The Only Viable Route for Developing Countries:
Building A Popular-Statist and Auto-Centric Model of Development

The truth of our times is that the neoliberal economic system has completed its course and is now nearing its collapse. The success of this system rested on two imperatives, one being voiced by Fukuyama’s dream of a unipolar world and the other finding its expression in Milton Friedman’s “flat earth” thesis. However, it took great struggles for humanity to learn that the reality of the 21st century lies in the persisting relevance of nation-states. What brought the end of neoliberalism is the resistance of nation-states and their national economies to imperialist oppression and exploitation, especially those of the People’s Republic of China, which is currently preparing to overtake the United States as the world’s largest economy. This has also contributed to growing multipolarity in parallel with the dissolution of the Atlantic system. The neoliberal policies imposed by the Atlantic system, which represents the interests of the core countries or imperialist metropoles, have reached an insurmountable impasse. The global pandemic and lockdowns have demonstrated the inadequacies and limitations of the “invisible hand of the market”. Moreover, this has shown how the global economic system predicated on free markets, private interests, and profit maximization is a dead end not only for people’s livelihoods but also for states’ ability to achieve sustainable development.

Under these conditions, developing countries are pushed to deepen their economic policies that protect the national market. In their quest to create alternatives to neoliberalism, they have also begun to concentrate their efforts on advancing international cooperation based on equality, common good, and shared development. The prevailing trend has become one that rejects neoliberal globalization, which aims at the abolition of national borders.

The success that China has achieved over the 70 years since the 1949 revolution led by Mao Zedong is rightly described as a “miracle”. The secret of China’s success lies in a popular-statist and auto-centric approach driven by strategic planning.

Turkey has not remained immune to the growing trend against neoliberal globalization. In Turkey, there has emerged a stronger will, on a governmental level, to tackle the problems caused by the neoliberal economic program adopted in the 1980s. Turkey is showing the early signs of adopting a new economic model based on state-led investments, production, and employment. Turkey’s historical legacy from the early Republican era constitutes one of the main pillars of this effort. The secret of Turkey’s economic development after the War of Independence and the Republican Revolution led by M. Kemal Ataturk was based on the same formula as the contemporary “Chinese miracle”: state planning, populist economic policies, labor mobilization, public investments, public-private partnerships, and state-guided production and employment. China has already achieved historic success by applying an advanced example of this model in the 21st century.

These two models point to the only viable route for developing countries: protecting their national markets and strengthening the nation-state. This requires a strong government characterized by strategic planning, popular-statist policies, and auto-centric development!


We are proud to announce that Ding Xiaoqin, Secretary-General of the World Association for Political Economy (WAPE) and one of China’s leading academics in the field of international economics, has joined the BRIQ Advisory Board. Another newsworthy development is that BRIQ is now indexed in the Index Copernicus Journals Master List, a prominent index of academic journals. Our journal was already indexed in CiteFactor, another international index for academic publications.

Prof. Dr. Sencer Imer, one of Turkey’s distinguished intellectuals and a BRIQ Advisory Board member, passed away in January 2022. We offer our condolences to his relatives, friends, and the entire Turkish academic community.




The biggest difference of the 21st century from the 20th century is that the “Oppressed World” has created from within itself a “Developing World” that tends to be an alternative to the imperialist system in all aspects of life. The center of production in the world has shifted from the West to the East. The successes of the People’s Republic of China, which led this process with a state-led and sharing approach, created a “miracle” effect all over the world. Today, the whole world is in search of a more egalitarian and fair international order. More importantly, the achievements of the Developing World and the multipolarity accompanying it create a suitable ground for each country to benefit from international cooperation in line with the development strategy it has determined for itself. Today, the decline of imperialist hegemony and the widening of the living space of developing countries cause the objective imperatives of these countries to play a more active role in guiding the attitudes of both their governments and their peoples. The objective conditions in the world today create a very suitable basis for Turkey to complete its national democratic revolution that it started with the Kemalist Revolution. The 20th century began with the rising wave of democratic revolutions in Russia, Turkey, China and Iran. It is no coincidence that these four countries are still at the forefront of the struggle against imperialist hegemony at the beginning of the 21st century. This is a clear indication that our age is the Age of National Democratic Revolutions and Opening up to Socialism.


