Within this bloc, Brazil and India have emerged as important players in the world economy. They are major destinations for foreign investors and have become leading exporters of sophisticated goods and services. This paper analyzes the recent development trajectory of these two important constituents of the BRICS alliance. At the surface there are striking similarities between the development strategies of Brazil and India. Both have embraced markets, but far from limiting their government much of their economic success is attributable to active state intervention.
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On the external front though trade barriers have been torn down, policy makers in both countries have not shied away from employing selective protection and regulation for strategic purposes Ban and Blyth, ; McCartney, But underlying these similarities there are far reaching contrasts. Though growth rates have been moderate the economy has been able to generate employment, high wages and has been successful in reducing poverty and inequality. The strategy has delivered unprecedented growth rates- making India one of the fastest growing economies in the world- but this impressive performance has come at a large human cost, as poverty and deprivation have remained abysmally high and have probably even worsened over the neoliberal period.
At the very outset it needs to be mentioned that the two economies under analysis have had contrasting developmental experiences. Brazil is not only richer than India in per capita GDP terms, but is also far more urbanized. With these caveat in mind one, this paper seeks to understand the dynamics of economic change in the two economies during the neoliberal period and attempts to draw out the institutional and political factors that have influenced these approaches.
The rest of the paper is arranged as follows: second and third sections describe the experiences of the two economies under neoliberalism. Fourth section builds on the previous sections and provides some insights into why the two regions followed very distinct development paths. The final section provides a brief conclusion of the main arguments.
By the s- less than two decades after embarking on an ambitious project of economic development- the Indian economy was in the midst of a crisis. Economic stagnation had reached such proportions that according to an estimate by Isher Ahluwalia productivity in the industrial sector actually decelerated at a rate of Faced with severe economic constraints Indian policy makers opted for a radical shift in the economic sphere. Internally, licensing requirements in major industries like cement, telecommunications and automobiles were eased. Planning-era monopoly regulations were weakened and corporate taxes were slashed Maiorano, On the external front, the rupee was devalued, tariff rates were reduced, import controls were dismantled and many sectors of the economy were opened up to foreign investments.
The most crucial aspect of these changes was the gradual and sequential nature of reforms Ahluwalia, ; Williamson and Zagha, Radical changes in labour laws, capital accounts or external liberalization were avoided in favour of a more cautious approach.
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The maneuverability and flexibility enjoyed by Indian policy makers was aided by the fact that in the run up to the reform process the economy was largely free of the kind of crippling crisis that many Latin American nations faced. The implications of these features are important and will be taken up in greater detail in the forth section.
It ought to be noted that none of these changes diminished the role of the state. Rather what occurred was a significant shift in the nature of state intervention Kohli, a , b ; Patnaik, ; Corbridge and Harriss, To understand this shift we may note certain features of the Nehruvian development regime. The post-colonial state was a product of two contradictory features.
On the one hand the political clout of rural and industrial oligarchs ensured that state activism remained within strict limits when it came to issues like land reforms or large-scale income redistribution. On the other hand whatever the failings of the post-colonial state it was undoubtedly wedded to the idea of social and economic justice. What gave the state this egalitarian ideological bent was its specific historical legacy- It was the product of a democratic anti-colonial struggle; a struggle which had united Indians by promising freedom not just from imperial rule but freedom from servitude of all kinds Sarkar, , ; Guha, ; Patnaik, Therefore even though the post-colonial state may have been elitist, its historical legacy had also imparted an egalitarian streak to its functioning and ideologies.
Patnaik, p. As an economic project, two tendencies of this model may be noted. First, as Table 1 indicates, the economy has experienced substantial economic stability. The same table also shows that after , growth rates have skyrocketed. Industries and services have performed very well, growing at an average rate of 7. A comparison of Tables 1 and 2 reveals the robustness of debt figures for India. Source: World Development Indicators Online a: data from to b: data from to Second, the new economic model has been successful in promoting high levels of growth but its actual impact on employment has been limited.
There seems to be a broad agreement amongst students of the Indian economy that growth has been jobless Bhaduri, ; Chandrasekhar and Ghosh, Joblessness is reflected in the declining employment elasticity which have fallen precipitously from 0. Figure 1 shows how employment population rates fare in the two countries. This capital intensive nature of structural change, while growth inducing, has been unsuccessful in absorbing the large pool of unskilled labour that exists in the countryside. Source: World Development Indicators Online.
The cumulative result of the Indian pattern of development has been a relatively poor performance on the social front. Real wage growth which had touched 4. But this squeeze on the purchasing power of poorer households has forced many into more precarious occupations as informality has increased. Though recent estimates suggest improvements in child malnutrition rates, 30 percent of children are still considered to be underweight IFPRI, In rural areas the distress has reached epidemic proportions as indicated by a spate of farmer suicides. Crushed by debt and poverty over , farmers have committed suicide during alone.
For eminent journalist, P. As far as actual poverty trends are concerned, there is considerable controversy. There is a broad agreement that official poverty lines in India are too low U. Patnaik, , ; Ray, ; ADB, For example, using a poverty line of 1.
As far as changes in poverty are concerned, opinions are divided. Favorable estimates suggest that poverty, however high, has nonetheless declined over the post-liberalization era Ravallion, ; ADB, In contrast, calorie based estimates suggest that poverty has actually increased drastically U. Patnaik, , ; Ray, It is important to stress that the description thus far has been a caricature of a very complex and non-linear process. In fact, in a coalition-government consisting of political parties with a heavy pro-labour tilt came to power and initiated several key policies.
The program was celebrated for its extensive scale and reach. Policymakers and politicians were applauded by foreign and domestic observers. However, with the benefit of hindsight one can safely say that this short phase ended up only as a minor inflection point in an otherwise continuous consolidation of the pro-capital project.
After initial bluster and excitement, successive governments have made concerted efforts towards weakening the program. The deprivations faced by the Indian working class are not innocent side effects of the pro-capital developmental approach; rather, inequality and poverty seem to have become crucial drivers of the Indian growth miracle.
These trends portend a dismal future for the most vulnerable sections of the Indian society. From this perspective, there is an immediate need to re-conceptualize social priorities and question the hegemony of elitist economic policies. Here the progress made by other societies can provide important lessons.
