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Über dieses Buch

This book presents a new theory explaining underdevelopment in the global South and tests whether financial inputs, the government-business-media (GBM) complex and spatiotemporal influences drive human development. Despite the entrance of emerging powers and new forms of aid, trade and investment, international political-economic practices still support well-established systems of capital accumulation, to the detriment of the global South. Global asymmetrical accumulation is maintained by ‘affective’ (consent-forming hegemonic practices) and ‘infrastructural’ (uneven economic exchanges) labours and by power networks. The message for developing countries is that ‘robust’ GBMs can facilitate human development and development is constrained by spatiotemporal limitations. This work theorizes that aid and foreign direct investment should be viewed with caution and that in the global South these investments should not automatically be assumed to be drivers of development.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

Chapter 1. The Roots of Dispossession

Abstract
‘The Roots of Dispossession’ discusses how our understanding of global accumulation can be furthered by, what may be called, the government-business-media (GBM) complex. Although this concept is normally discussed from a critical theoretical perspective, this book explores how this model can represent the preconditions for development itself. This chapter embeds the GBM within the existing literature on capitalist development. It will begin by discussing some of the main theoretical influences of development and economic theory which intersect with the different schools of development theory. The narrative then follows a chronologically driven analysis of the main schools of development thinking throughout the twentieth century and how they were influenced by changing events in the global political economy. The dominant schools of thinking on development are critiqued from the perspective of the Global South. Our analysis also seeks to identify advances in the development and related literature. The chapter ends by discussing the unique contribution which the GBM complex hopes to make to the literature.
Justin van der Merwe, Nicole Dodd

Chapter 2. Different Schools, Same Problems: Development Theory in the Twentieth Century

Abstract
Van der Merwe and Dodd begin by analysing what is meant by the notion of underdevelopment as well as exploring its historical antecedents in Northern-led colonialism in the Global South. Reflecting on some of the major development thinking as a response to political-economic events at the time, and critiquing some of the early schools of development theory, notably modernisation theory, dependency theory, and world systems theory, the chapter highlights the tensions between endogenous and exogenous explanations for underdevelopment. The government-business-media (GBM) complex is tentatively offered as a means of reconciling these opposing explanations of underdevelopment. The GBM complex further caters for this bifurcated analysis by incorporating both descriptive (endogenous) and structural (exogenous) levels of analysis. What emerges is that asymmetrical development is hardwired into the relational aspect of capitalist development, and while country-level reforms are beneficial, they must be coupled with careful, individualised, and tailored insertion into the global political economy.
Justin van der Merwe, Nicole Dodd

Chapter 3. From Neoliberalism to Post-development: Development Theory’s Decline and Redefinition

Abstract
Moving away from the nation-state as a unit of analysis towards human-centred development, Van der Merwe and Dodd highlight some of the late-twentieth-century trends and thinking by covering the global spread of capitalism and neoliberalism through globalisation. The chapter describes neoliberal theory as the dominant framework through which globalisation occurred, and as a global political-economic project and policy framework. The counter-currents in the literature such as those presented in post-development and critical development theory are also covered. The chapter suggests that contemporary praxis has continued to underdevelop countries in the Global South, albeit through new, deceptive means. These processes have had an uneven effect on development as almost no area of human life remains untrammelled. Placing the ‘human’ at the centre of these debates restores some of the initial optimism upon which the development project was founded.
Justin van der Merwe, Nicole Dodd

Chapter 4. Marx, Gramsci, and Power Networks

Abstract
Synthesising Harvey’s reworking of Marx’s primitive accumulation and Cox’s reformulation of Gramscian analysis, Van der Merwe and Dodd provide the conceptual and theoretical framework of the government-business-media (GBM) complex. They illustrate how power networks provide an overall schema for understanding the systemic nature of capital accumulation across space and time. The GBM complex explains how the global system of accumulation is a function of the synergy between the state’s quest for power, businesses’ need for expansion, and informational and hegemonic functions of media actors. Complexes (as a defined sub-type of power networks) and what may be called ‘complex theory’ provide the theoretical framework for understanding the global political economy in which countries and blocs operate and compete throughout the international system. The chapter suggests that processes of underdevelopment and dispossession in the South are facilitated through globally dominant GBMs.
Justin van der Merwe, Nicole Dodd

Chapter 5. Uneven Development and Capital Accumulation: The Government-Business-Media Complex

