Offshore and the Structural Enablement of Sovereignty

  • Ronen Palan


From a modest beginning in the wholesale financial market specialising in government debt, offshore has expanded rapidly, penetrating and then dominating an ever-growing portion of international economic life. Offshore is normally associated with international finance. Since the early 1970s, however, the emerging offshore financial markets were joined by a plethora of export processing zones (EPZs), the Chinese special economic zones and the free zones in the USA, over 800 in total, providing employment directly to over two and a half million workers worldwide (Johansson, 1994; McMichael, 1996). It is estimated that over one-quarter of the third world’s manufacturing exports originate from one of these zones (Palan and Abbott, 1996). The Internet is providing opportunities for the extension of the principle of ‘offshore’ into areas such as gambling, pornography, telecommunication and on-line merchandising (OECD, 1995; Hussein, 1997; The Economist, 1997b). Soon shoppers will be able to avoid paying local taxes by purchasing goods in ‘offshore’ shops using offshore coupons (The Economist, 1997a). There is even a rudimentary offshore law.


Financial Transaction Private Banking International Banking Export Processing Zone International Political Economy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Allen, R.E. (1994) Financial Crises and Recession in the Global Economy Edward Elgar, London.Google Scholar
  2. Ball, J. (1995) ‘Exporters: Providing the Incentive’, Financial Times, 12 July.Google Scholar
  3. Bank of England Quarterly Bulletin (1964) ‘UK Banks’ External Liabilities and Claims in Foreign Currencies’, June.Google Scholar
  4. Benn, S. and Peters, R.S. (1959) Social Principles and the Democratic State, Allen & Unwin, London.Google Scholar
  5. Bodin, Jean (1986)[1576] Les Six Livres de la république. Fayard, Paris.Google Scholar
  6. Braudel, F. (1979) Civilization and Capitalism: Fifteenth-Eighteenth Century. Harper & Row, New York.Google Scholar
  7. Burn, G. (1997) ‘State, the City and the Origins of the Euromarket’, paper presented at the BISA annual conference, Leeds, 15–17 December.Google Scholar
  8. Cameron, A. (1996) ‘WTO, UNCTAD and the Institutional Discourse of Globalization’ (unpublished).Google Scholar
  9. Cassard, Marcel (1994) ‘The Role of Offshore Centers in International Financial Intermediation’, International Banking IMF Working Paper, WP/94/107. IMF, Washington DC.Google Scholar
  10. Cerny, P.G. (1990) The Changing Architecture of Politics: Structure, Agency, and the Future of the State. Sage Publications, London and Newbury Park, Calif.Google Scholar
  11. Cerny, P.G. (1995) ‘Globalization and the Changing Logic of Collective Action’, International Organizations, vol. 34, no. 2, pp. 592–626.Google Scholar
  12. Chase-Dunn, Christopher (1994) ‘Technology and the Logic of World-Systems’, in Palan, Ronen and Gills, Barry K. (eds), Transcending the State-Global Divide: The Neo-Structuralist Agenda in International Relations. Lynne Rienner, Boulder, Colo.Google Scholar
  13. Dendrinos, D. (1992) The Dynamics of Cities: Ecological Determinism, Dualism and Chaos. Routledge, London.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Diamond, Walter and Diamond, Dorothy (1997) Tax Havens of the World. Matthew Bender Books, New York.Google Scholar
  15. Drache, D. (1993) ‘Assessing the Benefits of Free Trade’, in Grinspun, Ricardo and Cameron, Maxwell A. (eds), The Political Economy of North American Free Trade. Macmillan, Basingstoke.Google Scholar
  16. Fehrenbach, R.R. (1966) The Gnomes of Zurich. Leslie Frewin, LondonGoogle Scholar
  17. Frankel, J.A. (1993) On Exchange rates. MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass.Google Scholar
  18. Fustel de Coulanges, N.D. (1955) The Ancient City: A Study on the Religion, Laws, and Institutions of Greece and Rome. Doubleday Anchor Books, New York.Google Scholar