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The following section highlights how Brazil has been able to combine economic growth with the goals of social and economic justice. This inclusive growth has lifted millions out of hunger and has led to impressive improvements in human welfare. Brazilian neoliberalism has to be analyzed in the context of the military dictatorship which lasted from to When the authoritarian regime acquired power in the middle of the s, Brazil was in the midst of a political and economic crisis.
The response of the army was swift and clinical- democratic rights were suspended and any viable political opposition was defanged.
On the economic front the new regime embarked on a novel pattern of industrialization based on export promotion and greater integration with foreign capital Baer, A distinctive feature of this new strategy was that it emphasized industries catering exclusively to the upper and middle classes automobiles and consumer durables.
Functionally this meant that the traditional emphasis on expanding home markets was effectively replaced by a strategy that concentrated on a narrower market made up of middle and upper class consumers Bresser-Pereira, The new policy stance was to be supported by a concomitant exploitation and repression of labour Seidman, The contribution of agriculture to total GDP declined consistently while the share of manufacturing increased from As a share of total exports, the contribution of manufacturing increased from 2. But underlying all these achievements there were glaring flaws. This was evident in the growing indebtedness that Brazilian industrialization came to be associated with.
Given these inherent flaws the Brazilian model of development ran up against its limits. Massive bouts of inflation, reaching four digit numbers by the end of the , crippled the economy. On the political front the anti-labour policies of the authoritarian regime had created severe disenchantment amongst poorer sections of the Brazilian society and starting from a series of strikes rocked the Brazilian political landscape. In the economic sphere import substitution industrialization was abandoned and free market policies were officially adopted in the s. It may be noted that the primary goal of post-authoritarian governments was to bring inflation under control.
The process of stabilization was however a long drawn out affair. After a number of unsuccessful anti-inflationary programs, it was the Real Plan implemented in the early s that was instrumental in stabilizing price levels. The plan included reduction of fiscal deficits through tax increases, cuts in government spending, and the privatization of state owned firms Saad-Filho, An integral part of the stabilization program was the use of exchange rates as a tool for inflation management Baer, Though highly effective for controlling prices, maintaining overvalued exchange rates also necessitated extremely high interest rates which had a deflationary effect on the economy.
Figure 2 shows just how high Brazilian interest rates have been when compared to India. On the whole, therefore the results of these stabilization policies were mixed. On the negative side table 2 indicates that the deflationary policy stance curtailed investment rates and dampened GDP growth. As far as the labour markets were concerned, there was a trend towards greater labour market flexibility and employment growth remained low even while wage shares declined Serrano and Summa, ; Baltar et.
On the positive side the Real Plan brought control over inflation and this provided much needed macroeconomic stability. Moreover despite curtailment of fiscal deficits, social spending actually increased Hall, Between and the economy grew at 3. However unlike the Indian case, this growth was largely led by broad based increases in household incomes ILO, Interestingly this period of growth coincided with a larger role of the state in the economy. Privatizations that were initiated under the previous regime were not dismantled but the process of privatization came to a halt under the PT regime Anderson, Moreover, despite curbs on fiscal deficits associated with the inflation targeting regime in place the government actually weakened its fiscal surplus targets Ban, The extent of state intervention can also be gauged by its social activism.
From a comparative perspective these changes are indeed impressive. For example public investments in education and health in Brazil amounted to 5. The number individuals covered under the celebrated Bolsa Familia program, for instance, has more than tripled in while disbursements have quadrupled during the same period Weisbrot et al. An important aspect of the recent phase of development has been the substantial improvement in the status of labour. The economy added 20 million jobs in the first decade of the 21 st century which was almost double the amount that was added the previous decade Saad-Filho and Morais, Berg, p.
Interestingly these increases in employment have gone hand in hand with increases in real wages. Despite a decline in wage shares across the world, Brazil has bucked the trend and the share of wages in national income has shown sustained increases from onwards Serrano and Summa, As a result of all these policies there has been a decline in poverty and inequality. Saad-Filho and Morais, p. Given the inherent problems associated with poverty calculations we may also note other indicators of progress. In the 12 year period spanning and , mean years of schooling increased by 1.
It should be noted that any attempt to neatly categorize Brazilian development in one form or the other is bound to be controversial. The economic and political crisis facing the nation today adds to these uncertainties and paints a grim picture of its future prospects. While appreciating these complexities, a comparative perspective nonetheless also forces us to recognize the radical potentialities of the Brazilian developmental regime. More specifically, in a globalized world where the quest for competitiveness has been driving down wages and employment across developed regions Brazil has been able to resist assaults on its labour force.
The mere act of strengthening labour rights in a financialized world represents an act of great defiance against global finance and it symbolizes reclamation of public institutions from the grips of elite interests. The discussion on Brazilian and Indian growth regimes raises some interesting questions.
In both countries neoliberalism was adopted as a response to the exhaustion of import substitution. Both transitions occurred in countries which were political democracies, which meant that political classes in both countries were subject to similar types of popular pressures. Added to all this, these transitions occurred during a period when the world economy itself was undergoing tectonic shifts. The puzzle here therefore is that despite facing similar conditions the two economies have ended up embracing very distinct approaches to development.
Viewing India from a Brazilian perspective the central question that arises is why, despite similar constraints, were the Indian elites successful in thrusting an exclusionary pattern of economic growth? To put it differently, what were the distinctive features of the Brazilian political economy that tempered its policies and allowed it to shift away from the anti-labour stance that neoliberal policies are often associated with? This is the central puzzle that this section seeks to analyze.
It has been widely argued that the stability and durability of any mode of accumulation depends on the extent to which politically and economically dominant classes are able to draw support from broad sections of the society. This argument goes back to Gramsci, but the idea has resurfaced in several forms in recent studies of European and Latin American economies as well Bresser-Pereira and Ianoni, ; Chodor, As far as liberalizing Latin American economies are concerned, Chodor, argues that the neoliberal order has proved to be unstable because dominant classes that control the state have failed to create a broad enough social support base.
As a result of this not only have the working classes been excluded from the entire project but vast sections of the traditional elites- including the national industrial bourgeoisie- have found themselves on the losing side of the liberal policy-package. Now what is true about Latin America holds for India as well, but with a few important differences. As has been discussed in the previous sections, the entire pro-capital project in India has marginalized vast sections of the society.
