Multinational Corporations: Too Much, Too Little, or Just Enough?

Arguably one of the most debated topics in the world of multinational corporations, how do MNCs affect the existence and effectiveness of states? Many scholars throughout the course of political science often find themselves scattered in terms of their alignment with regards to this debate. While Liberals would state that MNCs are in fact strictly beneficial, offering jobs, catalyzing sustainable economic development, and helping the process of globalization along, Marxists and Realists would state otherwise. Marxists believing that while these multinational corporations may in fact be beneficial, there is an extent to which the benefit can be widely accepted; give MNCs too much freedom and power and Marxists would begin to see the owners/managers of these MNCs as a transnational class of elites that practically rule the world through fiscal methods. Realists on another front would state the plain negatives, claiming that these MNCs are undermining the absolute power of state sovereignty.

I wouldn’t be able to argue for which one of these schools of thought is right or wrong, but in terms of which school of thought expresses a fairly balanced perspective in terms of this debate, I’d have to hand it to the Marxists. I’ve always felt that liberal thinking on this matter, while positive and optimistic of the world we live in, sees too much of it through rose-tinted glasses, too much MNC involvement in a state can lead to economic dependencies as seen in Brazil during the 2002 re-elections. Some realists are a little bit too radical for me in terms of state-oriented thinking… Yes, I believe that state sovereignty is most definitely a structure that must be upheld and enforced on a global scale, but it is undeniable that the operation of MNCs does promote the idea of international cohesion and communication. The fact that humanity has gone over 70 years without a world war is not a coincidence, in fact, I’d assert that the fact that humanity has not plunged into a global-scale conflict most definitely has to do with the surge in development of international relations and MNCs do play a major role in that.

To conclude my thoughts regarding this debate of state power vs. MNC power, I’d like to reinstate the fact that while MNCs can bring job opportunities, technology, educational aspects, and most importantly, economic benefit to a host country, their level of involvement in host states must be considered by governments. Too much of a good thing can sometimes lead a vicious cycle of economic dependency in certain regions of the world, world leaders must take into account the premise that money can exit just as fast as it enters an economy.



Younge, Gary. “Who’s in Control – Nation States or Global Corporations? | Gary Younge.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 2 June 2014,

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