"Bringing prosperity to all is an essential requirement of socialism, as well as an important feature of Chinese-style modernization. The common prosperity we are working to achieve is for everyone, and covers enrichment of people’s lives in both the material and non-material sense. Even in the future when we have reached a higher level of development, we still must not aim too high, and steer clear of the idleness-breeding trap of welfarism. "


In the past 40 years, China’s growth has been phenomenal. Since the global financial crisis and the Great Recession in the major capitalist economies, China has continued to close the output gap with the leading capitalist economies. Will China continue to catch up in the next 40 years or will it suffer the fate of the so-called “middle income trap” experienced by other “emerging” economies? The paper considers three possible explanations for China’s economic progress: that offered by: neoclassical growth theory; a Keynesian-style forced investment model; and a Marxian model based on the laws of value and the productivity of labor. The neoclassical model highlights China’s comparative advantage of cheap and plentiful labor; the Keynesian model concentrates on the role of China’s high investment ratio; the Marxist model emphasizes China’s exceptional curbing of the law of value in capitalist production, allowing the faster expansion of labor productivity while revealing the essential contradictions within “socialism with Chinese characteristics”.


Despite enormous historical, demographic, geographical, and geopolitical adversities, China has enjoyed unprecedented economic success in world history. This article aims to decipher the formula behind China’s historic economic success and distill policy lessons for developing countries in their endeavors to reach an advanced stage of economic development. Based on descriptive case study and statistics, the article suggests that the Chinese economic miracle can be explained by a four-fold formula: a) devising an autocentric economic model aspiring to improve national autonomy and cushion the impact of foreign interference, b) insisting on socialism and the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC), which allows for strategic coherence and long-term planning to overcome free-market anarchy, c) creating a state-driven industrial base fueled by national science and technology policies, and d) adopting a balanced approach to development centered on attaining a higher sociocultural and ecological quality of life. The findings also help to debunk the myths surrounding the Chinese miracle, particularly the “cheap labor thesis”, the “technology theft thesis”, the “foreign investment and capitalist integration theses”, the “imperialism thesis”, and the “Mao-the-monster thesis”.


THIS REVIEW IS ABOUT CHENG ENFU’S BOOK, entitled China’s Economic Dialectic, and its significan- ce for Western readers. The way I look at the book is that it consists of two parts. The first part is actually the introduction, which is his general statement on his philosophy of Marxism. The introduction itself, will startle all Western readers in the sense that it is often conceived that Marxism in China is dogmatic, that it has simply become a cover for transformations that are going on in China, but it is not in itself a creative or innovative outlook on the world today.


Çin Başkent Ekonomi ve İşletme Üniversitesi profesörü, Çin Uluslararası Ekonomi Derneği Genel Danışmanı Prof. Ding Bing’in 18-19 Aralık 2021 tarihlerinde Şanghay Uluslararası Çalışmalar Üniversitesi’nde düzenlenen Dünya Politik Ekonomi Derneği (World Association of Political Economy, WAPE) 15. Forumu’nun 18 Aralık 2021’deki açılış oturumunda yaptığı ödül kabul konuşmasını dikkatinize sunuyoruz.


The Republic of Turkey, founded in 1923, was built on an agricultural economy using medieval production methods in a market regulated according to the interests of Western capitalists. Inheriting the institutional and social accumulation of the Ottoman Empire and the democratization and nationalization experiences that started with the First Constitutional Monarchy, the Republic undertook the task of transforming this agricultural economy into a modern national industrial economy. This study uses a descriptive case study method to examine the economic policies of the Kemalist government and the practices of “statism” from the establishment of the Turkish Republic to the beginning of World War II. The study aims to reveal the target and direction of these policies, which developed in two historical phases. The first began with the Izmir Economic Congress, whereas the second occurred in the Great Depression era. The first period was characterized by Turkey’s efforts at developing an endogenous private sector through government incentives and public expenditures directed towards infrastructure investments. In the second period, Turkey adopted an economic model driven by state-led industrial investments with an even stronger thrust. The weight of public investments gradually increased in the Great Depression era. In the final analysis, one could argue that these two historical phases reflect the implementation of a statist model of economic development with Turkish characteristics, otherwise known as the economic policies of Kemalism in the early Republican period.