This review of Leo Panitch and Sam Gindin's The Making of Global Capitalism and David M. Kotz's The Rise and Fall of Neoliberal Capitalism (Harvard University Press, 2015) first appeared in the December 2015 issue of Perspectives on Politics.
The contemporary international economic order has many characteristics whose combination raises important analytical questions. The level of economic integration is extremely high — almost certainly higher even than in the first era of “globalization,” from the 1870s to 1914. The extraordinary integration of global markets for goods and capital coexists with a level of government involvement in national economies that is unprecedented in the modern era. The system was largely constructed along lines laid out by the United States in the aftermath of World War II — the first time an international economic order was put into place by design. Since the end of the Cold War, the United States has been the unchallenged leader of the world economy. However, there is an extraordinary degree of cooperation on economic matters among leading states, and supranational institutions play a far greater role in managing international economic affairs than at any time in history.
Leo Panitch, professor of Political Science at York University, and co-author of The Making of Capitalism: The Political Economy of American Empire, recently spoke to New Books Network about his work in an in-depth interview.
In The Making of Capitalism, Panitch and co-author Sam Gindin argue that the American state has been central to the creation and maintenance of a global capitalist economy, and that the internalization of American capital in sovereign states across the globe has placed the US at the helm of an informal empire. The book won the 2013 Deutscher Prize for the most innovative writing in or about the Marxist tradition.