Economic Transitions to Neoliberalism in Middle-Income Countries: Policy Dilemmas, Crises, Mass Resistance

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Neoliberalism is based on the systematic use of state power to impose, under the veil of ‘non-intervention’, a hegemonic project of recomposition of capitalist rule in most areas of social life. The tensions and displacements embedded within global neoliberalism are nowhere more evident than in the middle-income countries. At the domestic level, the neoliberal transitions have transformed significantly the material basis of social reproduction in these countries. These transformations include, but they are not limited to, shifts in economic and social policy. They also encompass the structure of property, the modality of insertion of the country into the international economy, and the domestic forms of exploitation and social domination. The political counterpart of these processes is the limitation of the domestic political sphere through the insulation of ‘markets’ and investors from social accountability and the imposition of a stronger imperative of labour control, allegedly in order to secure international competitiveness.

These economic and political shifts have reduced the scope for universal welfare provision and led to regressive distributive shifts and higher unemployment and job insecurity in most countries. They have also created an income-concentrating dynamics of accumulation that has proven immune to Keynesian and reformist interventions. This book examines these challenges and dilemmas analytically, and empirically in different national contexts.

This edited collection offers a theoretical critique of neoliberalism and a review of the contrasting experiences of eight middle-income countries (Brazil, China, India, Mexico, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey and Venezuela). The studies included are interdisciplinary, ranging across economics, sociology, anthropology, international relations, political science and related social sciences. The book focuses on a materialist understanding of the workings of neoliberalism as a modality of social and economic reproduction, and its everyday practices of dispossession and exploitation. It will therefore be of particular interest to scholars in industrial policy, neoliberalism and development strategy.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Alfredo Saad Filho is Professor of Political Economy and Head of the Department of Development Studies at SOAS, University of London, UK. Galip L.Yalman is an Assistant Professor of Political Science and Chairman of the European Studies Graduate Programme at the Middle Eastern Technical University, Ankara, Turkey.

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Table of Contents

Introduction Alfredo Saad—Filho and Galip L. Yalman Part 1: Neoliberalism and Globalisation 1. Neoliberalism as Financialisation Ben Fine 2. The Continuing Ecological Dominance of Neoliberalism in the Crisis Bob Jessop 3. Globalisation as a Crisis Form Ergin Yildizoglu 4. Cultural Political Economy of Neoliberalism: The Production and Negotiations of ‘Competitiveness’ as Hegemonic Logic(s) Ngai-Ling Sum 5. Socially Responsible Investment and Neoliberal Discipline in Emerging Markets Susanne Soederberg 6. Global Unions and Global Capitalism: Contest or Accommodation? Seyhan Erdogdu 7. Neoliberalism and the Politics of War: The Case of Iraq Filiz Zabçi Part 2: Country Experiences 8. Neoliberal Transformation in Turkey: State, Class and Discourse Pinar Bedirhanoglu and Galip L. Yalman 9. Neoliberalism, Industrial Restructuring and Labour: Lessons from the Delhi Garment Industry Alessandra Mezzadri 10. The Developmental State and the Neoliberal Transition in South Korea Hae-Yung Song 11. Korean Left Debates on Alternatives to Neoliberalism Seongjin Jeong 12. China and the Quest for Alternatives to Neoliberalism Dic Lo and Yu Zhang 13. Globalisation, Neoliberalism, Labour, with Reference to South Africa Henry Bernstein 14. Social Class and Politics in Brazil: From Cardoso to Lula Armando Boito 15. Is There an Acceptable Future for Workers in Capitalism? The Case of Latin America Alejandro Valle Baeza 16. Progressive Third World Central Banking and the Case of Venezuela Al Campbell and Hasan Cömert 17. Transition to Neoliberalism and Decentralisation Policies in Mexico Aylin Topal

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