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Understanding the chains of global imperialism.


Because global commodity chains look really decentralized - production is global, you get labor from here, materials from there - it's such a complicated network that people then argue that because it's a decentralized network, that power is decentralized. But that's not the case, because oligopolistic multinationals still control these chains. Some people say 'this will provide opportunities for developing countries to catch up,' but no - these chains are constructed deliberatly to maintain control of the multinationals.

Sociologist Intan Suwandi explores the mechanisms of power in the global economy - as multinational corporations expand their reach into the Global South, they maintain control over technology and commodity chains, extracting and transferring value back to to the Global North, unit by unit, worker by worker.

Intan is author of the book Value Chains: The New Economic Imperialism from Monthly Review Press.

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Intan Suwandi

Intan Suwandi is a writer and frequent contributor to Monthly Review magazine.


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