  19. Gill, S. (1992) ‘Economic Globalization and the Internationalization of Authority: Limits and Contradictions’, Geoforum, vol. 23, no. 3.Google Scholar
  20. Ginsburg, A.S. (1991) Tax Havens. New York Institute of Finance, New York.Google Scholar
  21. Grant, A.T.K. (1967) The Machinery of Finance and the Management of Sterling. Macmillan, London.Google Scholar
  22. Hampton, M. (1996) The Offshore Interface: Tax Havens in the Global Economy. Macmillan, Basingstoke.Google Scholar
  23. Hanzawa, M. (1991) ‘The Tokyo Offshore Market’, in Japan’s Financial Markets. Foundation for Advanced Information and Research (FAIR), Japan.Google Scholar
  24. Harrington, R. (1992) ‘Financial Innovation and International Banking’, in Cavana, Henry (ed.), Financial Innovation. Routledge, London.Google Scholar
  25. Helleiner, E, (1994) The Re-emergence of Global Finance: From Bretton Woods to the 1990s. Cornell University Press: Ithaca.Google Scholar
  26. Hewson, J.R. (1982) ‘Offshore Banking in Australia: Consultant’s Report’, in Australian Financial System Inquiry: Commissioned Studies and Selected Studies. Part 2. Macroeconomic Policy, External Policy. Australian Government Publishing Services, Canberra.Google Scholar
  27. Higonnet, R.P. (1985) ‘Eurobanks, Eurodollars and International Debt’, in Savona, Paolo and Sutija, George (eds), Eurodollars and International Banking. Macmillan, Basingstoke.Google Scholar
  28. Hines, J.R. and Rice, E.M. (1994) ‘Fiscal Paradise: Foreign Tax Havens and American Business’, Quarterly Journal of Economics, vol. 109, no. 1, pp. 149–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Hintze, O. (1968) ‘The State in Historical Perspective’, in Bendix, Reinhard (ed.), State and Society: A Reader in Comparative Political Sociology. Little, Brown, Boston.Google Scholar
  30. Hirsch, J. (1995) ‘Nation-State, International Regulation and the Question of Democracy’, in Review of International Political Economy, vol. 2, no. 2, pp. 267–284.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Hussein, B. (1997) ‘Sex on the Line’, Pacific Islands Monthly, May, pp. 38–9.Google Scholar
  32. Jackson, R.H. and James, A. (eds) (1994) States in a Changing World. Oxford University Press, Oxford.Google Scholar
  33. Jessop, B. (1993) ‘Towards a Schumpeterian Workfare State? Preliminary Remarks on Post-Fordist Political Economy’, Studies in Political Economy, vol. 40 (Spring), pp. 7–39.Google Scholar
  34. Johansson, H. (1994) ‘The Economics of Export Processing Zones Revisited’, Development Policy Review, vol. 12, no. 4, pp. 387–402.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Johns, R.A. (1983) Tax Havens and Offshore Finance: A Study of Transnational Economic Development. St Martin’s Press, New York.Google Scholar
  36. Johns, R.A. and Le Marchant, C.M. (1993) Finance Centres: British Isle Offshore Development Since 1979. Pinter, London and New York.Google Scholar
  37. Kane, D.R. (1983) The Eurodollar Market, and the Years of Crisis. Helm, London and Canberra.Google Scholar
  38. Kapstein, E.B. (1994) Governing the Global Economy: International Finance and the State. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass.Google Scholar
  39. Krasner, S. (1994) ‘International Political Economy: Abiding Discord’, Review of International Political Economy, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 13–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Lipietz, A. (1994) ‘The National and the Regional: Their Autonomy vis-à-vis the Global Capitalist Crisis’, in Palan, R. and Gills, B.K. (eds), Transcending the State-Global Divide: The Neo-Structuralist Agenda in International Relations Lynne Rienner, Boulder, Colo.Google Scholar
  41. McMichael, P. (1996) Development and Social Change: A Global Perspective. Pine Forge, Thousand Oaks, California.Google Scholar
  42. Mann, M. (1994) The Sources of Social Power, Vol. II: The Rise of Classes and Nation-states, 1760–1914. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  43. Naylor, R.T. (1987) Hot Money and the Politics of Debt. Unwin Hyman, London.Google Scholar
