Recent changes to the IMF, WTO and SPD: emerging global mode of regulation or social structure of accumulation for long wave upswing?
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This paper examines the degree to which a new global mode of regulation (MOR) or social structure of accumulation (SSA) has emerged which may help to promote long wave upswing in the world economy. A series of institutional proxies are employed in this paper. Attention is given to the system-functions of global productivity and demand , through the performance of the prevailing system of production-distribution (SPD); global financial stability , proxied by the operations of the IMF; and global conflict resolution over trade issues, proxied through the workings of the WTO. The main findings are threefold. First, the SPD is only partially developed so as to promote productivity and demand. Second, some significant financial stability functions have been instigated through the IMF. And third, the WTO is undergoing major conflict due to the opposing policy proposals and criticisms by non-government organizations. This supports the conclusion that only limited success has been made in the emergence of a global MOR or SSA, not yet enough to promote (sustained) long wave upswing. The emergence of an effective global MOR or SSA to propel long wave upswing in the global economy is thus in the early-to-medium phase of development. Periodic uncertainty and deep recession (of an uneven character, interspersed with short-cycle upswings), are thus expected in the dominant economies during the early years of the twenty-first century until suitable institutional innovations emerge.
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