1st Edition

The Uneven Offshore World Mauritius, India, and Africa in the Global Economy

By Justin Robertson, Michael Tyrala Copyright 2022
    196 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    196 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Informed by world-systems analysis, this book examines the shifting  patterns of accommodation and resistance to the offshore world, with a particular focus on Mauritius as a critical but underappreciated offshore node mediating foreign investment into India and Africa. Drawing on a large pool of financial data and elite interviews, the authors present the  first detailed  comparative study of  the Mauritius–India and Mauritius–Africa offshore relationships. These relationships serve  as  indicative test cases of  the contemporary  global  tax  reform agenda and its promise  to rein  in offshore finance. Whereas India’s  economic  power and multilateral  track  record  have enabled it to actively  shape  this  agenda  and implement it in a robust manner, most African countries have found themselves either unable to meet its stringent criteria or unwilling to do so out of fear that it might discourage investment. Its impact on offshore financial centers has likewise been limited. A few of the least sophisticated ones appear to have fallen by the wayside, but the rest have either remained largely unaffected, or, like Mauritius, succeeded in consolidating their operations and surviving the current round of regulatory headwinds. The  findings  suggest  that  the contemporary global tax reform agenda has thus far not only failed to make good on its promise but also actually  reinforced  numerous existing  power  hierarchies. The  Uneven  Offshore World is written in an accessible style and aimed at readers without specialized knowledge of tax issues.

    List of Figures

    List of Tables

    List of Boxes

    List of Abbreviations

    1 Introduction

    Larger debates and research questions

    Argument and significance

    Case selection

    Structure of the book

    2 Analytical framework part one: World-systems analysis, global finance, and regional specialization in the global offshore economy

    World-systems analysis

    The rise of global finance

    Regional hubs in a global world

    3 Analytical framework part two: Growing resistance, new global standards, and the uneven nature of the offshore world

    Accommodation and resistance at multiple levels

    New global standards and the continuing role of national factors

    The multiple hierarchies of the offshore world and consolidated survivor OFCs

    4 A case study of the Mauritius–India offshore relationship

    The origins of Mauritius as an OFC for India

    The Vodafone case

    The historical importance of economic factors

    The historical importance of political factors

    Explaining the reversal of the India–Mauritius policy

    5 A case study of the Mauritius–Africa offshore relationship

    Key historical points

    The role of international factors

    The role of domestic factors

    The politics of contestation

    Re-evaluating India’s offshore change

    6 The significance of the case studies for the political economies of India, Africa, and Mauritius

    The significance of Indian developments

    The significance of African developments

    The significance of Mauritian developments

    The potential of the African market

    The potential of new financial industries

    The potential of new entry points into the Indian market

    Mauritius’s comparative advantages

    Arrested development and OFCs

    7 Conclusion

    Developments that would put into question the findings of the book

    Future research questions




    Justin  Robertson  is  an  associate  professor  in  the  Department  of  Asian and International  Studies at  the  City  University  of  Hong  Kong.  His  most  recent research  explores  the extent  to  which  hedge  funds,  private  equity  funds,  and offshore structures are materializing in emerging markets.

    Michael  Tyrala  is  a  postdoctoral  fellow  at  the  Institute  for  Emerging  Market Studies of  the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. His research focuses on  the historical  and contemporary  trajectories  of  the  global  offshore economy and its evolving impact on the global capitalist system.