The American Interest
Policy, Politics & Culture
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Political Economy & The State The Twin Insurgency

The postmodern state is under siege from plutocrats and criminals who unknowingly compound each other’s insidiousness.

Published on June 15, 2014
States within the global political economy today face a twin insurgency, one from below, another from above. From below comes a series of interconnected criminal insurgencies in which the global disenfranchised resist, coopt, and route around states as they seek ways to empower and enrich themselves in the shadows of the global economy. Drug cartels, human traffickers, computer hackers, counterfeiters, arms dealers, and others exploit the loopholes, exceptions, and failures of governance institutions to build global commercial empires. These empires then deploy their resources to corrupt, coopt, or challenge incumbent political actors. From above comes the plutocratic insurgency, in which...