The history of the State and economic policies has aroused an enduring interest among scholars, especially after the 2007- 2008 economic crisis. The role of national policies and international relationships in the recent phase of economic globalization, however, (which further expanded since the 1980s) has only partially been highlighted. How much is the extent of globalization the result of the free and independent forces of the market, and how much is it the outcome of States’ policies, some of which have pursued ambitions of economic and political hegemony? How far have political and military alliances been crucial in creating and maintaining a global market?
Starting from the 1970s-1980s, free trade, liberalization, deregulation, and privatization were supported by Western economies as the best way to promote enterprise global investments – the real engine of the economic development. The USA, Great Britain, and many other countries – at different times and to different degrees – have implemented neoliberalist measures, fostering a new global economic order: China opened up the first Special Economic Zones at Foreign Direct Investments at the end of the 1970s. Later on, the URSS promoted the transition to a market economy and India definitively joined the process in the early 1990s. At the same time, privatization and deregulation were gaining a wider place in South America and Europe. At the beginning of this period, the USA, Western Europe, and Japan set the stage of economic globalization with their large multina- tional companies. Thanks to globalization, however, new protagonists were emerging – especially in Asia. Initially four ‘dragons’ (Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore) boomed (and others followed). The debate on the real factors of their economic growth was wide and scholars shifted their focus from the ‘free market’ to the role of the ‘developmental states’ derived from the Japanese example. What about the role of their international political ties? Soon, China went through an economic growth miracle, transforming itself in the ‘factory of the world’. However, despite liberalization and the support of globalization, the guide of the Chinese State remained strong, with 5-year plans, industry plans, SOEs, land ownership, and a lasting control on finance. Since 1999, the ‘Go Global’ state strategy was launched, framing China’s ambitions for global leadership. In 2001, China was admitted to the WTO. A decade later, in 2013, Xi Jinping conceived the ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ (which involves Asia, Europe and Africa) and the Asian Infrastructure and Investment Bank (AIIB, founded in Beijing in 2014). Nowadays China is a world power competing with the USA for the global supremacy and governance, able to shape a new model of economic globalization. In the meantime, which have been the economic policies of the US and of the old developed countries and how has globalization affected the different areas of the world?
The purpose of this issue is to offer some reflections and inspire new research and debate on the history of globalization and the role played by the national economic policies and/or the ‘invisible hand’ of the market in the 20th and 21st centuries. Focusing on states’ policies and international relationships, institutions, market, and multinationals, papers could deal with several specific topics.
Deadline: May 31, 2020.
This issue is scheduled to appear at end-July 2020.