Lecture 3 POLS2402 (Nationalist & mercantilist critique of globalization)

Lecture 3 POLS2402 (Nationalist & mercantilist critique of globalization)

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POLITICS MARKETS POLS2402 Lecture 3 (10.8.2011) Nationalism and mercantilism (the case against globalization, the case for non-integration) The key question: Can the state (i.e. politics) defy globalizing trends to control its own economic activity, facilitate economic development, i.e. can the state (politics) intervene to frustrate the effects of global economic forces (autonomous economic forces), if they’re deemed undesirable? This is a form of the ‘original question’ in political economy which has posed the issue (and debated the alternative answers) in the following terms: Is political determination of economic outcomes (state intervention in the economy) legitimate/ possible? MAMARMAKET SRKETS STATE ECONOMY
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There are 3 different political traditions of analysis bearing on this controversy (1) The liberal (anti-interventionist & internationalist) view: economic forces (market forces) offer the best prospects for development and should NOT be impeded by significant political (state) interventions; free trade will lead to optimal outcomes (the best allocation of resources, while preserving liberal freedoms and market incentives etc). It’s the ideology of capitalism; but it’s an (2) The conservative view (statism, interventionism, nationalism, developmentalism, neo- weberianism) is anti-liberal; it disputes the general economic benefits of market modes of adjustment; it doesn’t accept that competition should determine people’s life-chances; it argues that the liberal view is too abstract or rationalist or utopian (not grounded in historical reality) and doesn’t represent actual human behaviour or motives accurately. The polity should not be prohibited from imposing its own (deliberated) criteria onto economic activity, even if these seem anti-rational or inefficient to liberals. (3) The marxist view is also abstract (like liberalism) but not supportive of capitalism; it nonetheless expects capitalist trends – good and bad – to continue (including globally). It also sees the state as essentially supportive of capitalism and private property etc and, for this reason, undemocratic. Marxism is largely indifferent to state policy or state intervention and normally doesn’t propose any policies or institutions to solve economic or developmental problems, since it views the state as irremediably a ‘capitalist state’, perennially shunted away from democratic policies (by the economic and social power of capital). It’s mainly a ‘critique’ of existing state policies & institutions. (Break- away traditions from marxism such as social democracy are typically less pessimistic about the ‘possibilities of politics’.)
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The positive or progressive or civilizing or developmental view of the state springs mainly from the conservative, statist tradition of analysis and harks back to the (pre-Enlightenment) mercantilist tradition.
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Lecture 3 POLS2402 (Nationalist & mercantilist critique of globalization)

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