But unlike many Latin American economies, Indian reforms have allowed the economy to grow at a fast pace. By providing sufficient room for economic growth these policies have benefitted large sections of the propertied elites. Thus even though the neoliberal social coalition remains narrow, on a comparative level the pro-capital stance has nonetheless been able to bring together disparate factions of propertied elites thereby providing a greater degree of cohesiveness amongst constituents of the dominant bloc. This in turn has allowed dominant classes to push the state to adopt a highly elitist trajectory benefitting this small privileged minority.
Figure 3 shows a schematic representation of the mechanism. Obviously the difference between the Indian and Brazilian experiences cannot simply be reduced to differences in the rates of economic growth. The distribution of economic gains amongst different factions of the dominant coalition is an important factor, but solving collective action problems requires more than just similar economic interests; it requires shared cultural and ideological values as well. It is here that political parties play an important role. Political parties codify common ideological and cultural values and by doing so, they act as crucial mechanisms through which class interests are constructed and articulated Huber and Stephens, ; Desai, Here again, Brazil and India are striking contrasts.
In Brazil the neoliberal era has witnessed the rise of programmatic leftist parties like the PT which have been successful in consolidating social support in favor of pro-poor policies. In India on the other hand, in the last two decades there has been a shift towards the right in the political sphere. The most important political actor in this regard is the BJP Bharatiya Janata Party which, along with its allies, has successfully combined the rhetoric of religious nationalism with the economics of elitism and has become a crucial vehicle for naturalizing the pro-capital project.
Orthodox IPE is examined in more detail in Chapter 1. The point for now is that while there are differences between realist- and liberal-inspired perspectives on the contemporary global order, neither acknowledges a necessity to critically examine its rst principles or its fundamental under- standings of global reality. Either way, realists and liberals in IPE invoke the modern Western system, led by the most powerful capitalist states, as being the structural keystone of order, freedom, and prosperity, the template for any globalisation project, and the basis, therefore, for any common sense approach to the global present and future.
Hence, the TINA principle most famously elaborated by Margaret Thatcher when she insisted that there is no alternative to neoliberal globalisation, and nor should there be. Beyond the IPE mainstream, however, there are distinctly different responses to this projection of common sense. For now, another Coxian contribution is worth touching on, that which, in the early s, saw him distinguish between critical and problem solving theory in IR and IPE Cox Mainstream IPE thinking, Cox argued, represents the latter tendency, in that unlike its critical counterpart it effectively leaves the status quo unquestioned and focuses instead on solving its problems in order that the system might work more efciently.
For Cox, the origins of this ahistorical adherence to the status quo are to be found in a mainstream ontology that simply assumes the foundational actors in the system to be given that is, as the individual state in an anarchical system or as the indi- vidual citizen in a world of self-interested competitors both deemed to be acting rationally and naturally to full their desires for security and pros- perity.
In this circumstance, there is no need for esoteric theory no value in ontological examination of natural and rational behaviour at the individ- ual, state, and inter-state levels. Those who would seek to question, in this context, are by denition those unable to comprehend or accept reality or who, for ideological reasons, seek to bring down the status quo and render the system and the global community vulnerable to anarchical and destruc- tive forces.
These commitments are at the core of mainstream analyses of the Pink Tide, a phenomenon censured from one orthodox perspective as part of a threat narrative that somehow includes al-Qaeda and Hitler, and, from another, condemned for its rejection of a free market project assumed to be serving a natural and inevitable imperative of all modern peoples in the world.
It is in this regard that mainstream accounts of the Pink Tide phenomenon are inadequate and supercial and that a more comprehensive analytical approach is necessary before it can be understood and evaluated. Such an approach must include issues largely excluded in the mainstream literature: of history, culture, race, justice, inequality, poverty, and ideology issues that are integral to the Latin American struggle in general and the current Pink Tide experience in particular. Doing so makes it possible to critically examine these processes in order to understand them and to evaluate their transformative and emancipatory possibilities and potentials.
In relation to the Pink Tide phenomenon, these possibilities and potentials relate to its relationships with both neoliberalism as the ideology of free market globalisation and with the United States as the global hegemon and the primary driver of the current globalisation project since the s. This approach is introduced briey below before being taken up again in Chapter 1. The critical orientation to this book is derived from the works of Gramsci and more generally the historical materialism HM of Karl Marx.
In this general context, the current world order is most usefully understood in terms of the contemporary development of capitalism as an extraordinar- ily powerful transformative and exploitative system of production, faced in the late 20th century with structural and scal crisis at its Western core and adapting itself to a great new expansionary phase in its relentless pursuit of prot.
From a Gramscian perspective, this globalisation of capitalisms productive forces is complemented by an ideological project crucial to its success. To the extent that it is successful, the ideology of capitalisms pro- ductive and social relations becomes common sense, so much so that those who are most exploited by it become its most enthusiastic advocates. This, for Gramsci, in the s and s, was the fate of the working classes in those areas of the industrialised world that Marx had expected to be at the forefront of socialist revolution.
Instead, argued Gramsci, capitalist ideology had become hegemonic at the core of the Western world as part of a his- toric bloc strategy by which a dominant class can reformulate and adapt its exploitative aims in different historical and political circumstances to retain power, invariably in alliance with other classes and social actors organised around a coherent set of hegemonic ideas and institutional processes.
The issue of neoliberal globalisation and the emergence of the Pink Tide in Latin America are best understood in terms of this historic bloc theme, as are questions of transformation and emancipation associated with it. This is because, as Gramsci emphasised, even the most powerful historic bloc, underpinned by the most compelling common sense representations of social reality, is inherently unstable, riven with tensions, and always under contestation.
Consequently, there is always space for counter-hegemonic responses to the dominant powers in the historic bloc. This strategy has provoked various degrees of resistance in Latin America as a response to the impact of neoliberal globalisation at the politico-economic, societal, and ideational levels. These projects can be understood, in Gramscian terms, as part of a war of position a prolonged struggle within political and civil society to con- test and reconstruct the common sense understandings of the world which underpin an existing hegemony.
Such reconstructed understandings can then be fashioned into alternative worldviews and emancipatory hegemonic projects. I propose in this work that there is real value in understanding the contemporary situation in Latin America in these terms, most particularly because of the nuance of Gramscis thinking on the hegemony issue, partic- ularly regarding its possible outcomes. He suggests, for example, that there can be signicant gradations in the emancipatory responses to hegemonic power and that one should not expect universalised answers to complex questions asked in different historical, cultural, and political settings.
