Tuesday, January 19, 2021

The Nature and Characteristics of The State in the Third World

The nature and characteristics of the state in the Third World.

The nature and characteristics of the state in the Third World,  Theories of 'the' state, in particular 'the' Third World state, have fallen far from their erstwhile theoretical pre-eminence. Caught up in the postulated dual 'impasse' of development theory' on the one hand, and of the state in international relations theory on the other, and eroded by a growing corpus of sub-state, and indeed extra-state theories, the theory of the Third World state has not fared well in the first half of the neo-classical nineties. Nor has the discourse in which the Third World state has been framed. If the mainstream development literature of the 1960s and 1970s presupposed a 'modernizing' or 'developmental' state and the Marxist approaches of the same period invoked the 'strong,' 'overdeveloped' and (relatively) 'autonomous' postcolonial state; and if the eighties produced rather more ambiguous concepts such as the 'rentier state,' the 'peripheral state' or the 'bureaucratic-authoritarian state;' The nature and characteristics of the state in the Third World, then in the nineties the imagery has turned relentlessly negative as expressed in such coinages as 'vassal state,' 'predator state,' 'vampire state,' 'receiver state,' 'prostrate state,' and even 'fictitious state,' 'show of state' or 'collapsed state.

State,' and even 'fictitious state,' 'show of state' or 'collapsed state.' The changing imagery of the Third World state reflects the new reality, particularly for states in Africa and large parts of Latin and Central American, Asia, and the Middle East as well as those Eastern European states that have now been downgraded from the Second to the Third World. This justifies the blanket term 'Third World;' and it is with this rapidly changing and evolving entity that the present contribution is concerned.

 Globalization and Neo-liberalism : The nature and characteristics of the state in the Third World , The hegemonic vision of world society for the Millennium has clearly emerged in the notion of globalization. In contrast to the still aggressively anticommunist 'New World Order' that opened the nineties, the 'kinder, gentler' - and more self-evidently hegemonic - 'globalization' of the dominant international discourse is a 'postcommunist' and even 'postimperialist' statement of a world becoming more and more unified in a progressive neo-classical and neo-liberal system proclaiming free choice, free enterprise and free labour. The end of the state-socialist challenge to hegemonic capitalism lends force to the powerful underlying myths of globalization - that it is desirable, that it is dynamic, that it is inevitable, and that, anyway, it is the only game in town. From out of the surfeit of recent literature on globalization one central leitmotif clearly emerges: it is in its core profoundly and relentlessly antistate. The overinflated, centralized and bureaucratized state is the universal villain in the neo-liberal world-view. At the state's doorstep is laid blame for the world economic crises of the mid-seventies and early eighties. Its suffocating grip is said to have held in check the many creative, entrepreneurial forces waiting to emerge.


Recommodification and Democratization From the perspective of the Third World state, the phenomenon of globalization can, be usefully cast in terms of a primarily economic dimension, recommodification, and a very closely related, mainly political one, formal-liberal democratization. The former concept, recommodification, The important analysis of the welfare state which, a decade ago, he saw as threatened by the power of capital because it was implicated in a 'primary contradiction' from which it could not extricate itself: on the one hand, the capitalist economy, with the profits, revenues, etc. that it generates, was historically necessary to make the welfare state work in the first place; but state intervention increased the scope of decommodification (or autonomous, unregulated spheres of social action). The nature and characteristics of the state in the Third World, However, decommodification, while it brought greater social peace and increased mass purchasing power, was in the longer term also a limitation on capital's sphere of action, flexibility and profitability and hence a threat to its power. Capital's (logical) response was to recommodify, a process which 'seeks to decrease the scope and importance of decommodified political and administrative power by resuscitating 'market forces,'" mainly by means of wresting functions and powers from the state and 'privatizing' or abolishing them.