Institutional Transformation of Capitalism in the Age of Globalization

A special issue of Social Sciences (ISSN 2076-0760). This special issue belongs to the section "Social Economics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 January 2022) | Viewed by 15003

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Department of Political Science, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC V8P 5C2, Canada
Interests: political economy of capitalism; political legitimacy; elite politics; mass media, the Internet, and political communication under authoritarianism; and, more generally, transitions from and democratization of communism and authoritarianism

Special Issue Information

Dear colleagues,

Globalization has profoundly transformed institutions of capitalism, as institutions can be referred as the rules of the game, or, more specifically, as the principles, norms, rules, and decision-making procedures in formal and informal organizational operations. However, understanding, explaining, and conceptualizing such institutional transformation of capitalism, is still a fundamental challenge of the social sciences, because the scope the transformation is unusually wide, the depth penetrative, and the momentum dynamic. This Special Issue is an attempt at a collective effort to address this challenge, with a focus on identifying, describing, and exploring some of emerging institutional changes of capitalism in the age of globalization. Such changes can be in various fields, such as markets, corporations, banks, investment, R&D, trade, human resources, education, immigration and migration, consumers and consumption, cultural production, the rise of social media, gender relations, marriage and family, social caring, ethnic tensions, spiritual life, global governance, power–money relations, citizens’ participation in public affairs, social movements, etc., as long as the contribution highlights how organizational rules regarding the topic explored have been changed with the unfolding of post-Cold War globalization in the recent decades, and how such changes have reshaped market activities and their linkages with those powerful but traditionally non-market institutions.

Prof. Dr. Guoguang Wu
Guest Editor

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Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