One such response is represented as a passive revolution understood as a strategy of reforming society from above in order to preclude a more radical challenge from below. Accordingly, while a passive revolution might involve signicant concessions to the subordinate classes, its ultimate aim is to maintain and protect the common sense ideas and protocols that serve the interests of the status quo. Gramsci also spoke of more genuine radical responses emerging from war of position struggles that aim to transcend the ruling common sense and the hegemonic power relations it serves in favour of a revolutionary praxis that serves the interests of the subordinate classes.
The Bolivarian revolution initiated by Hugo Chvez in Venezuela is, I will contend in Chapter 4, an emancipatory response of this kind. In this sense, at least, the book accepts the notion that there are two lefts within the Pink Tide, articulated most explicitly by Brazil and Venezuela. But unlike for Castaeda and many others, these two lefts are understood as being dialectically related rather than dichotomously distinguished from each other.
In other words, while it is evident enough that Brazil is intent on working within neoliberalism rather than against it and readjusting its relationship with the United States rather than rejecting it, I suggest that its passive revolution is creating a range of potentials that might develop in ways conducive to the more radical politics on display in Venezuela. There are large and signicant differences between Brazil and Venezuela, of course, and caution is called for in any proposal regarding their dialectical intersec- tion.
This shared pursuit of autonomy and independence, I will suggest in Chapter 6, has the poten- tial for more radical pursuits in different historical and politico-economic circumstances. One can only speak in terms of potentials in this regard because the cur- rent phase of the struggle over hegemonic rule is only just beginning in Latin America, and its nal outcome cannot possibly be known. Neverthe- less, the very existence of this struggle, and the consciousness of alternative futures it has raised among millions of previously excluded peoples, in both radical sites and passive ones, cannot be ignored in any comprehensive anal- ysis of the contemporary IPE in the Latin American region and beyond it.
A Gramscian approach does not ignore this issue; indeed, it pays particular attention to it and the potential trajectories it can take. Not everyone, of course, thinks this is a good idea, and there has been a growing critique of Gramscis work from a number of quarters. One of the most important of these has been the post-hegemony approach, cham- pioned most prominently by Jon Beasley-Murray , Inuenced by anarchist literature, the post-hegemony critique challenges the utility of the key Gramscian concepts of hegemony, consent, war of position, and war of manoeuvre in the pursuit of radical politics in the 21st century.
This is because from a post-hegemony perspective dominant class rule is not secured through ideological means, as Gramsci suggested. Indeed, Beasley-Murray argues:. There is no hegemony and never has been. We live in cynical, post- hegemonic times: nobody is much persuaded by ideologies that once seemed fundamental to securing social order. Everybody knows, for instance, that work is exploitation and that politics is deceit. But we have always lived in posthegemonic times: social order was never in fact secured through ideology.
Beasley-Murray ix. Rather, Beasley-Murray holds, dominant class rule is secured through the pre-conscious and pre-discursive strategies of habit and affect, which rob the masses of their constituent power and impose on them a totalising subjectiv- ity that prevents their full radical expression. Given this, he proposes that the Gramscian counter-hegemonic strategies that seek to ideologically unite subordinate social forces into a historic bloc in order to take control of the hegemonic state are fundamentally erroneous, both in theory and practice. More precisely, in this post-hegemonic scenario, real revolutionary activity takes place outside the traditional parameters and concerns to overthrow the exist- ing state in liberated zones, where the multitude practices radical politics free from the ideological straightjacket and party rigidities of left or right.
In this regard, the Gramscian re-workings of Marxist revolutionary strategy are considered obstacles to be overcome before real radical politics becomes possible. The post-hegemony critique is valuable in many ways, but its wholesale rejection of Gramscis work risks throwing out the revolutionary baby with the ideological bathwater for more on this, see: Chodor In particu- lar, Beasley-Murrays end of ideology thesis ignores Gramscis very evident reservations about the role of ideology in perpetuating dominant class rule.
Indeed, the securing of consent was never for Gramsci about grand ideo- logical metanarratives per se or what he referred to as philosophy and their salience to the common man. Rather, it was about the social and polit- ical translation of such philosophy into everyday discourses that spoke to the needs of the subordinate classes and effectively embedded them into the fragmentary, incoherent and inconsequential conception of the world carried by the man [sic]-in-the-mass Gramsci This was the common sense that for Gramsci was a conception of the world that was not conscious of its own reasoning.
The man-in-the-mass, he argued, has a practical activity, but has no clear theoretical consciousness of his prac- tical activity. The popular element feels but does not always know or understand, and it is on the navigation of this fragmentary, incoherent, and at times unconscious popular subjectivity that the construction of consent relies Gramsci , This understanding of how the social order is reproduced is not too dissimilar from Beasley-Murrays insistence on the role of unconscious factors.
Likewise, Gramsci was more aware of the importance of preserving diver- sity than the post-hegemony critiques acknowledge. While on certain read- ings Gramsci is very much committed to the working class as a universal actor leading the socialist revolution and imposing its class consciousness on its allies, a more critical reading of his work offers a more nuanced posi- tion on this issue.
In this regard, the construction of a counter-hegemonic historic bloc is a transformative process, which creates. Gramsci , my emphasis. The pursuit of counter-hegemonic politics, therefore, need not destroy diver- sity as post-hegemony holds; in fact it seeks to create a structure in which such diversity can thrive and survive. Such a pursuit, however, cannot, and should not simply ignore state power, as post-hegemony proposes, especially because state power can, and invariably is, turned against the multitude and its liberated zones. Furthermore, as the Bolivarian Revolution illustrates, rad- ical politics is not necessarily automatically negated via engagement with the state.
Instead, the counter-hegemonic project in Venezuela is being con- structed with the help of the Venezuelan state, despite the tensions and contradictions that emerge out of such a relationship. This point is taken up in more detail in Chapter 4, and the more critical reading of Gramsci, which is touched upon earlier, is further elaborated in Chapter 1. Sufce it to say for now that the post-hegemony critique, while useful, does not inval- idate the contributions that Gramscis work can make to the critical analysis of the current world order and the potential of radical politics within it.
