This term emerged as the reciprocal of the notion of orientalism, and sug-

gests a distorted, stereotyped image of Western society, which could be

articulated or implicit, held by people inside and outside the West. Behind

these renderings, which are shaped by political relationships within the

societies in which they exist, is an assumption about how people define

themselves and others. One’s own social unit and the other’s are identified

as contrasting elements that are taken to express essences or crucial distin-

guishing features, such that the resulting characterizations are inevitably

negations of each other. (See also Colonialism; and Identity.)

The spread of global relations has brought some notable shifts in the ways

that capital is accumulated, and the key examples cited for this are offshore

arrangements and transborder corporate alliances. By moving into the

realm of the supraterritorial, or into the cyberspace of electronic finance,

capital is readily able to escape obligations for taxes or other conditions

associated with a particular state jurisdiction, and locate anywhere in the

world that offers a better deal. The attraction of offshore centres is that they

tend to offer minimal rates of corporate, personal, capital gains, with-

holding or any other taxes, while at the same time luring capital in with

limited regulation and statutory guarantees of confidentiality. States have

created offshore zones for both global production processes (see Export

Processing Zones) and global financial activities.