Growth and Change in Neoliberal Capitalism

Essays on the Political Economy of Late Development


Growth and Change in Neoliberal Capitalism brings together selected essays written by Alfredo Saad-Filho, one of the most prominent Marxist political economists today. This book offers a rich analysis of long-term economic development in the current stage of capitalism, the new relations of dependence between countries, the prospects for poor countries, and the progressive alternatives to neoliberalism. The volume also provides a detailed set of studies of the political economy of Brazil, tracking its achievements, tragedies, contradictions and limitations from the economic transition to from import-substituting industrialisation to neoliberalism, and from military dictatorship to democracy, in order to explain the catastrophes currently unfolding in that country.

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Alfredo Saad-Filho is Professor at King’s College London. He is the author of Value and Crisis (Brill, 2019) and co-author of Brazil: Neoliberalism versus Democracy (Pluto, 2017) and Marx’s Capital (Pluto, 2016), and numerous works on Marxist political economy, neoliberalism, democracy, and alternative economic policies.


 Political Economy and Development
 The Political Economy of Brazil

Part 1: Essays on Economic Development

1: Moving Beyond the Washington Consensus: Pro-Poor Macroeconomic Policies
 Policy Principles and Constraints
 Pro-Poor Macroeconomic Policy Instruments
   Growth and Investment
   Fiscal Policy and Public Investment
   Employment and Productivity
   The External Sector
   Social Programmes

2: Addressing Growth, Poverty and Inequality: From the Washington Consensus to Inclusive Growth
 Early Poverty Debates
 The Washington Consensus
 The Post-Washington Consensus
 The Pro-Poor Policy Debates
 Policy Shift at the World Bank?
 Inclusive Growth and its Limitations

3: The ‘Rise of the South’ and the Troubles of Global Convergence
 Long-Term Patterns of Growth
 Development in the Age of Neoliberalism
 Convergence after the Crisis
 Drivers of Convergence
   Global Trade and Production Networks
   Beyond ‘Flying Geese’
   Industrial Policy and Manufacturing Growth
 Decoupling at Last?

4: Resource Curses, Diseases and Other Confusions
 Curses and Diseases
 The Hypotheses
 Weaknesses of the ‘Resource Curse’ Hypothesis
 What Needs Explaining?
 Analytics of the Dutch Disease
 The Disease as Such
 Reviewing the Model
 Economic Policy beyond Diseases and Curses
 Balance of Payments Management
 Exchange Rate Policy
 Fiscal Policy
 Monetary and Financial Policy
 Industrial and Employment Policy

5: The Rise and Fall of Structuralism and Dependency Theory
 Latin American ISI
  Structuralist Economic Policies
 Critiques of Structuralism
  The Neoclassical Critique
  The Left Critique
 Dependency Theory
  Intellectual Sources and Features
 Critiques of Dependency Theory
  Monopoly Capital

6: The Political Economy of Neoliberalism in Latin America
 ISI and its Limits
 The Neoliberal Transition
 The Impact of Neoliberalism

7: The Seeds of Disaster: Socialism, Agrarian Transition and Civil War in Mozambique
 Independence, Crisis, and the Collectivisation of Agriculture
  The Peasantry and Colonial Agriculture
  Independence and the Collectivisation of Agriculture
 Modernist Marxism and the Mozambican Revolution
  Modernist Marxism: An Overview
  Modernist Marxism and the Transformation of Mozambican Agriculture
 Peasant Resistance
  Collective Agriculture: An Overview
  Land Conflicts
  Income Conflicts
  Labour Conflicts
 Conclusion: Peasant Resistance and the Collapse of Collective Agriculture

Part 2: Essays on the Political Economy of Development in Brazil

8: The Costs of Neomonetarism and the Brazilian Economy in the 1990s
 Neomonetarist Perspectives
 Neomonetarism in Brazil
 Growth and Crisis
 Industrial Restructuring
 Fiscal and Financial Crisis
 Currency Crisis

9: Inflation and Stabilisation in Brazil
 Conflict, Money and Inflation
   Conflict Inflation
   Extra Money Inflation
   Currency Reproduction and Fragmentation
 Inflation and Monetary Crisis in Brazil
   Conflict Inflation in Brazil
   Extra Money Inflation and Currency Fragmentation
 The Real Plan
   Curbing High Inflation
   Shift and Repression of the Distributive Conflict and Limits to the Creation of Extra Money
 Vulnerability of the Real

10: Neoliberalism in Lula’s Brazil: Strategic Choice, Economic Inevitability or Schizophrenia?
 The Losers’ Alliance
 Lula’s Neoliberal Shift
 The Economic Stranglehold of Neoliberalism
  ‘Left Neoliberal’ Economic Policy
 Policy Schizophrenia
 The 2004 Local Elections

11: Neodevelopmentalism and Economic Policy-Making under Dilma Rousseff
 The Emergence of Neodevelopmentalism
 Implementing Neodevelopmentalist Policies
 The Impact of Neodevelopmentalism

12: Mass Protests in Brazil: The Events of June-July 2013
 The Events of June-July
 Sobering Lessons
 (2) The social and political isolation of the government:

13: Development Strategies and Social Change in Brazil
 From Import-Substitution to Neoliberalism
 The Bourgeoisie
 The Working Class
 The Informal Proletariat
 The Middle Class
 The Lumpenisation of Politics and the Facebookisation of Protest

14: Social Policy for Neoliberalism: The Bolsa Família Programme
 Poverty, Inequality and Social Policy in Brazil
 Social Policy under Neoliberalism: The Irresistible Rise of Bolsa Família
 Limitations of PBF
 Gains beyond Social Policy
 Moving Forward

15: The Travails of the PT and R ise of the ‘New-Right’ in Brazil
 Lula I
 Lula II
 Dilma Rousseff I
 Dilma Rousseff II
 The Brazilian ‘New Right’ and its Limitations

16: State and Power in Brazil
 The Power Bloc
 Political Forces
 The Political Regime
 Contradictions in the State Bureaucracy
   The Brazilian Development Bank, Petrobras, and the Internal Bougeoisie
   The Judiciary, the Internationalised Bourgeoisie, and the Upper Middle Class

17: Brazilian Democracy Confronts Authoritarian Neoliberalism
 Global Shifts
 Cycles of the Left
 Authoritarian Neoliberalism in Practice

18: Varieties of Neoliberalism in Brazil, 2003-2020
 From Modes of Production to Systems of Accumulation
 The Main SoAs in Brazil
 The Case of Neoliberalism
 The Neodevelopmentalist Alternative
 Neoliberalism in Brazil
   The Economic Transition to Neoliberalism
   Inclusive Neoliberalism
   Developmental Neoliberalism under Lula
   Developmental Neoliberalism under Dilma Rousseff
   Authoritarian Neoliberalism


Academics and researchers working on political economy of development and on Brazil, students of political economy and development, and anyone seeking a firm grounding on the critique of neoliberalism.