States and Sovereignty in the Global Economy

States and Sovereignty in the Global Economy

States and Sovereignty in the Global Economy

States and Sovereignty in the Global Economy


Globalization and the role of the state are issues at the forefront of contemporary debates. With editors and contributors of outstanding academic repututation this exciting new book presents an unconventional and radical perspective. Revealing that states do still matter despite the vigour of international capital flows and the omnipresence of the global market, the chapters in this collection controversially highlight that how states matter Depends upon their differing roles in the global economy and geopolitical system.


This volume is, first of all, the product of many years of joint collaboration between the co-editors, beginning with our formation of a study group in early 1987 focused on the formation, historical growth, and range of roles taken on by the contemporary state, as it is and has historically been manifested globally.

When our study group began to consider issues of state formation and the articulation of the state with civil society in 1987, we were reacting to the growth of multinational corporations, which appeared ready to challenge nation-states as the principal actors in the international political economy. Steeped in theories of development, including dependency and world systems analysis, and familiar with positive possibilities in state socialism, we saw states as crucial agents of social reform.

By 1995, when we originally conceived the conference that gave birth to this volume, neoliberalism was asserting hegemony, both in scholarly circles and in the public mind. Then we were told that history, as well as the Cold War, had already ended. We had entered a completely novel historical epoch, it was said, so that one could learn no lessons from the past. Market society, it appeared, had so completely triumphed that state tutelage and guidance were no longer necessary. the private sector alone, many contended, would ensure “efficiency” and maximize returns, which seemed to be all that really mattered.

In the short year and a half since the conference convened in February 1997, world events spiraled off in a totally different direction and with a dizzying speed. a global financial crisis passed from Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia to Russia, Korea, and Brazil. the high priests of laissez-faire became belated converts to some level of statism. Even the World Bank recognized that the market alone cannot guarantee productivity and keep the global economy—or even domestic ones—in a sure equilibrium. the events we have witnessed have reconfirmed our belief in the key role of states in market economies and in the global economy as well.

Over time, we have accumulated many debts. At first, we were joined in our study group by a number of faculty and graduate students across several disciplines in the social sciences and history, whose intellectual friendship inspired our endeavor. These people included Frank Cancian, Angela Crowly, David Easton,

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