The New Global Command Economy

Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 17(2):155-180, 1999

Abstract. Globalization is becoming one of the most widespread catchphrases attempting to grasp the post - Cold War international reality. In this paper I argue that, although the process of globalization has brought about more liberalization and decentralization of political economies at the national level, it has also created a far more regimented and centralized economy and polity at the international level. This shift of the center of gravity of political economy from the national to the international level is what the phrase the new global command economy attempts to grasp. First, I begin with a definition of geopolitical economy as a conceptualization of the complex interaction between states and the world economy. Second, I show how a few global institutions de facto command the world economy with a level of centralization and regimentation similar to that which the centrally planned economies used to exercise at the national level during the Cold War era. Third, I analyze how the new global command economy continues to perpetuate the core - periphery divide through what the G7 economic summit has labeled a new global partnership between developing countries, developed countries, and multilateral institutions. Fourth, the nonmarket forces are introduced as an often neglected factor (in economic analysis) which strongly shapes market forces and the overall trajectory of the world economy.

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