Evidence of a transnational capitalist class-for-itself: the determinants of PAC activity among foreign firms in the Global Fortune 500, 2000–2006

21 09 2013

Department of Sociology, Vanderbilt University

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New Content from Our Contributors

27 06 2012

By William I. Robinson

Global capitalism and 21st century fascism
The global economic crisis and the attack on immigrant rights are bound together in a web of 21st century fascism. Read more >>

Global rebellion: The coming chaos?
Global elites are confused, reactive, and sinking into a quagmire of their own making, says author. Read more >>

Latin America’s left at the crossroads
Leftist governments in Latin America are facing resistance not only from the right, but from their own bases, as well. Read more >>

By Jeb Sprague and Cesar Rodriguez

Dual Crises of Globalization: Arizona and the Gulf of Mexico
From the plumes of corporate crude in the Gulf of Mexico, to the assault on migrants in Arizona, the U.S. appears locked in a continual state of emergency. Read more >>

Towards A Global Ruling Class? Globalization and the Transnational Capitalist Class

28 03 2012

by William I. Robinson and Jerry Harris

A transnational capitalist class (TCC) has emerged as that segment of the world bourgeoisie that represents transnational capital, the owners of the leading worldwide means of production as embodied in the transnational corporations and private financial institutions. The spread of TNCs, the sharp increase in foreign direct investment, the proliferation of mergers and acquisitions across national borders, the rise of a global financial system, and the increased interlocking of positions within the global corporate structure, are some empirical indicators of the transnational integration of capitalists. The TCC manages global rather than national circuits of accumulation. This gives it an objective class existence and identity spatially and politically in the global system above any local territories and polities. The TCC became politicized from the 1970s into the 1990s and has pursued a class project of capitalist globalization institutionalized in an emergent trans- national state apparatus and in a “Third Way” political program. The emergent global capitalist historic bloc is divided over strategic issues of class rule and how to achieve regulatory order in the global economy. Contradictions within the ruling bloc open up new opportunities for emancipatory projects from global labor. READ THE ARTICLE >>

Transnational Capitalist Class in the Global Financial Crisis: A Discussion with Leslie Sklair

28 03 2012

by Jeb Sprague

In an interview, Leslie Sklair, author of The Transnational Capitalist Class (2001) and Professor Emeritus in Sociology at the London School of Economics, discusses his thoughts on today’s global financial crisis, its connections to a globally dominant social class—the transnational capitalist class—as well as his views on the US invasion and occupation of Iraq, and clarifications on his theoretical approach. READ THE ARTICLE >>

Global capitalism and twenty-first century fascism: a US case study

10 03 2012

By William I. Robinson and Mario Barrera

A crisis of humanity

The crisis of global capitalism is unprecedented, given its magnitude, its global reach, the extent of ecological degradation and social deterioration, and the scale of the means of violence. We truly face a crisis of humanity. The stakes have never been higher; our very survival is at risk. We have entered a period of great upheaval, of momentous changes and uncertainties, fraught with dangers, if also opportunities. Facing this crisis calls for an analysis of the capitalist system, which has undergone restructuring and transformation in recent decades. The current moment involves a qualitatively new transnational or global phase of world capitalism that can be traced back to the 1970s and is characterised by the rise of truly transnational capital and a transnational capitalist class (TCC). Transnational capital has been able to break free of the nation state constraints to accumulation of the previous epoch and, with it, to shift the correlation of class and social forces worldwide sharply in its favour and to undercut the strength of popular and working classes around the world in the wake of the global rebellions of the 1960s and 1970s. READ THE ARTICLE >>

Statist Globalization in China, Russia and the Gulf States

3 03 2012

By Jerry Harris

State-owned corporations and financial institutions have gained major influence in the global economy. The influx of capital through cross-border investments, a rapid growth in commodity and energy prices, trade surplus and global production have propelled a dramatic growth in government controlled assets and wealth. This is particularly true in China, Russia and the Arab Gulf states.

The emergence of transnational state capitalism marks a new stage in the development of globalization, one unforeseen by Western globalizing elites. Their vision saw private markets sweeping away statist regimes just as the neoliberal revolution had undermined the Keynesian state in the West. Indeed, global capitalism has come to developing countries and former socialist states, but within the context and character of their own history giving birth to statist globalization and a new breed of transnational capitalists. This competition comes as a shock for many and has sparked protectionist rhetoric. The Transnational Capitalist Class (TCC) (Harris, Robinson, Sklair) of the developing countries are not the obedient junior partners of the previous imperialist era, rather they are emerging as independent players and rebalancing global power.

Although statist globalization has caused debates and divisions, most transnational capitalists are eager for their new partners to join the world economy. As Richard Gnodde, CEO of Goldman Sachs argues, “This emergence of new flows and new actors from new models of capitalism reflects a natural diversity of social and economic practices that is in no way incompatible with the process of globalisation…” (Gnodde, 2007, 11) READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE > >