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Offshore and the Structural Enablement of Sovereignty

  • Ronen Palan

Abstract

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.

Keywords

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.

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Copyright information

© Ronen Palan 1999

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  • Ronen Palan

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