State Capitalism as an Alternative Form of Capitalism

1. (250 words). In Chapter 4, “The Interaction of Capitalism and Globalization,” Branko Milanovic warns that capitalism—whether market-oriented or politically-oriented—has cracks and fissures in it that may undermine its viability. He focuses on 2 areas: (i) labor migration and the unbundling of labor globally and (ii) the rise of worldwide corruption. Select one of these two focus areas:
a. What is the emerging problem that this area raises?
b. Why will this produce instability in the North American/European market-oriented economies?
c. What will be the likely political response to address the problem?
2. (250 words) You will recall from the class discussion of neoliberal/meritocratic capitalism that the policy advice to emerging market economies from neoliberal organizations such as the IMF and the United States would include the following:
• Deregulate domestic markets and eliminate price controls to encourage competition.
• Privatize state-owned enterprises, and wherever possible, encourage service
provision (utilities, healthcare, education) through private markets.
• Liberalize financial markets and open capital accounts.
• Minimize trade protectionism to expose domestic markets to international
competition.
• Limit governments’ ability to run fiscal deficits and accumulate debt .
• Avoid government subsidies or ‘picking winners’ among domestic firms and
industries.
• Strengthen legal protections for property rights.
However, Bremmer and Kurlantzick each argue that these are NOT the policies that many emerging economies such as China, Russia, Brazil, and India choose. Why? Cite the reasons that Bremmer and Kurlantzik provide that explain why state capitalism, rather than market-oriented/neoliberal capitalism, is attractive to emerging market economies. In your answer, be sure to provide a definition of state capitalism and be sure to signal that you have drawn your answer from both assigned readings.

3. (250 words) One of the most important tools that the state uses in managing state capitalism is resource nationalism, especially natural oil and gas corporations.
a. Define resource nationalism.
b. Explain ways in which NOCs (natural gas and oil corporations) and other nationally-owned mineral and raw material corporations establish market dominance.
c. Provide some context: what percentage of global crude oil reserves are owned by national oil companies like Aramco, Gazprom, CNPC, NIOC, and Petrobras?

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4. (300 words) This question deals with are sovereign wealth funds? In your answer integrate the discussion from Bremer, Behrendt, and Ang’s video. (Be sure to cite your information)

a. What are sovereign wealth funds? Why are they created and how are they funded? (where does the money come from?)
b. What are SWF’s primarily used for?
c. Use an online search engine and update the data provided in Bremmer by listing the world’s 10 largest SWF’s by net value or net assets
d. Use the article by Behrendt to explain how SWF’s have been used to shape policies and institutions of state capitalism in each of the following countries/regions
i. Middle East & North Africa
ii. Singapore
iii. Russia
5. (200-250 words) Take one of the following countries discussed in this chapter:
• Saudi Arabia
• United Arab Emirates
• India
• Brazil
Summarize Bremmer’s assessment of this country’s status as a state capitalist economy. Use the internet to update the data that Bremmer presents. Given your research, how would you revise Bremmer’s discussion of this country? Is it continuing down the state capitalist path? What is the evidence?
6. (200 words) Drawing on Bremmer, Ch. 5, make a list of the primary challenges that state capitalism imposes on the geopolitical and economic balance of power in the world. Very brief discuss each.

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