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The Challenge of Refurbished State Capitalism: Implications for the Global Political Economic Order

Christopher A. McNally

Abstract


Abstract

Will the global financial crisis of 2008 represent a symbolic juncture in the geo-economics of globalization? There are differing views, with some arguing that the Washington Consensus is dead, while others holding that the fundaments of the neo-liberal global order remain intact. This article engages with this debate by putting three distinct questions analytically prior: First, is there a political economic model that actually stands in contradistinction to the Washington Consensus and the neo-liberal global order? Second, if there is a potential challenge to the neo-liberal order, what exactly is it? And third, if such a challenge exists, what precisely is its nature and logic as it interacts with the neo-liberal global order? This article argues that there is, indeed, a challenger: refurbished forms of state capitalism. However, the nature and logic of the state capitalist challenge to the U.S.-centered neo-liberal system is fundamentally different from the Soviet challenge during the Cold War. Diverse formations of capitalism are co-dependent on the global level in the present era. Refurbished state capitalism is no exception. It represents an “in-system” challenge, since it does not attempt to actively undermine and supplant the neo-liberal order, but rather to gain influence over it. New forms of refurbished state capitalisms are thus simultaneously in symbiosis and in rivalry with the neo-liberal global order.

Keywords: State capitalism, Neo-liberal Order, Washington Consensus, China, Economic Development


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