Can Global Capitalism Endure?


  • William I. Robinson University of California
Palabras clave: Global Capitalism, Global Crisis, Financialization, Digitalization, Overac¬cumulation, Transnational Capitalist Class, Global Protest Movement


The period from 2008 into the third decade of the twenty-first century has been one long protracted crisis for global capitalism, as much structural as political, that has been aggravated by the coronavirus pandemic.  The era of globalization has involved an ongoing radical transformation in the modalities of producing and appropriating sur­plus value.  There is an extreme and still increasing concentration and centralization of capital on a global scale in the financial conglomerates that in turn act to interlock the entire mass of global capital.  Now the system is undergoing a new round of restructuring and transformation based on a much more advanced digitalization of the entire global economy and society.  The agents of global capitalism are attempting to purchase for the system a new lease on life through this digital restructuring and through reform that some among the global elite are advocating in the face of mass pressures from below.  Beyond transnational policy coordination among states, the structural power that the transnational capitalist class is able to exercise from above over states will undermine reform unless there is a mass counter-mobilization of power from below.  If some regu­latory or redistributive reform actually comes to pass, restructuring may, depending on the play of social and class forces, unleash a new round of productive expansion that at­tenuates the crisis.  In the long run, however, it is difficult to see how global capitalism can continue to reproduce itself without a much more profound overhaul than is cu­rrently on the horizon, if not the outright overthrow of the system.


Los datos de descargas todavía no están disponibles.


Brynjolfsson, Erik and McAfee, Andrew (2014), The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies, New York: W.W. Norton.

Carnegie Endowment for International Piece, «Global Protest Tracker».Accessed on 19 January, 2021. Available in: The tracker is interactive and regularly upda¬ted.

CBinsights, Research Brief (2019), «Where Top US Banks are Betting on Fintech».20 August 2019, accessed on 18 July 2020. Available in:

Chomsky, Noam and Pollin, Robert (2020), Climate Crisis and the Global Green New Deal: The Political Economy of Saving the Planet, London: Verso.

Clelland, Donald, A. (2014), «The Core of Apple: Degrees of Monopoly and Dark Value in Global Commodity Chains», Journal of World-Systems Research, 20 (1), 82-111.

Cox, Ronald W. (2013), «Transnational Capital and the Politics of Global Supply Chains», Class, Race, and Corporate Power, 1 (1).

_____ (2019), «The Crisis of Capitalism Through Global Value Chains», Class, Race and Corporate Power, 7 (1).

Durand, Cédric (2017), Fictitious Capital: How Finance is Appropriating Our Future, London: Verso.

Faulkner, Neil, and Hearse, Phil (2021), «Value and Surplus Through a Neoliberal Lens: Notes Towards a New Understanding of Marxist Economics». Anti-

Capitalist Resistance, January 2021, accessed on 6 May 2021. Available in:¬

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, Economic Research, «Private Fixed Investment in Information Processing Equipment and Software». See continuously up¬dated data in graph, U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, accessed on 18 July 2020. Available in:

Ford, Martin (2015), The Rise of the Robots, New York: Basic Books.

Foreign Affairs, The Fourth Industrial Revolution: A Davos Reader, published by Foreign Affairs, no specific editor, no indicated place or year of publication. The book is a collection of essays previously published in Foreign Affairs that appear to have been written in the 2010s.

General Accounting Office (GAO) (2011), «Federal Reserve System: Opportunities Exist to Strengthen Policies and Processes for Managing Emergency Assis¬tance», GAO-11-696, July 2011, Washington, D.C.

Gereffi, Gary and Korzeniewicz, Miguel (1993), Commodity Chains and Global Capital-ism, New York: Praeger.

Hermeto, João Romeiro (2021), «Social Transformation in a Time of Social Dis-ruption», Dilemas: Revista de Estudos de Conflito e Controle Social, 14 (1),


Hewlett Foundation (2020), «Hewlett Foundation Announces New, Five-Year $50 Million Economy and Society Initiative to Support Growing Movement to Re¬place Neoliberalism», Hewlett Foundation press release, 8 December 2020. Accessed on 10 June 2021. Available in:¬ciety-initiative-to-support-growing-movement-to-replace-neoliberalism

International Monetary Fund (IMF) (2009), «Fiscal Implications of the Global Eco-nomic and Financial Crisis», IMF Staff Position Note, 9 June 2009, SPN/09/13, Table 2.1, pp. 7.Accessed on 9 May 2021. Available in:¬cations-of-the-Global-Economic-and-Financial-Crisis-22987

_____ (2021), «Policy Responses to COVID19», April 2021.Accessed on 3 May 2020. Available in:¬ses-to-COVID-19

John, Mark (2020), «Capitalism Seen Doing ‘More Harm than Good’ in Global Sur-vey» Reuters, 19 January 2020, accessed on 15 May 2021. Available in:

