Crisis Management in the South: Challenges and Responses

Paper Session

Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM

Swissotel Chicago, Montreux 3
Hosted By: Union for Radical Political Economics
  • Chair: George DeMartino, University of Denver

New Developmentalism and South Economic Exchanges in the 21st Century: A Failed Developmentalist Promise?

Firat Demir
University of Oklahoma
Omar S. Dahi
Hampshire College


Trade and finance between the emerging countries of the global South are reshaping the world economy -- but in what way, and to whose benefit? While from 1950s until the late 1980s South-South trade represented roughly 5-10% of all global trade, by 2014 this number reached 31%. Likewise, as of 2014 more than 75% of all trade agreements were signed between countries of the global South. We find similar trends regarding the South-South financial flows as well. However, many countries of the South are left out of this process. In this paper we revisit the theoretical and empirical evidence on South-South economic exchanges and try to answer whether the poorest countries of the global South can truly be part of the new emerging world economic order, and, if so, how? Less obviously, but with broader implications, do South-South economic exchanges today still hold the promise of an alternative path for development and industrial upgrading, or has South-South integration become just another marketing slogan? We also attempt to discuss the following questions: Is South-South trade, as many of its advocates claim, relatively concentrated in industrial and more sophisticated products and thus with higher potential for economic development? Has South-South trade and finance benefited all countries or just a few? What are the possible downsides of increasing South-South exchanges and how can developing countries avoid the pitfalls and maximize the benefits? Advocates of South-South cooperation provide a long list of its benefits, yet few discuss the potential risks for the global South countries. This paper attempts to do just that, including the costs and benefits of the rise of key emerging South economies, such as Brazil and China, for the rest of the South.

The IMF’s ‘New’ Institutional View on Regulating International Capital Flows through the Lens of a Minsky-Kregel Analysis: Do They Finally Get It?

Devin Rafferty
St. Peter's University


In the wake of the North Atlantic Financial Crisis, the IMF noticeably altered its Institutional View towards a much greater acceptance of using capital flow management measures to regulate international capital flows. This raises a host of issues; most importantly, whether the IMF finally has an official policy stance consistent with the needs developing economies have for ensuring financial stability. This is the topic analyzed in this paper. To do so, we employ a Minsky-Kregel model of international financial instability and compare its substance and results to that of the IMF’s ‘New’ Institutional View. We find that while the IMF has come a long way on its recognition of the efficacy of capital flow management measures for financial stability, there still remains an even further way to go.

Crises of Crisis Management in Neomercantilist Neocolonialisms

Sudeep Regmi
Franklin and Marshall College


James O’Connor, Jurgen Habermas, and Claus Offe developed their analyses of economic and political crisis tendencies of state-managed capitalism in the 1970s. Some 40 years later, while their analyses of crisis management by capitalist states still remains very insightful, much has transformed in the geopolitical terrain of the global economy. This paper reconstructs some of the categories developed by O'Connor, Habermas, and Offe, and applies this reconstruction to case studies of several recent episodes of crisis management in actually existing Southern capitalisms. Two very intriguing conclusions follow from this: (1) the seemingly incoherent national and international systems of economic governance in the South resemble a carefully managed and evolving neomercantilist neocolonialism of sorts, not much different in practice from that in the North; and (2) such intricate structural geopolitical arrangements appear to have enormous implications for global popular struggles against both capital and the state.

Small-Scale Fisheries Governance and the Growth of Aquaculture on Lake Victoria: Emerging Limitations to Sustainable and Inclusive Development

Karin Wedig
University of Denver


Rapid aquaculture growth on Lake Victoria is promising increased exports earnings from fisheries for Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya, but it is also threatening to intensify high levels of inequality, exploitation and social-ecological pressures in the region’s small-scale fisheries (SSF). Worldwide, aquaculture is promoted as a pathway to food security and poverty alleviation, but large-scale commercial development has created conflicts of interest with fisher folks. The dependence of Lake Victoria fisheries on EU markets renders the sector highly vulnerable to EU export bans, which further increases the likelihood of governance structures focused on corporate interests. This article examines the effects of national, regional and global fisheries management strategies on re-distributional dynamics and the sustainability of fisheries resource use. Based on an analysis of regional strategies, the emerging global agenda for Rights-Based Fisheries (RBF), and results of the author’s on-going field work in the lake basin, it is argued that the current policy focus on private property rights, even if combined with the widely debated but narrowly-defined human rights approach to fisheries management, will fail to promote socially and environmentally sustainable results in the region’s aquaculture sector. Instead, current political strategies are likely to advance a system of corporate hegemony that disregards the socio-economic, ecological and cultural rights of fisher folks while allowing investors to engage in unsustainable fish-farming practices. The resulting acceleration of poverty-driven social-ecological traps and rapid corporate accumulation will increase the risk of socio-economic and environmental crisis in an economic sector that is highly vulnerable to external shocks.
Timothy Koechlin
Vassar College
Jonathan Diskin
Earlham College
Daniele Tavani
Colorado State University-Fort Collins
Stephen Kinsella
University of Limerick
JEL Classifications
  • F0 - General
  • O1 - Economic Development