Authoritarian Capitalism in the Age of Globalization
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Authoritarian Capitalism in the Age of Globalization

Peter Bloom

Exploring the rise of authoritarian capitalism, this book offers a fresh perspective on politics and economics in the present age of globalization. It asks the crucial question of whether individuals and nations can break free from the ‘grip’ of authoritarian capitalism in the twenty-first century. Peter Bloom includes a detailed and in-depth analysis of how marketization is promoting political authoritarianism across the world. He tells a story of authoritarian progress – where capitalist prosperity can only be delivered by the coercive rule of ‘self-disciplining’ nations and ‘disciplining’ trans-national institutions – and in which capitalist sovereignty is replacing liberal and social democracy. In doing so, Bloom helps readers rethink the structural as well as discursive role of sovereign power within capitalism, showing the ways the free market relies upon a range of authoritarian political fantasies not just for its growth but its very survival.
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Chapter 5: Developing authoritarian capitalism: the global capitalist fantasy of authoritarian modernization

Peter Bloom


This chapter explores the current narrative of politically authoritarian capitalist development. In particular, it investigates the popular discourses that are being marshaled to justify formal and informal state and international repression in the name of a market based “modernization”? Present is a similar fantasy to that of “market despotism” described in Chapter 4. Drawing on the case studies of Singapore and Mexico, it shows how states increasingly rely on a utopian fantasy of economic and political development, associated with marketization and democratization, respectively, that justifies a monopoly of power and quite oppressive popular rule. They do so, moreover, through publicly trumpeting the unique possibilities and challenges they face as “developing countries” in a globalizing world.

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