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.