This important survey, first published in 1981, presents some different and often contending perceptions of the problem of surplus capacity as it re-emerged in the world of the 1980s – an economic climate with many parallels to the current era. Susan Strange and Roger Tooze deliberately assembled writers of many different nationalities, professional backgrounds and ideological convictions and asked them to make the case for their version of the problem. Some even doubt if there really is much of a problem at all. Others see it as fundamentally political, or monetary; as inherent in the capitalist system, or as the product of short-sighted pressure groups and perverse politicians. To help readers judge for themselves, there are specialist contributions on surplus capacity as it has shown up in different sectors of the world economy – shipbuilding, textiles, steel, petrochemicals, insurance and banking – and on the responses of different actors in the international system, including the European Community and multinational corporations.