Another, more useful, kind of critical questioning of Gramsci is to be found in a article by Randal Germain and Michael Kenny in Review of International Studies Its primary concern was that the applica- tion of Gramsci to contemporary IPE issues is both to misrepresent his Marxian legacy and to misunderstand the nature and limitations of his work in its early 20th-century context.
In response, a number of Gramscian scholars have countered that while this is an important critique worthy of serious attention, in many ways it does an injustice to the breadth and depth of Gramscis legacy. Robert Coxs initial introduction of Gramscian thinking to International Relations Cox engaged these issues directly. Cox acknowledges that while there are a few passages in the Prison Notebooks that deal explicitly with international relations, it is clearly the national level and class relations within the state that are the fundamental sites of Gramscis analysis Cox Nev- ertheless, as Cox also recognises, the historical struggles of workers against capitalist class power do not occur in isolation, but are always part of the global context in which capitalism pursues its prot imperative.
Accordingly, Gramsci recognised that while the point of departure is national. The domestic and international levels are thus linked in a dialectical man- ner and cannot be otherwise. This relationship is elaborated by Gramsci in this way:.
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There can be no doubt that they follow. Any organic inno- vation in the social structure, through its technical-military expressions, modies organically absolute and relative relations in the international eld too. Gramsci Thus, the nation state for Gramsci is the nexus between the domestic and the international realms, and the strongest states are those in which the leading classes have successfully consolidated their social formations into hegemonic historic blocs, which then spill beyond their borders and impact on the international arena.
Other states, however, most often in the global periphery where the dominant social forces have failed to construct such stable social orders are in a more subordinate position in the domestic- international dialectic Gramsci As a result, rather than being active shapers of the global order, states on the periphery are, for the most part, at the mercy of the hegemonic system, forced to confront its economic and geo-political problems from a subordinate position, hence the usually passive nature of their revolutionary response Gramsci Consequently, while no ready-made blueprint of a Gramscian Interna- tional Relations theory exists, Cox proposes that there are conceptual and analytical openings within his work that allow for an examination of international phenomena.
Exploiting these openings, Cox has developed a framework of analysis that emphasises social forces as integral to the pro- cesses by which the world of states and markets operates see: Cox , Within this framework, Cox analyses how changes in the social rela- tions of production give rise to new social forces, which may then create different forms of state, embodied in historic blocs, in order to secure their hegemony.
He contends that these types of historic blocs are usually con- structed by the most powerful states, which will subsequently attempt to refashion the international system in their own image, creating a new world order. In order to be hegemonic, such a world order cannot be simply imposed by the dominant state, but rather must be the result of negotia- tion in which concessions are made to other states. It must also be expressed in universal terms as securing the interests of the international system as a whole, rather than just of the leading state Cox Cox argues that hegemony at the international level is based on similar principles as it is within nation states.
It requires the construction of an international historic bloc, bounded by an ideological social vision that has universal appeal across cultures and classes, in order to legitimise and jus- tify a particular global order. Crucial in this regard are those international institutions which embody the rules of the world order and legitimate them ideologically, while co-opting opposition and marginalising challenges Cox Hegemony at the international level, therefore, is a social structure, and economic structure and a political structure; and it cannot be simply one of these things but must be all three Cox This book seeks to utilise insights from this neo-Gramscian school and Gramscis own work more specically, to critically examine the eco- nomic, political, and ideological processes by which the global dominant classes construct their hegemony and the subordinate classes construct their counter-hegemonic responses.
Its purpose, consequently, is to illuminate emancipatory and transformative possibilities towards a counter-hegemonic world order in Gramscian terms, particularly in Latin America. Chapter 1 sets out the theoretical framework used to analyse the neoliberal world order and the Pink Tide and its counter-hegemonic potentials.
It does so, rstly, by examining the orthodox IPE approaches to globalisation, proposing that their shortcomings stem from narrow ontological commit- ments that preclude them from considering the possibility of alternatives to the current world order. Subsequently, it puts forward a critical alternative derived from the historical materialist tradition, whose ontological founda- tions can be interpreted in such a way as to transcend the shortcomings of the orthodoxy. An alternative framework of analysis based upon this onto- logical foundation and the work of Marx and Gramsci more specically is then introduced.
This framework enables an analysis of the capitalist underpinnings of the current world order, as well as its consensual nature constructed by neoliberal social forces at the international level. In Chapter 2, the historical origins of the current neoliberal world order and its relationship to the Pax Americana order that preceded it are analysed via this framework. The origins of the current world order are located in the crisis of Pax Americana, which sparked a prolonged war of position in the s, in which the neoliberal social forces eventually came out on top, constructing a new form of state, embodied in the neoliberal historic bloc.
Introduction This occurred rstly in the United States and the United Kingdom, from whence the neoliberal social forces proceeded to restructure the world in their own image. In order to be hegemonic, this restructuring required a politico-ideological project based on the competition state and the ideology of the Washington Consensus, which could win the consent of societies across the world for the new world order. Overall, this politico-ideological project has been successful in attaining consent, at least in the countries of the industrialised core. In the periphery, this consent has been much more tenuous and began unravelling by the end of the s.
These suggestions are then taken up in more detail in relation to Latin America in Chapter 3. Here, the Pink Tide is situated in the context of the neoliberal world order outlined in the previous chapter. The origins of neoliberal restructuring in Latin America are located in the organic crisis of the regional variant of Pax Americana the import substituting industri- alisation ISI historic bloc which triggered a prolonged war of position in the region through the s and early s.
Throughout this period, neoliberal forces managed to win a degree of consent for their project in most societies across the continent, by promising to restore stability and predictability to economies racked by years of recession and hyperination in the short term and to bring a sustained prosperity and progress in the long term.
While stability was largely achieved giving neoliberalism a moment of hegemony in the early s this hegemony was contingent on the long-term promises of prosperity and progress. When these remained unful- lled by the late s, the neoliberal project also went into crisis, sparking the search for alternatives. This was exemplied by a popular rebellion from below and attempts to nd a neostructuralist Third Way from above that would propose an endogenous development strategy more attuned to the Latin American context.
