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Additional info for Alternatives to Neoliberal Globalization: Studies in the Political Economy of Institutions and Late Development

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Given the deterministic overtone of conventional radical writings, this amounts to questioning the origin of the new development pattern. Answers vary. Lipietz (1987, p. 78) puts it this way: ‘in some cases, its origin lay in an earlier import-substitution policy or in a peripheral form of merchant capitalism (Chinese in Eastern Asia). ’ The second half of the answer implies at least a partial relaxation of the dependency/NIDL judgement on the impossibility of indigenous accumulation. Bina and Yaghmaian (1990) emphasize Theoretical and Policy Doctrines in Late Development 23 the first half, that is, import substitution industrialization (ISI) as the necessary pre-condition of indigenous accumulation.

It is also the domestic market which sustains indigenous industrial expansion. Finally, albeit not being raised in the relevant writings, one may add that in line with the ‘import protection as export promotion’ thesis the existence and growth of the domestic market foster the expansion of exports. This reasoning carries a strong stagnationist or under-consumptionist inclination, and contrasts with the supply-side focus of both the NIDL thesis and the Washington Consensus doctrine – and indeed much of the neoclassical endogenous growth literature (see the surveys by its chief protagonists, Romer 1994 and Solow 1994; Chapter 4 of this book provides a critical assessment of the literature).

This is just like our specific way of telling the flexible specialization story, which, while retaining its central thesis on the transition, seems to be able to survive earlier criticisms: overemphasising the shift in the demand pattern (Hyman 1991), ignoring the adaptability of big firms to flexible production (Sayer 1989), promoting niche products to the sacrifice of scale economies (Nolan and O’Donnell 1991), etc. In our accounts, the essential point is that both of the two strands view the interplay between technical change and institutions as the driving force of change.

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