Globalization and Transnational Capitalism in Asia and Oceania (Hardback) book cover

Globalization and Transnational Capitalism in Asia and Oceania

Edited by Jeb Sprague

© 2016 – Routledge

322 pages | 9 B/W Illus.

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About the Book

News headlines warn of rivalries and competing nations across Asia and the Pacific, even as powerful new cross-border relations form as never before. This book looks behind the Asia-Pacific curtain: at the new forms of social, economic, and political integration taking place through a global capitalism that is rife with contradictions, inequality, and crisis. We are moved beyond traditional conceptualizations of the inter-state system with its nation-state competition as the core organizing principle of world capitalism and the principal institutional framework that shapes the makeup of global social forces.

These important studies examine and debate over how there is a growing transnationality of material (economic) relations in the global era, as well as an emerging transnationality of many social and class relations. How does transnational capitalist class fractions, new middle strata, and labor undergird globalization in Asia and Oceania? How have states and institutions become entwined with such processes? This book provides insight into a field of dynamic change.


'While as an edited volume there is much variation from chapter to chapter, most of the eighteen contributors to Globalization and Transnational Capitalism in Asia and Oceania are influenced by the global capitalism school, which posits that the contemporary processes of production, labor struggles, and class and ideology formation cannot be adequately grasped from an epistemological framework that affords primacy to the nation-state as its unit of analysis. In the words of editor Jeb Sprague, this book pays close attention to transnational processes, underlining the contradictions that emerge as these unfold in Asia and Oceania, a region that has been relatively less explored through this critical lens than areas such as North America, Latin America and Europe…' — Journal of World-Systems Research, Volume 22, Issue 2

'The book is theoretically underpinned by the global capitalism school and its analytical focus on transnational class and social relations in a world transitioned from its previous international phase of world capitalism to the current global phase of world capitalism, where national economic structures are integrated into global structures of economic activity dominated by particular sets of economic/political/technocratic/consumerist elites… [A]n extremely valuable addition to the literature. It casts its net wide but retains a consistent worldview which is compelling and thought-provoking. The authors are right to assert that, to a significant extent, we now live in a qualitatively different world; the forms of ‘hyper-capitalism’ we see today have caused a dispersal in authority away from nation states and mean that continuing to ignore the types of actors and networks of power explored in this volume would be nothing short of naive. With patterns of wealth accumulation continuing in the direction of a relative few, the issues raised by this book are extremely timely, and will likely only become a matter of increasing salience for the Asia Pacific and Oceania in the future.' — Journal of the Asia Pacific Economy, Volume 21, Issue 4

'Jeb Sprague’s edited volume, Globalization and Transnational Capitalism in Asia and Oceania (New York: Routledge, 2016), fills a crucial gap in this burgeoning literature and is a much-desired contribution to the case for the rise of a Transnational Capitalist Class in the region. […] This book should be valuable to anyone interested in how globalisation has impacted Asia and Oceania across a range of themes and perspectives. Moreover, it is essential reading for anyone interested in the GCS as its first book-length treatment of this region of the world that must be tested by every theory of globalisation.' — Journal of Contemporary Asia, Volume 47, Issue 2

Table of Contents

Introduction 1. Global Capitalism and Transnational Class Formation in Asia and Oceania, Jeb Sprague Transnational Capitalist Class 2. Statism and the Transnational Capitalist Class in China, Jerry Harris 3. Japanese Transnational Capitalists and Asia-Pacific Free Trade, Hisanao Takase 4. The Rise of China and India and the Formation of a Transnational Capitalist Class in the Asia/Oceania Region, Jenny Chesters 5. Lean Production as a Tool of Global Capitalism in Asia: The Transnational Capitalist Class in Action, Robert Jones, Samir Shrivastava, Christopher Selvarajah, and Bernadine Van Gramberg Labor and the Global Economy 6. Global Capitalism and the Transformation of China’s Working Class, Kevin Lin 7. Transnational Class Formation: A View from Below, Bob Russell, Ernesto Noronha, and Premilla D’Cruz 8. National Champions in a Global Arena: Rhetoric and Inequality in Global Capitalism, Sivakumar Velayutham Finance and Production Capital 9. Offshore Tax Havens: The Borderlands of Global Capitalism, Anthony van Fossen 10. Conflicts within Transnational Finance Capital and the Motivations of Climate-Interested Investors, David Peetz and Georgina Murray 11. From Client State to Rentier State?: New Compradors, Transnational Capital and the Internationalization of Globalizing Dynamics in Australia, 1990-2013, Drew Cottle and Joe Collins Transnational Dynamics and (Under-)development 12. Uneven Geographies of Transnational Capitalism in Laos, Kearrin Sims 13. From Missionary to New Middle Class Schooling in the Era of Global Capitalism: Dilemmas of inclusive education reform in India, Mousumi Mukherjee 14. From Transnational Trends to Local Practices: Monitoring Social Impact in a Papua New Guinea Mining Community, Vladimir Pacheco Transnationally Oriented Elites and the State Apparatus 15. Global Capitalism, the BRICS, and the Transnational State, William I. Robinson 16. State, Capital, and Class Struggle in Australia: Reflections on the Global Capitalism Perspective, Tom Bramble 17. The Regionalization of Capital in the Patchwork Economy and the Transnationalization of the Subnational State, David Cannon and Kanishka Jayasuriya Conclusion 18. Global Capitalism and its Discontents: Toward a Political Economy of the Possible, Frank Stilwell

About the Editor

Jeb Sprague is in the Department of Sociology at the University of California at Santa Barbara and is a founding member of the Network for Critical Studies of Global Capitalism. View his academic website at:

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General