La crise de 2008 : une nouvelle Gründerkrise ? Analyse comparée de l’impact des grandes crises capitalistes sur la genèse des conflits mondiaux (1873-1929-2008).

Jean-Christophe Defraigne est professeur en économie internationale à l’Institut d’Etudes Européennes des Facultés Universitaires St Louis à Bruxelles, et professeur invité à la Louvain School of Management et à l’Université du Zhejiang. Il travaille sur l’histoire économique de la mondialisation et des processus d’intégration régionale en Europe et en Asie, sur l’économie chinoise et sur les relations entre l’Europe et les grandes économies émergentes.

This contribution adopts a long-term materialist analysis to put the 2008 financial crisis and the recent emergence of China in the world economy into a broader perspective. This will show that since its reopening in the 1980s, China is progressively reclaiming the place it enjoyed in the world economy prior to the industrial revolution and the colonization of China by imperialist powers in the 19th and early 20th century. However the re-emerging Chinese economy is now expanding in a globalized world economy characterized by a high degree of interdependence rather than relatively independent, inward-looking “world economies” as Braudel described the economic world system prior to the 16th century. This contribution will outline how the recovery of China’s relative size in today’s world economy is generating a profound shift in the global balance of power. It will attempt to assess to what degree the rise of China might erode the current US imperialist hegemony and generate increasing tensions between the traditional imperialist powers and the new large emerging powers.

This contribution will also assess to what extent the current rise of China and the rebalancing of the world economy is comparable to the erosion of the British hegemony in the world economy after the Gründerkrise of 1873 with the rise of modern capitalist imperialism in the late 19th century. The absence of a clear hegemonic power at the time of capitalist imperialism led to inter-imperialist rivalry which generated decades of international instability and two catastrophic global conflicts. Only when the US established a clear hegemonic position within the capitalist world economy after WWII did the capitalist economy managed to avoid open large scale inter-imperialist conflict. Do the dramatic development of the Chinese economy and the structural weaknesses of the Western capitalist economies highlighted by the financial crisis of 2008 mark a turning point in the current US imperialist hegemony and the return to open inter-imperialist rivalries and potential large scale conflict?

Jeudi 25 octobre
14h – 15h45
Amphimax, Anthropos Café
Panel – Mondialisation et impérialisme: Capital, États et conflits.


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