These two tendencies combined to give rise to the Pink Tide, with the two leading projects that seek to dene its nature emerging from Venezuela and Brazil. In Chapter 4, I examine Venezuelas Bolivarian Revolution as a counter- hegemonic challenge to the current neoliberal world order. I locate its origins in the failure of neoliberal social forces to resolve the organic crisis of ISI in the s. Indeed, contrary to its successes elsewhere in the region, neoliberalism failed to even achieve its short-term goals in Venezuela, with the country continuing to experience recession and ination throughout the decade.
The result was a radical backlash that began to challenge not only the neoliberal project but also the very foundations of class rule in Venezuela. These challenges eventually coalesced around the person of Hugo Chvez, propelling him to the presidency in Chvezs Bolivarian Revo- lution represents, in Gramscian terms, a search for a collective will, centred on a radical ideological worldview as part of the process of constructing a counter-hegemonic strategy in Venezuela. The chapter explores the var- ious political, economic, and social dimensions of this Bolivarian project.
It concludes by arguing that while the Bolivarian project has only just begun in historical terms and while it is clearly more vulnerable following Chvezs death, it nevertheless represents at least the contours of a powerful radical alternative to the neoliberal project. Chapter 5 focuses on Brazil and Lulas passive revolution. Its origins are also located in the crisis of the ISI bloc in the s and early s. In con- trast to Venezuela, the neoliberal social forces were able to resolve this crisis by the mids.
However, while neoliberalism managed to end the reces- sion and hyperination plaguing Brazil, it failed to deliver its long-term goals of prosperity and progress, despite promises to implement a neostructuralist Third Way project to accompany the economic restructuring of the coun- try. The presidencies of Lula and his successor Dilma Rousseff represent the installation of this Third Way project, implemented by a broader coalition of social forces, yet still led by the dominant classes.
As such, the Brazilian Third Way can be understood as a passive revolution that has delivered signicant material concessions to the subordinate classes and which involves a more powerful ideological project based on notions of political, economic, and racial inclusion. This reformed neoliberal project has managed to win the consent of almost all sections of Brazilian society, especially its poorest sectors.
At the same time, however, it has sought to re- embed limiting self-understandings in the popular common sense, in order to preclude mobilisation for more radical ends. The chapter ends by explor- ing the limitations and potentials of this passive revolution, in particular the openings it creates for the possibility of counter-hegemonic politics in the country. In this regard, the recent upsurge of popular mobilisation, includ- ing the protests in June , is analysed in terms of its counter-hegemonic potentials. While the possibilities for radical counter-hegemony may be limited within Brazil, its prospects are brighter at the regional level where its passive revolution intersects with Venezuelas Bolivarian Revolution.
Neoliberal Hegemony and the Pink Tide in Latin America : Breaking Up With TINA?
This process is the focus of Chapter 6, where I outline the contrasting proposals of Venezuela and Brazil for the integration of the Latin American region, and argue that despite their differences, the two sides represent a shared, if con- tested, common sense as a basis for Pink Tide cooperation in the current era. The importance of this process is that it opens up political, economic, and ideological spaces from which radical forces can wage their struggles in the regional war of position.
These spaces and the activities of the radical forces within them are examined in the chapter, leading to a conclusion that whilst the regional war of position may be only beginning, there are counter-hegemonic potentials within the Pink Tide phenomenon that could become actualised in future struggles. This, in itself, is a signicant change since the s when the region was dominated by a common sense based on deference to market forces, US hegemony, transnational capital, and the TINA principle.
Chapter 7 returns to the theme set out at the outset of this book, exam- ining the prospects for American hegemony in the region and beyond. The chapter examines Americas attempts to re-secure its hegemony in the region via the two lefts strategy and the failures of this strategy to take hold. The roots of this failure are located both in the growing regional autonomy explored in the previous chapter and in the larger global con- text, where the United States faces increasing challenges to its hegemony from China, the continuing instability in the Middle East, the post crisis of global capitalism, and the legacy of the Bush administration.
With its focus distracted by these global issues, the American hegemony is nd- ing it increasingly difcult to develop a consensual strategy in the regional war of position, reverting under the pressure of a radicalising Pink Tide phenomenon to more coercive means in order to maintain its traditional control over the region, embodied, for example, in the War on Drugs or the coup in Honduras. In so doing, it accelerates desires for greater political, economic, and ideological autonomy throughout Latin America. Whether this will result in genuine counter-hegemony remains to be seen, but at the very least it represents the opening of more radical possibilities as part of the struggle for the future of Latin America.
This book aims to shed some light on the origins, nature, and prospects of these struggles in order to illuminate these possible futures. In the Introduction, I indicated that mainstream analysis of the Pink Tide underpinned by orthodox International Political Economy IPE understand- ings of neoliberal globalisation offers at best a simplistic and supercial understanding of the phenomenon, primarily because it lacks an ade- quate appreciation of the social and historical context within which it has emerged. Instead, this analysis is best understood in ideological terms as the scholarly dimension of the attempts to defuse the Pink Tides counter- hegemonic potential.
In this sense, it can be understood in Gramscian terms as creating a common sense understanding of the current world order as natural and immutable and, therefore, beyond challenge the TINA principle. Accordingly, I proposed that before a more profound analy- sis of the Pink Tide can be undertaken, there is a need to critically re-examine orthodox IPE accounts of globalisation both in their realist and liberal guises and the assumptions which underpin them and drive their natu- ralistic conclusions.
Such an examination is undertaken here, illuminating the shortcomings of orthodox analysis and its ideological function, high- lighting the need for a more comprehensive and critical approach to the current world order.
Breaking Up With TINA?
Such an approach based on the historical materialism HM of Karl Marx and Antonio Gramsci is then introduced in the second half of the chapter and serves as the analytical framework for the rest of the book. Marxs insights on capitalism, I suggest, enable an understanding of contemporary globalisation as part of the voracious nature of the capitalist mode of pro- duction, and in Marxian terms, I focus on the tensions and contradictions of the neoliberal project as a source of transformative and perhaps eman- cipatory change in the contemporary world order.
However, I also suggest that a traditional Marxist approach to this task is, in itself, not sufcient because it is not precise enough in explaining how the tensions intrinsic to capitalism can actually lead to emancipatory theory and practice particu- larly in a non-Western, non-industrial contexts beset with issues of race and culture. In this regard, I suggest, Gramsci provides a much more specic set of analytical tools. Consequently, I introduce Gramscis concepts of hegemony and his- toric bloc, in order to illuminate the consensual nature of contemporary class rule, enabling a more substantial understanding of neoliberal glob- alisation as not only a projection of capitalist productive forces but also a sophisticated and largely effective politico-ideological project designed to win consent for its global expansionism.