  44. OECD (1995) The Changing Role of Telecommunications in the Economy: Globalisation and its Impact on National Telecommunication Policy. OECD, Paris.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Ohmae, K. (1990) The Borderless World: Power and Strategy in the Interlinked Economy. Collins, London.Google Scholar
  46. Oppenheimer, P.M. (1985) ‘Comment on Aliber, Robert Z. Eurodollars: An Economic Analysis’, in Savona, P. and Sutija, G. (eds), Eurodollars and International Banking. Macmillan, Basingstoke.Google Scholar
  47. Palan, R. (1994) ‘The Politics of Tax Havens and the Market for Sovereignty’, paper presented at the International Studies Association annual conference, Washington DC, April.Google Scholar
  48. Palan, R.P. (1998a) ‘Having Your Cake While Eating it: How and Why the State System has Created Offshore’, International Studies Quarterly, September, pp. 625–643.Google Scholar
  49. Palan, R.P. (1998b) ‘The Emergence of an Offshore Economy’, Futures: Journal of Forecasting, Planning and Policy, vol. 30, no. 1, pp. 63–73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Palan, R. and Abbott, J. (1996) State Strategies in the Global Political Economy. Pinter, London.Google Scholar
  51. Park, Y.S. (1982) ‘The Economics of Offshore Financial Centers’, Columbia Journal of World Business, vol. XVII, no. 4, pp. 31–5.Google Scholar
  52. Poulantzas, N. (1973) Political Power and Social Classes. London: Verso.Google Scholar
  53. Prescott, J.R.V. (1975) The Political Geography of the Oceans. John Wiley, New York.Google Scholar
  54. Ranke, L. (1840) The Ecclesiastical and Political History of the Popes in Rome during the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries, 3 vols. John Murray, London.Google Scholar
  55. Roberts, S. (1994) ‘Fictitious Capital, Fictitious Spaces: The Geography of Offshore Financial Flows’, in Corbridge, S., Martin, R. and Thrift, N. (eds), Money Power and Space. Blackwell, Oxford.Google Scholar
  56. Rose, H. (1995) ‘Euromarkets: Their Uses’, Financial Times, 24 November.Google Scholar
  57. Sassen, S. (1991) The Global City: New York, London, Tokyo. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ.Google Scholar
  58. Schenk, CR. (1988) ‘The Origins of the Eurodollar Market in London: 1955–63,’ (unpublished).Google Scholar
  59. Sengupta, J. (1988) ‘Internationalization of Banking and the Relationship between Foreign and Domestic Banking in the Development Countries’, International Journal of Development Banking, vol. 6, no. 1.Google Scholar
  60. Slemrod, J. (1994) ‘Free Trade Taxation and Protectionist Taxation’, NBER Working Paper, 4902, pp. 1–30.Google Scholar
  61. Smith, A. (1976) The Money Game. Vintage Books, New York.Google Scholar
  62. Stewart, J. (1996) ‘Cleaning up Offshore’, Euromoney, April.Google Scholar
  63. Strange, S. (1986) Casino Capitalism. Basil Blackwell, Oxford.Google Scholar
  64. Strange, S. (1987) ‘The Persistent Myth of “Lost” Hegemony’, International Organization, vol. 41, pp. 551–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Terrell H.S. and Mills, R.H. Jr (1985) ‘International Banking Facilities and the Eurodollar Market’, in Savona, P. and Sutija, G. (eds), Eurodollars and International Banking. Macmillan, Basingstoke.Google Scholar
  66. The Economist (1997b) ‘Cybersex: An Adult Affair’, 4 January.Google Scholar
  67. The Economist (1997a) ‘The Taps Runs Dry’, 31 May.Google Scholar
  68. Veblen, T. (1994)[1889] The Theory of the Leisure Class. Dover, Ontario and London.Google Scholar
  69. Wolfe, A. (1977) Limits of Legitimacy: Political Contradictions of Contemporary Capitalism. Free Press, New York.Google Scholar
  70. Woodall, P. (1995) ‘Special Report on the World Economy (3): Capital Conundrum’, The Economist, 7 October.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Ronen Palan 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ronen Palan

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations