Global Political Economy's Most Read Articles

Read Global Political Economy's top 5 most downloaded articles published in 2023. All of these articles are open access. 

Global Political Economy’s Most Read Articles

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In the face of a global, mass impairment- and chronic illness-producing event such as the COVID-19 pandemic, the question of how to consider and integrate the politics of disablement within Global Political Economy scholarship and anti-capitalist activism has become ever-more pressing. In this article, I provide a proposal for how to conceptualise the capitalism-specific commonality between people who identify as having impairments, being chronically ill, neurodivergent, D/deaf, experiencing mental distress and who may or may not also identify as disabled people. To this end, in this article I adopt the ‘social model of disability’ and engage with both Moran’s cultural-materialist approach to identity and Autonomist Marxism’s ‘class composition’ thesis. Then, I make the case for the analytic usefulness of the non-identity, relational concept ‘subjects of disablement’ as the technical composition of disability on the basis of which the socio-political identity ‘disabled people’ as the political composition of disability emerges. Acknowledging disablement oppression and exploitation as central and fundamental to the reproduction of capitalist social relations would equip the GPE scholarship embedded within the praxis of dissent and resistance (see Bonfert et al, 2022) to generatively support activist groups’ already-existing efforts and mobilisations against and beyond – what I call – disabling capitalism. The Global Political Economy journal offers the opportunity for the ‘sluice gates’ (Clua-Losada and Moore, 2022: 6) of this interdisciplinary field to be widely opened for, and welcoming of, further explorations of how capitalism cannot be fully understood and ruptured without an analysis of structural disablement.

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Venezuela has historically been one of the world’s largest oil producers and has the largest crude reserves. However, the country has experienced a dramatic political and economic crisis over the past decade that has decimated its oil industry. Venezuela’s production shrunk sharply in the past six years, oil exports have declined and the country is now a marginal producer in global markets. This crisis has taken place amid a process of autocratic political consolidation and the establishment of a predatory political economy. This article focuses on this crisis and interrogates to what extent it can pave the way to a sustainable move away from oil dependence in dialogue with recent debates on sustainable transition processes. Building on the intersections of Global Political Economy and environmental politics, we highlight the importance of interconnecting links across state, society and international actors in viable sustainability transitions, such as proposals for Green New Deal(s) in different national contexts. Our analysis of the Venezuelan case subsequently highlights the absence of these capacities. We argue that contemporary Venezuela underscores the risks and costs of post-oil energy transitions in rentier states. Contemporary Venezuela is thus a cautionary tale for resource-dependent economies that may also undergo post-oil transitions in the future due to shifting global conditions but likewise lack the necessary state capacity to respond and adapt.

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The ‘unevenness’ of European capitalism has been well established by Comparative Political Economy (CPE) as central to the origins of the eurozone crisis. The influential ‘growth models’ perspective has shown how the integration of export-led models in the ‘core’ with demand-led models in the periphery has led to the build-up of destructive current and capital account imbalances. However, CPE approaches are limited by their methodological nationalism, which stands in their way of adequately theorising the international dimensions of the crisis. In contrast, recent scholarship on Uneven and Combined Development (U&CD) and the global financial crash is more suited to overcome methodological nationalism, but existing contributions are let down by their lack of mid-range International Political Economy (IPE) concepts and their limited engagement with CPE. The main contribution of this article is to develop a new account of the origins of the eurozone crisis in Portugal and Ireland, by developing a framework that synthesises recent U&CD scholarship on the eurozone crisis and new developments in CPE, namely, the growth models perspective (GMP). This article shows how the GMP provides U&CD with two key mid-range analytical tools, namely the notion of the ‘dominant growth coalition’ (DGC), and a wider conception of European multiplicity. The DGC concept makes it possible for U&CD analysis to account for peripheral politics, while also recognising the wider multiplicity beyond relations of core-periphery dependency. In turn, U&CD makes it possible for the GMP to take the international more seriously in its analysis of the political economy of capitalist diversity.

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The re-emergence of conflict at the apex of the global political economy between the United States and China makes it imperative to establish analytical connections between geopolitics and national political-economic development trajectories. However, just as realist international relations conceals ‘domestic’ causes of international conflict, most comparative capitalisms (CC) research has systematically underplayed the role of geopolitics and the global political economy as forces structuring and driving national economies. Furthermore, both IR and CC analyses misleadingly treat states as analogous and independent ‘units’, rather than relationally constituted and internally heterogenous political forms whose existence and reproduction requires explanation. As such, CC fails to examine either the geopolitical preconditions for, constitution of, or the geopolitical outcomes of growth models. This article presents an uneven and combined development (U&CD) account of the connections between global order, geopolitical economy and Chinese capitalism, showing how – rather than an alien infiltrator – Chinese state capitalism is both a product, and increasingly a transmitter, of the dynamics of competitive capital accumulation operating in the global political economy. In this way, I contribute to the development of heterodox CC literature by advancing i) a conception of capitalism as a geopolitical-economic system, (ii) an example of how national cases can be treated as dialectically related to and sites for the emergence of the global geopolitical economy, and (iii) a concise application of this method to the case of Sino-US relations.

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This article focuses on the case of Germany to demonstrate how the lens of ‘uneven and combined development’ (U&CD) can help critical scholars of Global Political Economy (GPE) make sense of a worldwide but nationally specific movement towards an augmented role for the state in the regulation of capitalism. The first section finds that the prevailing comparative-institutional literature suffers from a narrow conception of the international environment in which the German political economy is drifting in the direction of its main organisational rival – US-style neoliberalism. By contrast, the second section shows that the alternative lens of U&CD provides a richer picture of the systemic forces experienced by German state actors: they flow from a technologically leading US as well as a leapfrogging China, they increase competition but also present commercial opportunities, and they do not point towards freer markets but rather novel forms of state intervention that are best explored as a creative, if contested, process of ‘re-combination’. The third section details the structural, strategic and institutional reasons for why the German state cannot emulate either the US or China. It concludes that – in lieu of strong support from capital and labour and independent state capacities like the Chinese party apparatus or the US military-industry complex – German attempts to expand the remit of the state follow a substitutive process of ‘bricolage’ that patches together foreign and domestic techniques and a motley of special interests.

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