John Urry on social and political dangers of offshoring

John Urry on social and political dangers of offshoringUpdated: Very sad news from Lancaster– John Urry, a brilliant, groundbreaking & influential scholar died on March 18, 2016

The concealment of ‪‎wealth‬ and ‪‎profits‬ in ‪‎Tax Havens‬ has brought the topic of ‪‎offshoring‬ into public debate, but as a distinguished sociologist John Urry (University of Lancaster) shows in this important new book Offshoring, it is a much more pervasive feature of contemporary neoliberal societies. These often secretive activities offshore also involve relations of ‪work‬, ‪finance‬, pleasure, waste, ‪‎energy‬ and ‪security‬. Powerful and pervasive offshore worlds have been generated, posing huge challenges both for governments and for ‪‎citizens‬.
This thought provoking book documents the various patterns of offshoring of the ‪‎economy‬, sociability, ‪‎politics‬ and the environment. In each case, offshoring generates new patterns of power, reduces the responsibilities of the powerful ‘offshore class’, and limits the conditions for democratic governance. Offshore, out of sight, over the horizon are some of the troubling processes and metaphors by which much life has been rendered opaque and dependent upon secrets and lies. By analysing these patterns and processes, Urry sheds fresh light on the hidden worlds of offshoring and exposes the dark side of ‪‎globalization‬.
The book concludes by considering whether offshoring can be reversed, whether it is possible to bring about the systematic ‘reshoring’ of relations that would be good for democracy and for developing low-carbon futures. Urry portrays the coming century as being poised between even more extreme offshoring and various endeavours to bring back ‘home’ that which has currently escaped ‘over the horizon’.

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