The world is at the crossroads of social change, in the vortex of forces that are bringing about a different world, a post-neoliberal state. This groundbreaking book lays out an analysis of the dynamics and contradictions of capitalism in the twenty-first century. These dynamics of forces are traced out in developments across the world - in the Arab Spring of North Africa and the Middle East, in Cuba and elsewhere in Latin America, in the United States, and in Asia. The forces released by a system in crisis can be mobilized in different ways and directions. The focus of the book is on the strategic responses to the systemic crisis. As the authors tell it, these dynamics concern three worldviews and strategic responses. The Davos Consensus focuses on the virtues of the free market and deregulated capitalism as it represents the interests of the global ruling class. The post-Washington Consensus concerns the need to give capital a human face and establish a more inclusive form of development and global governance. In addition to these two visions of the future and projects, the authors identify an emerging radical consensus on the need to move beyond capitalism as well as neoliberalism.
Neoliberal globalization is in serious crisis. It has brought the world economy to the brink of a global economic depression with major social consequences, from the housing crisis to the credit crunch, to high rates of unemployment and decline in the standard of living for the great majority of the world’s population. This is an occasion to re-examine the structure of the global economy and its social impact in the early twenty-first century in order to assess the problems created by neoliberal economic policies that are endemic to the latest, transnational stage of world capitalism that has been expanding across the globe through the processes of neoliberal globalization. It is for this reason that a careful sociological analysis of the dynamics and contradictions of neoliberal globalization is sorely needed so that the social consequences of this process on the affected populations can be assessed and appropriate responses developed to overcome the ongoing global economic, political, and social crises. This series promises to make a major contribution to this end and will serve to facilitate discussion and debate on a topic that is bound to become the centerpiece of transnational studies in the twenty-first century.