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In 2009, many received wisdoms of late capitalism are crumbling. To mention a few disappointments, which it didn’t take a telescope to see from a mile away,

  • No – we haven’t overcome the business cycle.
  • Sorry – China and India aren’t gonna drag us out of the recession.
  • Nope – deregulation doesn’t bring widespread prosperity.
  • Too bad – wealth doesn’t grow on trees or in banks or hedge funds.
  • Please – add your own favourite here: __________________________

A crisis is a moment in which illusions or expectations fall apart. In the Nigerian novel “Things Fall Apart”, the patriarchal protagonist Okonkwo confronts a world of changing values (colonialism, Christianity) in which he finds he has no leading role left to play. Rather than adapt to these circumstances, he takes his life.

This pessimistic example, however, doesn’t seem to apply to some international organisations in the current crisis. Rather, after years of seeming anachronistic, the World Bank, IMF, NATO and OECD are experiencing something of a revival – notable absentee: the UN.

According to classical (or vulgar?) institutional theory, institutions persist rather statically until some kind of “critical juncture” suddenly occurs, at which point they disappear or reinvent themselves (or are reinvented). As far as critical junctures go, they don’t get much bigger than the 2007 to 20xx? global capitalist crisis. Read the rest of this entry »

The Book

Governance across borders: transnational fields and transversal themes. Leonhard Dobusch, Philip Mader and Sigrid Quack (eds.), 2013, epubli publishers.
April 2019
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