Globalization, nation-state and catching up

Vol. 28 No. 4 (2008)

Oct-Dec / 2008
Published October 1, 2008

How to Cite

Bresser-Pereira, Luiz Carlos. 2008. “Globalization, Nation-State and Catching up”. Brazilian Journal of Political Economy 28 (4):557-76.

Globalization, nation-state and catching up

Luiz Carlos Bresser-Pereira
Professor of economics at Fundação Getulio Vargas, São Paulo
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 28 No. 4 (2008), Oct-Dec / 2008, Pages 557-576


Globalization and nation-states are not in contradiction, since globalization is the present stage of capitalist development, and the nation-state is the territorial political unit that organizes the space and population in the capitalist system. Since the 1980s, Global Capitalism constitutes the economic system characterized by the opening of all national markets and a fierce competition between nation-states. Developing countries tend to catch up, while rich countries try to neutralize such competitive effort, using globalism as an ideology, and conventional orthodoxy as a strategy. Middle-income countries that are catching up in the realm of globalization are the ones that count with a national development strategy. This is broadly the case of the dynamic Asian countries. In contrast, Latin American countries have no longer their own strategy, and grow less. To add data to the argument, the author conducts an econometric test comparing these two groups of countries, and three variables: the rate of investment, the current account deficit or surplus that would indicate or not a competitive exchange rate, and public deficit.

Jel Classification: F31; F32; F4.

Keywords: globalization globalism nation-state nationalism financial globalization