Recognition of its consensual nature is crucial to any attempt to construct alternatives to neoliberal glob- alisation, and with the later discussion of Latin America in mind I explore Gramscis notion of war of position as a way of illuminating the processes of ideological struggle intrinsic to the gaining of ruling class consent. Here, a distinction is drawn between the strategies of passive revolution and counter-hegemony, undertaken by the dominant and subordinate classes, respectively, in a war of position, with Brazil engaged in the former while Venezuelas Bolivarian Revolution represents the latter.
I maintain, however, that despite these differences these two projects have a lot in common. These commonalities, I suggest cautiously, represent a common ground on which a regional war of position might be possible against global neoliberalism. I explore this prospect in more detail in Chapter 6.
Here, the focus is on establishing the theoretical frame of analysis. This basic and highly inuential position is as integral to the neorealism of Robert Gilpin as it is to the more traditional historically based realism of Ian Clark The deregulation of global markets was thus enthusiastically adopted by major states as they adapted their power politics strategies to take advantage of the changing global environment as facilitators of multinational capital and competitors in the struggle to penetrate and dominate foreign economies and societies around the world Krasner ; Clark A useful insight into the neorealist mindset is offered by Lamy , who suggests that orthodox IPE represents less a spectrum of ideas and more a narrow integration of fundamental assumptions drawn from tradi- tional IR.
The result is a narrow orthodoxy, which asks restricted questions of the world and produces restricted answers. The result is a narrowing of choices and a narrowing of the issues and ideas that dene our study of international politics Lamy Realist IPE is par- ticularly vulnerable to this criticism, with some arguing that realists are more concerned with the welfare of the state and the state system than of the citizens within it Long Certainly, the power politics fram- ing of the systemic whole has led to the criticism that issues of poverty, for example, intrinsic to the credibility of the globalisation project are largely ignored by realists, particularly those ascribing such problems to the domestic sphere Gilpin 21; Keohane Gilpin puts it succinctly enough, proposing that in a power politics world the systemic competition between states means that international inequalities will never be eradicated.
This is a view also held by those who consider an empha- sis on poverty eradication and deep political change as utopian Keohane Much of this realist analysis remains explicitly focused on the hegemonic role of the United States, insisting that it was always crucial to the process of neoliberal globalisation, to the extent that it can be equated with Amer- icanisation Waltz ; Gilpin Indeed, without the hegemonic stability provided by the United States, the global success story that is neoliberal globalisation could no longer continue Gilpin Other realists take a slightly different posi- tion, maintaining that while the United States may have been crucial to the establishment of the current globalised order, a less-committed United States would not necessarily entail the reversal of the current status quo, because it works to the great advantage of the other major states who would work to sustain it Ikenberry ; The point, in either case, is that the spectrum of realist analysis accepts that, from its beginnings, neoliberal globalisation has been a political and strategic project dominated by the United States and its major allies and that it will remain so in any foreseeable future.
Reinforcing this point, there is a signicant realist literature that contests liberal arguments about the extent of contemporary economic globalisa- tion and the degree to which it is a novel development. To illustrate this, some realists point out that the most powerful states remain oriented towards domestic production and that genuine transnational corporations TNCs are rare, with most companies more accurately described as multina- tional corporations MNCs McBride Most of the remaining economies in the periphery continue to export primary products, while the core still dominates the trade in manufactured goods.
From this perspective, the current era represents a return to a natural trajectory in the international economy following a hiatus due to two world wars and the Cold War, with todays international economy less open and integrated than the belle poque period of the late 19th century Waltz ; Hoffmann In this sense, globalisation represents not a unique phenomenon, but a new chapter in the timeless realist narrative concerning the pursuit of power and inuence by the most powerful states in the international system.
On this basis, realist analysis does not contemplate radical change for the system. Globalisation, it argues, does not threaten the state system because it serves the interest of states at least those of the major powers who will continue to act rationally to ensure systemic survival and prosper- ity. While there has been some necessary adaptation to policy frameworks and some systemic constraints, among the major states there is a function- ing, if not always harmonious, acceptance of the rules of the globalisation game which sees the European social democratic model and its East Asian counterpart coexisting and competing with the more explicit American neoliberal model for power, inuence, and prosperity Weiss Indeed, for realists, this is what TINA really means.
There is, nevertheless, acknowledgement that among weaker states in the periphery there will be social and cultural instability as they follow neoliberal dictates in the struggle to survive in a market environment. But here, as in the past, it is assumed that ruling elites will seek accommodation with the major states and international institutions in order to retain their power and status. In this regard, of course, realist analysis has much in com- mon with its critics, especially on the left.
But whereas there is outrage and demands for radical change from these quarters, for realists the shared con- cern of economic and political actors in the system to maintain the status quo is simply the way things are in a power politics context. As long as such a status quo provides the most precious of public goods in an anarchical system order and stability it is a status quo worth preserving, and no more theorising is necessary on the subject.
Most liberals are more aware of the symbiotic character of contemporary globalisation than most realists, but their emphasis is on the power of mar- ket forces upon the sovereign state and the state system. In general, if realists consider globalisation as essentially a contemporary reiteration of traditional power politics, liberals consider it a signicant new development with potentially new implications for the global community. Globalisation in this analysis is understood as the result of a conuence of market, technological, and cultural developments, which in combination are making the world a more integrated and interdependent place a more likely site for political harmony and prosperity Held et al.
Those most explicitly wedded to a neoliberal worldview promote the current globalisa- tion era as the springboard to a brave new frontier in which the culture, technologies, and democratic traditions of the modern Western experience might be transposed upon the world in general. Globalisation, in other words, is seen as offering the prospect of at last fully realising the promise of modernity, in that it offers the whole world the benets and opportunities until now reserved for modern Westernised peoples Scholte In this sense, rather than the result of power politics logics, globalisation is seen an expression of the natural progression of human development set free by the end of the Cold War from feudal and utopian thinking to mar- ket inspired rationalism and from collectivist and socialist anachronism to a competitive individualist culture in which entrepreneurial and consumerist imperatives can be liberated Friedman Thus, liberal approaches are positive about the political and social conse- quences of a free marketbased world order.
