Handbooks of Research on International Political Economy series
Edited by Kees van der Pijl
Chapter 11: Look back in hope? Reassessing Fordism today
The recent financial and economic crises have landed the world in unknown territory. Old maps no longer work. The crises have discredited not only neoclassical economics and neoliberal policy prescriptions (Independent Evaluation Office 2011), but also (as I argue, Desai 2013a) recently dominant conceptions of the capitalist world order, like ‘globalization’ and ‘empire’, which assumed a single world economy. For the crises were neither ‘global’ nor ‘imperial’, neither imposing the same misery on all economies nor imposing more on the peripheral economies than the core ones. Instead, they widened the divergence between the stagnating advanced industrial world and the still fast-growing emerging economies even more. If the world is ‘not in Kansas anymore’, if it needs to find new political and policy bearings, one promising line of inquiry is to investigate the ‘golden age’ (Marglin and Schor 1990), the two postwar decades that created greater and more broadly based welfare in the advanced capitalist world than ever before or since.
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