Towards a Cultural Political Economy
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Towards a Cultural Political Economy

Putting Culture in its Place in Political Economy

Ngai-Ling Sum and Bob Jessop

This fascinating volume offers a critique of recent institutional and cultural turns in heterodox economics and political economy. Using seven case studies as examples, the authors explore how research on sense- and meaning-making can deepen critical studies in political economy, illuminating its role in critiquing the specific categories, contradictions and crisis-tendencies of capitalism.
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Chapter 12: The North Atlantic financial crisis and crisis recovery: (trans-) national imaginaries of ‘BRIC’ and subaltern groups in China

Putting Culture in its Place in Political Economy

Ngai-Ling Sum and Bob Jessop


This chapter explores discourses of crisis recovery scenarios advanced during the North Atlantic financial crisis (NAFC) and the selection of some of these for practical action. There is no lack of ‘crisis-recovery’ imaginaries (e.g. austerity measures, stimulus packages, debt reliefs etc.; see Chapter 11) and some of them are selected and pushed forward by national state-centred interest coalitions. Instead of examining imaginaries at this level, however, this chapter redirects attention to an imaginary that is being repeated, selected and promoted by (trans-) national and/ or (inter-) governmental forces as another road to recovery. Specifically, it focuses on how some major actors including economists in investment banks, economic strategists, politicians, officials in international organizations/ intergovernmental agencies, think tank researchers and business journalists have (re)imagined the role of the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) economies as drivers of recovery in the context of the North Atlantic Financial Crisis.

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