Abstract
The government-business-media complex (GBM) explains systems of accumulation in the era of neoliberalism and globalisation. In this era networks of elites who have mastered the technologies of capitalism and imperialism, transplant crises of over-accumulation from the core, to the semi-periphery, and periphery. Underdevelopment results from the interplay between international (structural) and domestic (descriptive) level factors, and the ‘labour’ of elites and workers. Affective labour cultivates consent, while infrastructural labour installs the practical arrangements required for accumulation by dispossession. Conversion of economic inputs into development also depends on a country’s descriptive level characteristics, specifically its spatiotemporal considerations (geography, history, and culture) and its GBM. Spatiotemporal elements are relatively unchangeable and create a ceiling for development. Fortunately, efficient conversion of economic inputs into development also depends on the robustness of the country’s GBM, which can be reformed over time.
Justin van der Merwe, Nicole Dodd

Chapter 6. The Government-Business-Media Complex and Global Chains of Dispossession

Abstract
Elites transform the Global South’s raw materials into capital via convoluted and deceptive supply chains and in a way that does little to promote development. The three cases presented in this chapter demonstrate how commonplace products (iPhones, chocolate, and nuclear energy) have questionable production processes and supply chains. From child labour and conflict minerals in Africa to tax evasion in Ireland, these products expose how the Global South carries a disproportionate human, economic, and environmental burden in the global market and how the Global South is not enriched via these interactions. Instead, the conversion of raw materials to capital could be fuelling underdevelopment. The cases also show how countries in the semi-periphery are complicit in this exploitation.
Justin van der Merwe, Nicole Dodd

Chapter 7. Inputs and Outcomes: Debunking Aid, Trade, and Investment As Drivers of Development

Abstract
The international market pressurises developing countries into lowering trade barriers, whilst offering up foreign direct investment and aid as catalysts for development. These financial inputs are presented as the only means of achieving economic growth and boosting human development. However, careful interrogation of these assertions and an inspection of the evidence suggests otherwise. In what should seem like common sense, countries need baseline levels of maturity in terms of governance and development before such interventions are likely to yield significant benefits. Country differences should also be considered, suggesting that advocacy of a ‘one size fits all’ approach might be because of its benefits for the Global North, and not the Global South. Aid, trade, and investment could simply be mechanisms employed by the Global North, who exploit country-level vulnerabilities in the Global South to perpetuate asymmetry and inequality.
Justin van der Merwe, Nicole Dodd

Chapter 8. The Status of Development, Aid, Trade, and Investment in the Global South

Abstract
This chapter presents snapshots of the current state of development, aid, trade, and investment in the Global South. Despite the Global South’s export capacity and wealth of raw materials, only five countries in the Global South (countries with low or medium levels of human development) posted a trade surplus in 2015. A small proportion (about a quarter) of the revenue received from the Global South returns to it. This aid is directed at humanitarian, economic and political purposes, and is not necessarily directed at countries with the lowest levels of human development. Contrary to what commonly represented in the media, countries undergoing reconstruction are not the major recipients of FDI. FDI is more likely to flow into stable and established countries with a minimum level of human development in place. Less surprisingly, FDI is likely to flow out of countries where there is political instability and conflict.
Justin van der Merwe, Nicole Dodd

Chapter 9. Modelling Development in the Global South

Abstract
Assessing the relationship between aid, trade, investment, and development in the Global South, this paper argues that these relationships are mediated by three factors: the intentions of the foreign actor and type of economic input; the robustness of a country or bloc’s government-business-media (GBM) complex; and, finally, the spatiotemporal make-up of a country or bloc. In terms of stimulating human development, the findings suggest that how inputs are used is more operative than what is received, with a robust GBM providing optimal conditions for human development. Overall, aid, foreign direct investment and being landlocked have a negative relationship with development in the Global South, while trade has a small, but statistically significant positive relationship. Contrary to what most argue, resource richness positively impacts on development in the Global South. Countries displaying several of these factors should be particularly cautious as landlocked countries with dysfunctional GBMs, limited resources, and who receive large amounts of aid and investment, are likely to remain underdeveloped.
Justin van der Merwe, Nicole Dodd

Chapter 10. Reversing Dispossession

Abstract
After recapping the evolution of, and recent rejoinders to development theory, this paper presents the government-business-media (GBM) complex as an analytical framework for understanding the political economy of underdevelopment in the Global South. The GBM operates by means of infrastructural and affective labour and is particularly useful in highlighting how the structural (international) and descriptive (national) levels tessellate to facilitate accumulation. Having identified the nature of global accumulation, the framework is applied at the national level, while also considering the role of ‘fixed’ spatiotemporal factors (conflict, landlocked, resource richness, and ethnolinguistic plurality) in determining a country’s potential for development. Regression analysis was employed to explore how economic inputs (aid, trade, and foreign direct investment), the GBM complex, and spatiotemporal elements influence development. The findings suggest that landlocked countries in the Global South that have with weak GBMs, limited resources, and high levels of aid and foreign direct investment are most at risk of underdevelopment.
Justin van der Merwe, Nicole Dodd

Backmatter

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