Globalisation, the Global Financial Crisis and the State

Globalisation, the Global Financial Crisis and the State

Edited by John Farrar and David G. Mayes

The recent global financial crisis has challenged conventional wisdom, and our conception of globalisation has been called into question. This challenging and timely book revisits the relationship between globalisation, the crisis and the state from an interdisciplinary perspective, with law, economics and political science underpinning the analysis.

Chapter 3: Rebuilding state systems post-GFC: the South African case

Laurence Boulle

Subjects: economics and finance, political economy, politics and public policy, international politics, international relations, political economy


Economic globalisation has occasioned several paradoxes for contemporary state systems. On the one hand it has deprived them of domestic policy space, a result both of legal instruments having delegated to international institutions significant areas of national sovereignty and of market pressures having necessitated state compliance with global economic norms. On the other hand the gaps and inconsistencies in the governance of globalisation have required the retention, and in some areas the strengthening, of state systems to fill the spaces in the legal infrastructure on which it depends (Boulle, 2010). All state systems are affected by these contradictory impulses, but in different ways and in varying degrees. In some countries there has been virtual surrender by a state of the levers of economic, monetary and fiscal policy, while in others the state has retained relatively strong supervision over these mechanisms. The global financial crisis (GFC) has contributed to the contradictory tendencies of the globalisation project in respect of state systems. This chapter examines some implications of the GFC for the South African state system.

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