Handbook of the International Political Economy of Production
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Handbook of the International Political Economy of Production

Edited by Kees van der Pijl

This Handbook provides a state-of-the-art overview of the changing world of global production. Chapters cover the geography of why and where jobs are moving in both manufacturing and services. The authors discuss topics relating to the human and natural basis on which production rests, from the consequences of exploitation and marginalization on body and mind, to sex work, biotechnology, and the prospects for ecological re-balancing. This Handbook will appeal to academics at all levels interested in political economy, international studies and politics, as well as trade unionists and NGO activists.
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Chapter 24: Risk capitalism, crisis of socialization and loss of civilization

Werner Seppmann


Neoliberal transformation has dramatically changed the social conditions prevailing in the West, and in a remarkably short time at that. The speed with which social contradictions thought to have been overcome are spreading also in countries with a tradition of ‘social partnership’ would have been inconceivable three decades ago, even for radical critics of capitalism. The downward spiral in the developed capitalist world has reached a point reminiscent of Third World conditions. Unlike the prosperous capitalism of the postwar period, nowadays if someone gets drawn into the vortex of social degradation it is increasingly difficult to find a way out. Even those living above the poverty line cannot rest on their laurels; they too are at constant risk. Minor reasons (an additional child, long-term illness or unemployment of one’s partner) suffice to break one’s stride.

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