1st Edition

The Brandt Commission and the Multinationals Planetary Perspectives

By Bo Stråth Copyright 2023
    406 Pages 25 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Set against the backdrop of dramatic world order transformations across the 1970s and 1980s, this book examines the competing planetary perspectives of the Brandt Commission and the multinationals, arguing that the missed opportunities of these decades created a path for contemporary political and economic crises.

    At the Global South’s request for a New International Economic Order, the Brandt Commission, chaired by Willy Brandt, was appointed in 1977. The commission, with a goal to formulate arguments on how to close the gap between the North and South, developed a planetary perspective grounded in economic redistribution, ecological considerations, and disarmament. The multinationals, at that time, a new kind of business corporation, repressed Brandt’s vision by seeking freedom from political monitoring. This book discusses the ways that global corporations created facts that changed the world and the preconditions of politics. It moves beyond existing research that considers the competition merely a theoretical clash between Keynesianism and neoliberalism.

    Featuring a thorough analysis of the decades’ trends and a new interview with Shridath Ramphal, the Commission’s unofficial vice chair, this is a timely volume for students and researchers of international relations, political science, and contemporary history.

    1. Introduction. The Brandt Commission and the Multinationals: Two Planetary Perspectives and the Great Transformation in the 1970s and 80s  2. Development vs Dependency  3. Distorters of Development: The Multinational Corporations  4. The G77 and the NIEO: The Contours of a New World Order  5. The Great Transformation of the 1970s and 80s  6. A Commission Against World Poverty  7. A Commission for a New World Order  8. Proposal for a New Keynesian World Order but Where Are the Multinationals?  9. Cantún: From Utopia to Apology. The Opening Towards a Neoliberal Global Market Order  10. The Follow-up Commissions for Planetary Policies and the Final Farce  11. The Brandt Commission and the Global Corporations Today  12. Planetary Perspectives: One World to Share. An Interview with Shridath Ramphal


    Bo Stråth is a Professor emeritus. He was Professor of Nordic, European and World History at Helsinki University. He was Professor of Contemporary History at the European University Institute in Florence from 1997 to 2007. He is the author of Europe’s Utopias of Peace: 1815, 1919, 1951 (2015) and co-author of A Brief History of Political Economy (2016) and European Modernity: A Global Approach (2017).