And while much liberal analysis acknowledges the role of the state in facilitating this process, the signicance of this role is reduced. Thus, according to this liberal narrative, globalisation is seen as reducing inequalities between states and extending the benets of capitalist development to those previously left out of the global economy Krueger There is, moreover, general agreement amongst liberal analysts that with the diffusion of information and closer integration of societies, globalisa- tion promotes convergence around the values of democracy and human rights, values regarded as integral to the Western developmental model and free-market capitalism Friedman Liberals argue that this benets not only individual societies but also the international system as a whole, by increasing international cooperation and decreasing the likelihood of war Doyle ; Keohane As a result, liberals predict that future global peace and security will be more likely derived from the impact of the capitalist market upon the traditional system, rather than power politics principles Fukuyama There is of course a range of opinion on this within the liberal IPE spectrum, with the hyperglobalist analyses arguing that the new globalised system entails the end of the nation-state, while the institutionalists contend that it remains the central actor in the inter- national system Ohmae ; Keohane In this sense, the TINA principle is accepted and applauded as for the common good.
Nevertheless, not all liberal accounts are quite this enthusiastic about the promise of modernity. The transformationalist accounts of globalisa- tion worry that its progressive potential is being undermined by the forms it is taking and that gains in efciency and growth are too often skewed towards the powerful, both within and amongst states, exacerbating inequal- ities rather than leading to a new era of global prosperity Held As a result, an increasing number of decisions are taken at the global level out of reach of ordinary citizens, creating a democratic decit and undermining the very core of democracy the idea of a community which governs itself and determines its own future Held b: For transformationalists, therefore, globalisation may hold the potential for a more just and democratic world order, but such a potential is in danger of being subverted by the interests of the powerful.
In order to realise this potential, transformationalists propose a cosmopolitan form of governance centred on a plethora of new global institutions from regional parliaments to a second chamber in the UN Gen- eral Assembly that would represent global civil society. The cosmopolitanism of transformationalist liberalism appears thus to recognise the shortcomings of neoliberal globalisation, and understand- ably it has drawn positive responses from within the Western critical press and analytical communities. But for all the success of the transfor- mationalists and their liberal and realist counterparts in persuading signicant sectors of the global community that neoliberal globalisation is a positive and inevitable development in human society, there are many fun- damental questions left begging concerning these orthodox accounts of the contemporary world order.
At the core of this scepticism is an incredulity about orthodox claims both in realist and liberal articulations regarding the achievements of the neoliberal project. In economic terms, claims regarding the need to unshackle markets in order to ensure global economic growth and prosper- ity contrast sharply with actual economic performance during the neoliberal era. For example, between and , the average annual global per capita GDP growth rate was 1. While this rate increased to 2. Following a 2. As this stimulus is beginning to be wound back, fears about the sustainability of global growth persist World Bank a.
Moreover, this growth has been distributed disproportionally towards the powerful, both amongst and within states. Indeed, 56 per cent of states expe- rienced negative per capita GDP growth during the period , and income inequality has been increasing Wade The income gap between the richest tenth of the worlds countries and the poorest tenth has almost doubled since the s from to Milanovic This has been entirely due to China, whose state-driven industrialisation has undoubtedly beneted from a more open global economy, but hardly qualies as a neoliberal project.
These numbers have only worsened since the GFC. At least 64 million people slid into extreme poverty by the end of as a result of the crisis, while between 30, and 50, children died from malnutrition in Sub- Saharan Africa as its consequence World Bank Overall, in , 1. Meanwhile, in the rich nations, the gaps between the rich and the poor have also grown sharply. According to a recent report, income inequality increased in 17 out of 22 OECD countries in between the mids and the late s.
Overall, the OECDs average Gini coefcient has increased by almost 10 per cent during that period, from 0. The average income of the richest 10 per cent of the population in these countries is nine times higher than that of the bottom 10 per cent OECD This gap is even greater in those countries that have embraced the neoliberal project most enthusiastically. In the United Kingdom, for example, the household wealth of the richest 10 per cent of the population is now times higher than that of the poorest 10 per cent; a level of disparity not seen since the end of World War II Hills et al.
In the United States, the incomes of the top 1 per cent of the population grew by per cent between and , compared to 18 per cent for the bottom 20 per cent over that period Congressional Budget Ofce Taken together, these statistics lead critics like David Harvey to conclude that the neoliberal project is not actually about achieving growth, development, and prosperity for all, but about reinforcing the power and status of a small global elite Harvey The strict market analysis of the hyperglobalists is particularly problem- atic in this context, in the face of the great problems faced by those outside of the major states and their closest ideological allies.
In the event that hyperglobalists do acknowledge the downsides of globalisation, they downplay them as temporary draw- backs in a rapidly changing world that will be ameliorated in the long term. Alternatively, they propose that evidence of increasing impoverishment in the global periphery is the result of not enough market penetration Wolf It is not only the economic shortcomings of the neoliberal era that have drawn criticism.
Politically, the order and stability that are sup- posed to result from a globalised world order have failed to materialise. Instead, the resurgence of ethnic conict, civil wars, transnational crime, and terrorism facilitated to various extents by globalisation has desta- bilised the international system. Likewise, rather than reaping the benets of the global village and democratisation, too many societies have instead experienced cultural discontent, growing xenophobia, and racism.
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There is also growing evidence of apathy and antipathy towards political engagement and participation and of increasingly atomised societies in which individu- alism and consumerism dominate commitments to community, solidarity, and social justice. As indicated above, all orthodox perspectives are neither quite so san- guine about these issues nor entirely unreective about the way in which they reach their conclusions about the contemporary world order.
Liberal transformationalist accounts stand out in this regard with their question- ing of the structures and motivations of neoliberal globalisation. However, while the questions asked by transformationalists are important, it is the questions not asked that are even more important, in particular questions regarding the role that capitalism plays in perpetuating the poverty, inequal- ity, and lack of democracy that concerns them so much. Liberals of this cosmopolitan variety do question some aspects of free market behaviour, but the solution to the problem from this perspective is hardly different from other liberal perspectives, centred as it is on management and reformism.
It would be quite foolish, David Held argues, to suggest that there are simple alternatives, which are both feasible and desirable, to the existing system of corporate capitalism Held a: