Statecraft in the Global Financial Crisis: An Interview with Kanishka Jayasuriya

28 03 2012

by Jeb Sprague

Kanishka Jayasuriya, Professor of Political Science at Murdoch University in Perth, Australia and author of two monographs – Reconstituting the Global Liberal Order: Legitimacy and Regulation (2005) and Statecraft, Welfare and the Politics of Inclusion (2006) – argues that changing forms of governance and new regulative laws are enabling the transnationalization of institutions within national states. He also interprets these changes as giving rise to a new type of institutional struggle unique to globalisation. For social scientists in general and political economists in particular, Jayasuriya’s work provides a useful lens through which to understand intra-state transformation in the global epoch. By rejecting Realist/Weberian conceptions of the state and drawing inspiration instead from materialist state theory, he understands state transformation as a reflection of ongoing processes linked to socio-economic forces that are novel to the historical present. And in the wake of the global financial crisis, he argues, we should not see the state as either disappearing or returning, for it is continuing to transform in ways peculiar to the age of globalism. The real question is for whom states will act in the future. In order to answer this, Jayasuriya suggests that we must look to transformations occurring within the national state, for it is these that are changing statecraft as we know it. READ THE ARTICLE >>

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Transnational State

28 03 2012

by Jeb Sprague

The theory of an emergent transnational state (TNS), as coined by sociologist William I. Robinson (2001), claims that through globalization a nascent political, juridical and regulatory network is coming into existence worldwide. This notion rests upon the idea that a dominant social force, a transnational capitalist class (TCC), propels globalization through transnational corporations (TNCs) (Robinson & Harris 2000). The TCC, to promote and ensure its power, requires a concomitant political project. Such a political project would involve, for example: (i) promoting investor confidence in the global economy, (ii) setting up mechanisms and institutions for responding to economic, political, and military crises that threaten the stability necessary for global markets, and (iii) establishing a degree of macroeconomic policy uniformity across borders. READ THE ARTICLE >>





Response to Cammack’s “Forget the Transnational State”

21 03 2012

By William I. Robinson

ABSTRACT: The theory of global capitalism that I have advanced over the past decade suggests that it is necessary to rethink the spatiality of capital in the new epoch, including the changing relations between transnationalizing capital, national territories, class relations and political authority. The continued existence of the nation-state and the inter-state system appear to be a central condition for the class power of transnational capital and for the reproduction of global capitalism. National state apparatuses, however, are themselves experiencing transformation and integration into emergent supranational institutional networks. The notion of a transnational state is an analytical abstraction that allows us to make sense of evident transnational social and institutional practices that are central to shaping global capitalism and to the exercise of class power by the TCC. READ THE ARTICLE >>

Click here to read this and Paul Cammack’s article in Geopolitics, History, and International Relations.





Beyond the Theory of Imperialism: Global Capitalism and the Transnational State

21 03 2012

By William I. Robinson

Abstract: Theories of a “new imperialism” assume that world capitalism in the 21st century is still made up of “domestic capitals” and that distinct national economies and world political dynamics are driven by US efforts to off set the decline in hegemony amidst heightened inter-imperialist rivalry. These theories ignore empirical evidence on the transnationalization of capital and the increasingly salient role of transnational state apparatuses in imposing capitalist domination beyond the logic of the inter-state system. I argue here that US interventionism is not a departure from capitalist globalization but a response to its crisis. The class relations of global capitalism are now so deeply internalized within every nation-state that the classical image of imperialism as a relation of external domination is outdated. The end of the extensive enlargement of capitalism is the end of the imperialist era of world capitalism. The implacable logic of global accumulation is now largely internal to the complex of fractious political institutions through which ruling groups attempt to manage those relations. We need a theory of capitalist expansion – of the political processes and the institutions through which such expansion takes place, the class relations and spatial dynamics it involves. READ THE ARTICLE >>