Foreign States in Domestic Markets: Sovereign Wealth Funds and the West
By Mark Thatcher and Tim Vlandas
Oxford University Press, 2022, 192 pp.
Rising economic interdependence within a neoliberal global economy is often believed to be undermining the power of sovereign states. These authors respond that, in fact, states are in many respects more active than ever. Over the past 20 years, for example, massive state-run sovereign wealth funds based in Asia and the Middle East have, often acting at the direction of their governments, purchased or invested in many leading financial, retail, sports, media, industry, and technology companies in the United States and Europe. One might have expected a hostile reaction to efforts by figures from nondemocratic countries such as China, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates to buy into Western economies. Yet most in the West have welcomed such state investment. The only major country to enact laws discriminating against these foreign entities, thereby limiting their presence, is the United States. Despite their patina of political science jargon, the four case studies in this book offer basic data and succinct analysis of recent policies on this issue—which is sure to loom large as Western democracies ponder how to respond to the rising geoeconomic power of their global competitors.