25 pages, 2873 KiB  
Article
Towards a Conceptual Understanding of an Effective Rural-Based Entrepreneurial University in South Africa
by Ishmael Obaeko Iwara and Beata Mukina Kilonzo
Soc. Sci. 2022, 11(9), 388; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci11090388 - 30 Aug 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2516
Abstract
There is a considerable discussion about the entrepreneurial university concept in academia, likewise, debates on its different facets and overarching socio-economic benefits globally. However, the transformation pathways from traditional to entrepreneurial higher learning institutions in Africa are still under-researched. Similarly, while the concept [...] Read more.
There is a considerable discussion about the entrepreneurial university concept in academia, likewise, debates on its different facets and overarching socio-economic benefits globally. However, the transformation pathways from traditional to entrepreneurial higher learning institutions in Africa are still under-researched. Similarly, while the concept contributes significantly to innovation and growth of developed countries, it is less clear how this can create meaningful value to stimulate local economy in developing economies on the African continent. This exploratory qualitative case study seeks to identify conditions that can serve as pathways for determining an effective rural-based entrepreneurial university with the potential to meet societal needs, as well as impact positively on local economy. A sample of 33, specifically, individuals with deep knowledge of entrepreneurial university, was drawn from diverse groups using snowball and purposive sampling techniques to co-interact the phenomenon. The data collection was performed following hybrid (physical and digital) methods. Excerpts drawn primarily from stakeholders based on semi-structured questions were fitted and modelled on Atlas-ti v8 software open coding system, for thematic data analysis. Five conditions emerged as key findings. These include (1) entrepreneurial knowledge and skills building; (2) integration of indigenous entrepreneurship systems; (3) engaged scholarship; (4) value creation and venturing, and (5) embedding resourceful stakeholders in the university value chain network. These conditions set a foundation for the systemic institutional design that follows. Future research may consider examining the conditions on a broader scale to develop an index for measuring a rural-based entrepreneurial university with the potential to foster local economic development agenda in South Africa. Full article
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30 pages, 452 KiB  
Article
Mounting Turbulence in Neoliberal Globalization: Political Economy, Populist Discourse, and Policy in Alberta, Canada
by James Lawson
Soc. Sci. 2022, 11(5), 221; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci11050221 - 19 May 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3119
Abstract
For decades, the world’s dominant ideological and policy framework, neoliberal globalization, increasingly faces important disrupters. Long backers of neoliberalism, conservative movements now face pressing, convergent policy challenges (climate emergency, COVID-19), which they increasingly deny through populism, rather than address through neoliberalism. Populism’s unstable, [...] Read more.
For decades, the world’s dominant ideological and policy framework, neoliberal globalization, increasingly faces important disrupters. Long backers of neoliberalism, conservative movements now face pressing, convergent policy challenges (climate emergency, COVID-19), which they increasingly deny through populism, rather than address through neoliberalism. Populism’s unstable, often localist or xenophobic spatial imaginaries increasingly disrupt the neoliberal globalizing consensus of the 1990s and 2000s, and, thus, continental and international integration. As challenges mount, neoliberal globalization’s chances of re-stabilization diminish. However, chance, strategy, and the collective determination and capacities of its opponents will also be essential to establish something new. This article is an interpretive work, linking these themes to the history and current debates of Alberta, Canada, and its unconventional fossil-fuel exports. Canada’s leading fossil-fuel jurisdiction, Alberta, has stoutly favored free trade, continental integration, federal decentralization, and new export markets. Its United Conservative Party (UCP) government exhibits neo-nationalist or regionalist populism, opening tensions with the continental integration of its fossil fuel industries. Yet its populism targets the industry’s enemies to accelerate industry’s growth. Right-wing populism, marked by unstable spatial imaginaries, marks Alberta’s history. Alberta exemplifies the current destabilization of neoliberal globalization through populism, with implications for fossil-fuel exports. Full article
19 pages, 372 KiB  
Article
Building China’s Eldercare Market: The Imperatives of Capital Accumulation and Social Stability
by Feng Xu
Soc. Sci. 2022, 11(5), 212; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci11050212 - 13 May 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 4332
Abstract
The paper investigates China’s effort to create an eldercare market to shed light on how China’s economic reform entailed the creation of new institutions (e.g., eldercare market including eldercare labour market) and the reconfiguration of existing institutions (e.g., governance and regulation, the family, [...] Read more.
The paper investigates China’s effort to create an eldercare market to shed light on how China’s economic reform entailed the creation of new institutions (e.g., eldercare market including eldercare labour market) and the reconfiguration of existing institutions (e.g., governance and regulation, the family, and the community). All this was needed for the market to flourish while maintaining and strengthening the regime. An urban eldercare market, including an eldercare labour market, was created by local governments (i.e., municipalities, districts, counties, and towns) with central government policy directives, in order to address China’s demographic aging and care crisis. However, once enough demand and supply were created, local governments turned to New Public Management (NPM) to operate publicly funded eldercare institutions. The paper argues that NPM has different rationalities in China than in liberal democracies; in China, they strengthen the Party and contribute to the durability of the authoritarian rule, rather than “shrink the state”. However, in China as in the West, bureaucratic logic hampers the implementation of NPM and the governance of the eldercare sector. The implication of bureaucratic logic driving the regulation of the eldercare sector is that care is not at the centre of eldercare. The paper also argues that the commodification and privatization of eldercare, in line with the global trend, was a deliberate government policy aimed at creating a positive condition for the market economy to flourish, but at the expense of social reproduction/care. Unlike many Western transitions to market provision, this one entailed the decline in the extended family as the main eldercare institution of the immediate past. However, the commodification and privatization of social reproduction have been incomplete and met with resistance, prompting the state to invest more in the sector to maintain social stability. Data for this paper derive from personal interviews with key informants and eldercare workers, official document analysis, and secondary literature analysis from Chinese scholars in mainland China. Full article
21 pages, 1136 KiB  
Article
Variable Interest Entity, Offshore Domesticated Foreign Finance, and the Political Economy of China’s Internet Firms: The Case of Alibaba
by Can Zhao
Soc. Sci. 2022, 11(3), 99; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci11030099 - 24 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3979
Abstract
This article aims to show how the globalized securities market in general and a transnational legal business structure named variable interest entity (VIE) in particular has challenged our conventional understanding of “foreignness” as a geographical concept in cross-border capital flow and ushers in [...] Read more.
This article aims to show how the globalized securities market in general and a transnational legal business structure named variable interest entity (VIE) in particular has challenged our conventional understanding of “foreignness” as a geographical concept in cross-border capital flow and ushers in a new type of foreign investment which I call “offshore domesticated foreign finance” (ODFF). By performing a case study on Alibaba—one of the world’s leading VIE-structured Internet companies—and mapping out the company’s fund-raising history and personnel appointment mechanism with the help of company releases and news reports, this article shows how ODFF makes a company de jure foreign-incorporated and -owned but de facto China-based and Chinese-controlled. This article also demonstrates that ODFF’s primary function is to allow China-based Internet firms to tap into international financial markets while helping Chinese entrepreneurs and managers—despite their minority shareholdings—to control the company. These findings shed light on how financial globalization has transformed the cross-border capital movement and corporate governance. Full article
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