Multinational Corporations and Foreign Direct Investment: Avoiding Simplicity, Embracing Complexity / Edition 1

Paperback (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $39.49
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 25%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (9) from $39.49   
  • New (3) from $45.95   
  • Used (6) from $39.49   


Foreign direct investment (FDI) and multinational corporations (MNCs)—for better and worse—play a large and growing role in shaping our world. The integrating thesis of this book is the inevitability of heterogeneity in FDI and MNCs and, accordingly, the imperative of disaggregation. Large companies doing business on a global basis increasingly dominate the production and marketing of the world's goods and services. The importance of these companies continues to grow while the debate about their nature and effects remains mired in a long-standing stalemate couched in strong black and white terms. Stephen D. Cohen seeks to reconcile this impasse by analyzing multinational corporations and foreign direct investment in an eclectic, nuanced manner. The core thesis is that an accurate understanding of the nature and impact of these phenomena comes from acknowledging the dominance of heterogeneity, perceptions, and ambiguity and the paucity of universal truths. This approach should contribute significantly to both a better academic understanding and a more productive policy debate of an increasingly important element of the world economy.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Professor Cohen has written a masterly and exceptionally well balanced review of recent scholarly thinking on the role of multinational corporations in our contemporary global economy. I particularly liked his eschewing of any easy generalizations about their merits and demerits; and his recognition that these are likely to vary according to the motives for and types of MNC activity, and to the policies pursued by both national governments and supranational agencies. Altogether this is an eminently readable, yet intellectually satisfying volume. I warmly commend it both to students and teachers of international political economy and international business, and to all those interested in the economic and social challenges of globalization, and one of its chief architects viz. the MNC."—John H.Dunning, University of Reading (UK) and Rutgers University

"Stephen Cohen has produced a very comprehensive, balanced and fair view of the Multinational Corporation and FDI. He presents an intelligent, non-judgmental and honest summary of both sides of some very complex arguments and assumes that readers are intelligent enough to draw their own conclusions. He approaches questions about the MNC and FDI from the vantage points of both theory and practice and is always careful to ground his arguments directly in the appropriate political-economic context. This is a valuable addition to the literature on the multinational firm." —Stephen J. Kobrin, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

"Stephen D. Cohen's Multinational Corporations and Foreign Direct Investment accomplishes exactly what it aims to do—avoid simplicity, and embrace complexity. Carefully nuanced chapters take both beginners and advanced practitioners through the spectrum of controversial issues about the most powerful international companies in the world."—Theodore H. Moran, Marcus Wallenberg Professor of International Business and Finance, Georgetown University

"Stressing the complexity, diversity and heterogeneity of FDI-related issues, this book carries a simple, but most appropriate message: Qualify and disaggregate, don't generalize! Those in the pro and con camps get another chance to check their priors. Those between the frontlines will find sufficient reason to remain where they are. And newcomers in the field will benefit from the balanced account of what we (don't) know about FDI to decide where in the vast middle ground to position themselves."—Peter Nunnenkamp, The Kiel Institute for the World Economy

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195179361
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 2/3/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 9.20 (w) x 6.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephen D. Cohen is a Professor in the School of International Service at American University specializing in international economic relations.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Abbreviations     ix
Introduction     3
A Better Approach to Understanding Foreign Direct Investment and Multinational Corporations     11
Defining the Subject: Subtleties and Ambiguities     27
From Obscurity to International Economic Powerhouse: The Evolution of Multinational Corporations     41
Heterogeneity: The Many Kinds of Foreign Direct Investment and Multinational Corporations and Their Disparate Effects     62
Perceptions and Economic Ideologies     93
The Strategy of Multinationals
Why Companies Invest Overseas     117
Where Multinational Corporations Invest and Don't Invest and Why     148
Impact on the International Order
Effects of Foreign Direct Investment on Less Developed Countries: Vagaries, Variables, Negatives, and Positives     179
Why and How Multinational Corporations Have Altered International Trade     205
Multinational Corporations versus the Nation-State: Has Sovereignty Been Outsourced?     233
The International Regulation of Multinational Corporations: Why There Is No Multilateral Foreign Direct Investment Regime     252
The Case for Foreign Direct Investment and Multinational Corporations     283
The Case against Foreign Direct Investment and Multinational Corporations     308
An AgnosticConclusion: "It Depends"     332
An Agenda for Future Action     355
Index     365
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)