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 8: In the global grip of authoritarian capitalism: from liberal democracy to capitalist sovereignty

Peter Bloom


This concluding chapter reflects on how political authoritarianism is emerging as an affective discourse for justifying deepening economic marketization globally. In particular, it points to a reconfigured modernization discourse updated for the new millennium. The traditional assumption that markets will lead to democracy has been transformed into a twenty-first century story of authoritarian progress. Where a fiscally self-disciplining state and disciplining international institutions will use their power to ensure that countries around the world develop and prosper. Required is not democracy, deliberation, debate, experimentation or a re-thinking of core values. Instead all that is needed is for governments and IFIs to rule populations with a firm and “responsible” hand. Witnessed is the rise of authoritarian capitalism in the age of globalization – where capitalist sovereignty is replacing liberal and social democracy.

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