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THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL

|

OCTOBER 2016

73

ca at eight posts—twice as U.S. ambassador

(Ethiopia and Guinea) and three times as

deputy chief of mission (Nigeria, Cameroon

and Togo)—and had to deal with some form

of conflict at all of them.

Déjà Vu All Over Again

State Capitalism: How the Return of

Statism Is Transforming the World

Joshua Kurlantzick, Oxford University

Press, 2016, $29.95/ hardcover, $9.99/

Kindle, 296 pages.

Reviewed By Josh Glazeroff

Economics affects politics. Why? How?

These questions are at the heart of this

thought-provoking book, as Joshua

Kurlantzick takes a global view of

government influence on the economy

and what it means for policymakers. I

recommend the book for those who fear

that China’s economic—and by extension

political—“model” is winning out, or who

question how to address Russia’s current

power plays in Europe.

According to the author, a nation

is defined as “state capitalist” if it has

government ownership in or significant

influence over more than one-third of

the 500 largest companies, by revenue, in

that country. As Kurlantzick notes: “Gen-

erally, in these countries, the government

sees itself as having a direct role to play in

managing the economy and guiding the

corporate sector.”

The list, of course, includes China, but

extends to Russia, India, Singapore, Viet-

nam and others; and the total number

of countries on it has steadily risen from

a low point in the late 1990s—with great

impact on the world economy.

Kurlantzick couches his observations

in terms of “threats.” In countries with

state capitalist characteristics, govern-

ment control of the economy threatens