Paths not Taken
Joel Andreas on Isabella Weber, How China Escaped Shock Therapy. Reconstruction of the tight contest between ‘big-bang’ and ‘dual-track’ market reformers in Deng’s PRC, weighing generational experience, Western proselytising and the classical Chinese tradition.
In the US, amid soaring unemployment, loss of health insurance and rising poverty, a $4 trillion hand-out to capital, with Biden’s party and Trump’s shoulder to shoulder. Robert Brenner analyses the Covid-19 bailout in the broader context of a faltering productive economy and growing elite predation.
The first major economy to pass through the sequence of financial implosion and electoral upset, Japan is also ahead of the West in stabilizing its political order. But is the stasis of the elite mirrored in the society it sits atop? Renewed deflation and the dwindling of the seishain as backdrop to Abe’s third term.
A periodization of European social policy, from attempts to manage the militant labour upsurge of the late 1960s to a supra-national lever for neoliberal restructuring, by way of Maastricht’s Social Protocol. The upshot: a deleterious relocation of social-policy battles from the terrain of welfare-state building to the fields of fiscal policy and immigration.
A survey of the ‘green strategy’ debate in recent numbers of NLR unravels the threads of twin disagreements about GDP growth, which appears, by turns, a political-economic necessity and an ecological death-sentence. Steady-state, half-earthing, degrowth, green new deal? All have questions to answer.
Degrowth: A Defence
Counterblast to Robert Pollin’s programme in NLR 112 for a green-growth new deal, arguing that a radical reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions requires a smaller global economy. Proposals for a drastic overhaul of production, construction, transportation and agricultural practices.
De-Growth vs a Green New Deal
Can degrowth supply a political economy that meets environmental and egalitarian aims? In a powerful contribution to the debate initiated by Herman Daly and Benjamin Kunkel (NLR 109), Robert Pollin argues that a green-growth model offers a more viable alternative.
Another Turn Of The Screw?
Beneath the roiling surface of the Euro-crisis, a further chapter of the EU integration project is underway. Susan Watkins on the institutional machinery Berlin is imposing across the Union, and the political stakes—and hypocrisies—laid bare by the struggle.
The European Vortex
Global economic turmoil has exposed the structural flaws in the single currency. Amid deepening divergences between industrial north and debt-laden south, Michel Aglietta assesses the Eurozone’s chances of recovery, and the impact of its continued travails on the world economy.
Atlantic economies remain mired in unemployment and stagnation three years on from 2008. Diagnosing the underlying causes of the crisis as global over-capacity, deficient demand and anarchic credit creation, Robin Blackburn explores proposals for a genuine exit from it to the left.
The Political Economy of Unhappiness
As the bill for mental health problems—iconically, depression—climbs, economists seek to quantify the efficiency costs of unhappiness. In such quests, capitalism is reverting to classical psychologies of well-being, the better to neutralize the meaning of the new forms of illness—and its authorship of them.
Ireland on the turn?
In a landmark study, Daniel Finn surveys the political and economic consequences of the 2008 crash, on both sides of the Irish border. Looming austerity and entrenched sectarian divides in the North; with the demise of the Celtic Tiger in the South, the unravelling of Fianna Fáil’s long dominance and emergence of a new-model Sinn Fein as the one all-Ireland party
Lessons from Iceland
The extraordinary rise and fall of Iceland’s ﬁnancial-casino economy. Wade and Sigurgeirsdóttir describe the island’s neoliberal turn under a quasi-feudal elite turned banking oligopoly, and its prospects amidst the triple crisis—currency, banking, sovereign debt—now bestriding it.
Value Theory and the Chinese Worker
In answer, Blackburn explores the paradoxes of fictitious capital, underwritten by super-exploitation of China’s producers. A public-utility credit system, democratic forms of nationalization and mechanisms to socialize investment as steps towards financial dual power.
Asset-Stripping the State
Within the global wave of privatizations, those enacted in Latin America stand out for their breathtaking speed and scale. Medeiros contends that the principal motivation was not economic but political, driven by new capitalist coalitions emerging from the 1980s debt crisis.
Crisis in the Heartland
Against mainstream accounts, Peter Gowan argues that the origins of the global financial crisis lie in the dynamics of the New Wall Street System that has emerged since the 1980s. Contours of the Atlantic model, and implications—geopolitical, ideological, economic—of its blow-out.
Financial Regime Change?
As stock markets plunge and governments scramble to bail out the finance sector, Robert Wade argues that we are exiting the neoliberal paradigm that has held sway since the 1980s. Causes and repercussions of the crisis, and errors of the model that brought it to fruition.
The New East Asia
The emergence of a new regional order from the ashes of the Asian Financial Crisis. As the PRC’s economic expansion takes it further afield in search of markets and raw materials, how have China’s neighbours responded to the Middle Kingdom’s return to the global stage?
How a militarized alliance of state-subsidized software firms, real-estate developers and captive Orthodox labour is forging the path of the Separation Wall in the Occupied Territories. Call for a cyber community boycott to support Palestinian farmers and Israeli oppositionists in their fight against it.
Capital and Social Europe
What positive programme can the Left propose for a ‘social Europe’, against the Anglo-Saxon model? Robin Blackburn outlines first steps towards a new financial regime aimed at boosting resources for sustainable health and retirement provision, with a share levy on corporations, redistributed across the continent.
Neoliberal Income Trends
A dramatic shift in the distribution of property and income to the very richest layers of US society has been a notorious trend of the past quarter-century, reaching dizzying peaks in the Clinton years. But these Himalayan heights of wealth and power are now surrounded by lower ridges of enrichment, with the formation of a new upper salariat stabilizing the post-Keynesian social order.
Breaking the Iron Triangle
How close is what was once the strongest—now the weakest—link in the chain of world capital to snapping? Gavan McCormack looks at the mortmain of Japan’s construction state, and the extent of its devastation of the country’s physical environment and public finances alike.
Mexico: Permuting Power
Mexico’s new Foreign Minister discusses his country’s prospects under Fox, and explains the thinking behind the ‘Buenos Aires Consensus’ programme for Latin America which will face its first major test there. What is in store for the country after eight decades of PRI rule?
The Boom and the Bubble
In the last four years, the US economy has posted its best performance since the sixties. What is the connexion between the formidable boom in the real economy and the historically unprecedented bubble on the stock market? Could the inflation of asset values far beyond the rise in corporate earnings be preparing a Japanese-style nemesis?
Anatomy of Clintonomics
The performance of the American economy is widely hailed as stellar, and the policies of the US President as financially prudent and socially progressive. Robert Pollin dismantles Clinton’s record as steward and reformer. Stock bubble and poverty sump as ‘residuals’ of the New Economy?
Creative Destruction: Capitalist Development and China’s Environment
“The ‘Rise of China’ has been hailed as the most important trend in the world for the next century, and with good reason. While Russia and much of Eastern Europe sink into depression, Deng Xiaoping’s market reforms have turned China into the fastest growing large economy in the . . .” read more
Building Societies: Stakeholding in Practice and Under Threat
“In the beginning, building societies were invented by ordinary workers as democratic self-help organizations. The industrial revolution of the late eighteenth century brought a flood of workers into the cities—most of these to live in appalling conditions and at the mercy of their landlord and employer. The idea . . .” read more
Current Successes and Future Challenges in China’s Economic Reforms
“China’s programme of economic reform has met with remarkable success. The average annual growth rate since 1979 has been 8.8 per cent, placing China in a select group of developing countries which have achieved sustained industrial growth for over a decade. Indeed, China doubled output per person in . . .” read more