The Handbook of State Capitalism and the Firm assesses, develops, and extends the debates on how firms are influenced by and respond to state capitalism, that is, the government's direct influence on economic relationships in capitalist economies.
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There has been a major revival of interest in State Capitalism: what it is, where it is found, and why it is seemingly becoming more ubiquitous. As a concept, it has evolved from radical critiques of the Soviet Union, to being deployed by neo-liberals to describe market reforms deemed imperfect, to settle into a middle ground, as a pragmatic way to describe the state assuming a role as an active economic agent, in addition to its regulatory, social, and security
functions. The latter is the central focus of this book, although due attention is accorded to the origins of state capitalism and how it has changed over the years, as well as contemporary ways in which state capitalism may be theorized. This economic agency may assume direct forms, for example, via
state owned enterprises. However, it may also be indirect, for example, actively serving private interests through promoting insider firms, who may occupy monopolistic market positions and perform outsourced state functions. In turn, this leads to raising salient governance questions. The latter may encompass agency tensions between public ownership, and political or even private interest control; it may also include issues of transparency and monitoring. Although state capitalism has often
been depicted as the preserve of states in the global south, be they developmental or predatory, many forms of state capitalism are visible in mature economies, be they liberal or coordinated, and this is not always associated with superior governance arrangements; indeed, this is an area where clear
and easy divisions between the "developing" or "emerging" world and the "developed" or "mature" world may increasingly be breaking down. This volume brings together the accounts of leading experts from around the world; it is explicitly multi-disciplinary, and both consolidates the existing knowledge base, and provides new, novel, and counter-intuitive insights.