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International Economy and Imperialism

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

review of international political economy

I’ve been reading these two article from the journal Review of International Political Economy and thought I’d share them with you.

Duménil, Gérard and Dominique Lévy.  “The economics of US imperialism at the turn of the 21st century.”  Review of International Political Economy 11, no. 4 (Oct. 2004): 657-676.

At the turn of the 21st century, US imperialism appears very strong. The paper focuses on economic mechanisms. Both direct investment abroad and portfolio investment contribute extensively to the remuneration of capital in the United States, under the form of interest, dividends and profits of transna- tional corporations retained abroad. The rates of return on these investments are high, in particular when compared to the returns of foreigners when they invest in the United States. The major contradiction results from the growing external trade imbalance. The outflow of dollars to the rest of the world is invested back in the country by foreigners. Their stock of assets on the United States is now the double of the stock of assets of this country on the rest of the world; the flow of income paid to foreigners is equal to that received from the rest of the world. These deficits are due to the tremendous wave of consumption by the richest fraction of the population, which followed the restoration of the income and wealth of these classes in neoliberalism. This path is unsustainable in the long run. A new phase is, therefore, on the agenda: a new configuration of neoliberalism or beyond neoliberalism? (Source, pdf format)

Golub, Philip S.  “Imperial Politics, Imperial Will and the Crisis of US Hegemony.”  Review of International Political Economy 11, no. 4 (Oct. 2004): 763-786.

Under George W. Bush, the United States has chosen to revolutionize world affairs by abandoning successful forms of hegemonic governance, based on the institutionalization of collective economic and security regimes, in favor of militarism, or the pursuit of global domination through force. Starting from a critique of structuralist approaches, this paper examines the ideational transformation of the American right and situates it within the context of the US’s emergence in 1991 as a unipolar strategic actor and as the core state in the newly globalized capitalist political economy. While these synchronous transformations considerably augmented America’s autonomy, giving the US the opportunity to reconfigure the world system to its advantage, one must distinguish between the current imperial expansionism of the revived and expanded US national security state and earlier forms of US hegemonic rule. The aim: to account for a fundamental shift of the way in which the US has governed the capitalist world system since 1945. (Source, pdf format)

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