE

Adrienne Klasa

Adrienne Klasa

Asset Management Reporter at the Financial Times

Mark Thatcher

Mark Thatcher

Visiting Professor at the European Institute LSE

Tim Vlandas

Tim Vlandas

Associate Professor at the University of Oxford


Xinchuchu Gao

Xinchuchu Gao

Fellow at the European Institute

Join us for this event, to launch Mark Thatcher and Tim Vlandas' new book Foreign States in Domestic Markets: Sovereign Wealth Funds and the West. 

Political economy debates have focused on the internationalisation of private capital, but foreign states increasingly enter domestic markets as financial investors. How do policy makers in recipient countries react? Do they treat purchases as a threat and impose restrictions or see them as beneficial and welcome them? What are the wider implications for debates about state capacities to govern domestic economies in the face of internationalisation of financial markets?

In response, Foreign States in Domestic Markets have developed the concept of 'internationalised statism', where governments welcome the use of foreign state investments to govern their domestic economies. These foreign state investments are applied to the most prominent overseas state investors, Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWFs). Many SWFs are from Asia and the Middle East and their number and size have greatly expanded, reaching $9 trillion by 2020. This book examines policies towards non-Western SWFs buying company shares in four countries: the US, UK, France, and Germany. Although the US has imposed significant legal restrictions, the others have pursued internationalised statism in ways that are surprising given both popular and political economy classifications. This book argues that the policy patterns found are related to domestic politics, notably the preferences and capacities of the political executive and legislature, rather than solely economic needs or national security risks. The phenomenon of internationalised statism underlines that overseas state investment provides policy makers in recipient states with new allies and resources. The study of SWFs shows that internationalisation and liberalisation of financial markets offer national policy makers opportunities to govern their domestic economies.

Meet our speakers and chair

John Alty (@JohnAlty1) is a Visiting Professor in Practice at the European Institute. His career has been spent in HM Government working on regulation, markets and business issues, with a strong EU and international dimension.

Robert Basedow (@JRBasedow) is an Assistant Professor for International Political Economy at LSE. He researches and teaches international trade and investment policy. Before joining LSE, he was an international civil servant at the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) in Paris and worked as policy consultant for the European Institutions and German government. 

Adrienne Klasa (@AdrienneKlasa) is the Asset Management Reporter at the Financial Times. She is the world desk's digital editor, focused on creative commissioning, digital innovation and visual journalism. Previously she was a reporter and editor at FT Group publications This is Africa, The Banker and fDi.

Mark Thatcher is visiting professor at the European Institute, LSE and Professor of Politics, Department of Political Science, Luiss University, Rome. His research interests lie in comparative public policy and regulation in Europe. He has worked on the governance of markets, development of national and EU regulatory agencies, policies on network industries, general competition policy, and neo-liberalism.

Tim Vlandas (@timvlandas) is Associate Professor in the Department of Social Policy and Fellow in St Antony’s College, both at the University of Oxford. He holds a PhD in European Political Economy from LSE. His main area of expertise is comparative political economy, with a particular interest in the relationship between electoral politics, public policies and socio-economic outcomes. 

Xinchuchu Gao (@chuchu62943666) is a Fellow in European Political Economy at the European Institute. Her research interests lie at the intersection between European and/or international political economy, European integration and international relations.

More about this event

The LSE European Institute (@LSEEI) is a centre for research and graduate teaching on the processes of integration and fragmentation within Europe. 

You can order the book, Foreign States in Domestic Markets, (UK delivery only) from our official LSE Events independent book shop, Pages of Hackney.

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