Globalization should be what states make of it
A significant factor that prevented the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) from becoming as calamitous as the Great Depression of 1929, is the fact that states reacted swiftly to inject massive sums of public money to save the banks and the global financial system. This massive state intervention highlighted the limits of the progressive deregulation of the international system which characterized the process of globalization. It showed that states had huge responsibilities in keeping the global economy afloat, albeit without a clear compass or direction. The apparent ‘anarchy’ of the global market system makes conceivable that, to paraphrase A. Wendt, “globalization should be what states make of it”. Limiting the scope of study to the postmodern state, and looking at the discourse surrounding the globalization process that promotes de-regulation and limited government within a ‘neo-liberal paradigm’ it looks at the ‘democratic deficit’ which weakens the political decision-making process. If not yet a ‘paradigm shift’, the GFC has many ingredients of a crisis of capitalism which needs to re-invent itself, and political action is crucial to curb the excesses of finance. Looking at France, and the election of Francois Hollande on a strong ‘anti-finance’ platform in 2012 and its European Union dimension, it remains to be seen if that kind of shift will actually be able to operate and be successful to set the tone for global reforms. In conclusion, the core argument is that the global ‘trial’ of the neoliberal paradigm and the concept of financial deregulation should now enter a new phase. It is historically and symbolically the defeat of the self-regulating markets as a blueprint for global prosperity. The present structures are inadequate, and states have to find new ways for cooperation in order to steer this integrated world towards greater cohesion.