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New Left Review 6, November-December 2000


A decade ago, German and Japanese capitalism were widely held superior in economic performance and social cohesion to American or British. Now the stockmarket-based, deregulated US/UK model has the upper hand in market competition. Will it force all other societies to conform to its rules? Ronald Dore doubts it.

RONALD DORE

WILL GLOBAL CAPITALISM BE ANGLO-SAXON CAPITALISM?

With the end of the military and ideological confrontation of the Cold War, people have come to notice that state vs. market is not the only important dimension along which national economic systems differ: it was not central planning that differentiated the capitalist systems of Germany and Japan from those of Britain and America. But from the beginning of the ‘types of capitalism’ debates of the 1990s, there was one implicit question: as open national economies merge into a single world economic system, how far will the global diffusion of the Anglo-Saxon form of capitalism go? Will there still be room for rather different forms of capitalism to survive in countries like Japan and Germany? [1] A revised version of a lecture given at the London School of Economics, May 2000, to mark the publication of the author’s Stockmarket Capitalism, Welfare Capitalism: Japan and Germany versus the Anglo-Saxons, Oxford 2000. Many people in Britain and America who have neither Angles nor Saxons among their ancestors object to the term ‘Anglo-Saxon’; but it has become established in the literature of comparative capitalisms, thanks to the lead initially given by Michel Albert (Capitalisme contre capitalisme, Paris 1991). The similarity of Canadian, Australian and New Zealand patterns to the British and American ones provides some justification for the phrase.

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