The Transnational State and the Infrastructure Push

Morten Ougaard*

*Corresponding author for this work

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    Abstract

    In 2010, the G20, in cooperation with major international organisations, launched a comprehensive effort – here labelled the infrastructure push – to promote infrastructure investments around the world. Using selected transnationalised elements from historical materialism, this is explained as a transnational state initiative to secure general material conditions for capitalist growth in a manner that is profoundly shaped by power relations. The infrastructure problem was allowed to grow during neoliberalism because of the hegemony of finance; the push is a result of and reflects a weakening of finance and strengthening of industrial interests in the transnational power bloc, as well as a strengthening of the emerging economies. This potential hegemonic project has gained the support of the global labour movement, while also has been subject to serious criticism from civil society organisations, speaking for the most vulnerable subaltern social forces. The empirical analysis also shows that the transnational state in this policy area works as a flexible, networked cooperation of G20 states and leading international organisations in ongoing dialogue with non-state actors, especially transnational business. In this cooperation, the international organisations have a relatively autonomous role in line with a historical materialist understanding of state apparatuses.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalNew Political Economy
    Volume23
    Issue number1
    Pages (from-to)128-144
    Number of pages17
    ISSN1356-3467
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2018

    Bibliographical note

    Published online: 27 Jul 2017

    Keywords

    • G20
    • Global governance
    • Historical materialism
    • Infrastructure
    • International organisations
    • power
    • State theory
    • Transnationalism

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