Kauffman, Duncan; Lin, Diaan-Yi; Sneader, Kevin; Tonby, Oliver and Woetzel, Jonathan (2016), «Overcoming Global Turbulence to Reawaken Economic Growth», McKinsey&Company, September 2016. Accessed on 10 June 2021. Available in:

Kramer, Larry (2018), «Beyond Neoliberalism: Rethinking Political Economy», Hewlett Foundation (internal memorandum), 26 April 2018. Accessed on 10 June 2021. Available in:

Krippner, Greta, R. (2012), Capitalizing on Crisis: The Political Origins of the Rise of Finance, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

International Labor Organization (2019), «The Challenge of Job Recovery; World Employment and Social Outlook: Trends 2019», United Nations, Geneva.

Maher, Stephen and Aquanno, Scott M. (2021), «The New Finance Capital: Corpo-rate Governance, Financial Power and the State», Critical Sociology, on-line edition, 2021. Available in:

Maki, Sydney (2021), «World’s $281 Trillion Debt Pile is Set to Rise Again in 2021» Bloomberg, 17 February 2021, accessed on 30 April 2021. Available in:

Marazzi, Christian (2011), The Violence of Financial Capital, Edizioni Casagrande, Bellinzona, Switzerland.

Marois, Thomas (2017), «TiSA and the Threat to Public Banks», 21 April 2017, Transnational Institute, accessed on 18 July 2020. Available in:

Maverick, J.B. (2018), «How Big is the Derivatives Market», Investopedia, 22 January 2018, accessed on 31 March 2020. Available in:

Oxfam (London) (2015), Wealth: Having it all and Wanting More, on line report ac-cessed on 31 March 2021. Available in the Oxfam website, 338125

Perez, Carlota (2003), Technological Revolutions and Finance Capital:The Dynamics of Bubbles and Golden Ages, Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar.

Phillips, Peter (2018), Giants: The Global Power Elite, Seven Stories Press, New York.

Piketty, Thomas (2017), Capital in the Twenty-First Century, Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Prins, Nomi (2019), Collusion, New York: Bold Type Books.

Reiff, Nathan, «How BlackRock Makes Money», Investopedia, 27 February 2021. Accessed on 5 May 2021. Available in:

_____ «Top Apple Shareholders», Investopedia, 6 February 2021.Accessed on 4 May 2021. Available in:

Robinson, William, I. (2004), A Theory of Global Capitalism, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

_____ (2014), Latin America and Global Capitalism, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

_____ (2014), Global Capitalism and the Crisis of Humanity, New York: Cambridge University Press.

_____ (2017), «Debate on the New Global Capitalism: Transnational Capitalist Class, Transnational State Apparatuses, and Global Crisis», International Critical Thought, 7 (2), 171-189.

_____ (2018), «Capitalism in the Twenty-First Century: Global Inequality, Piketty, and the Transnational Capitalist Class», in Lauren Langman and David A. Smith (eds.), Twenty-First Century Inequality and Capitalism: Piketty, Marx and Beyond, Boston: Brill.

_____ (2019), «Global Capitalist Crisis and Twenty-First Century Fascism: Beyond the Trump Hype», Science and Society, 83(2), 481-509.

_____ (2020a) «Global Capitalism Post-Pandemic», Race & Class, 62(2), 3-13.

_____ (2020b), The Global Police State, Pluto, London.

_____Global Civil War: Repression and Rebellion in the Post-Pandemic World (Oakland: PM Press, in press, scheduled for 2022).

Robinson, William, I. and Sprague, Jeb (2018), «The Transnational Capitalist Class», in Juergensmeyer, Mark; Sassen, Saskia and Steger, Manfred eds. Oxford Handbook of Global Studies, New York: Oxford University Press.

Rushe, Dominic (2021), «Janet Yellen Calls for Global Minimum Corporate Tax Ra-

te», The Guardian, 5 April 2021, accessed on 17 May 2021. Available in:¬mum-corpo¬rate-tax-rate

Schwab, Klaus (2016), The Fourth Industrial Revolution, World Economic Forum, Geneva.

Schwab, Klaus and Malleret, Thierry (2020), Covid-19: The Great Reset, Forum Publishing, Geneva.

Singh, Pritam (2020), «BJP’s Farming Policies: Deepening Agrobusiness Capital¬ism and Centralization», Economic and Political Weekly, 55 (41), 14-17.

Srnicek, Nick (2016), Platform Capitalism, London: Polity Press.

Tabb, William K. (2012), The Restructuring of Capitalism in Our Time, New York: Columbia University Press.

The Economist (26 May 2016), «The Problem with Profits», accessed on 31 March 2021.Available in:

_____ (26 January 2019), «The Global List.».

_____ (4 April 2020), «Corporate Bail-Outs: Bottomless Pit, Inc.».

_____ (16 May 2020), «Hanging Together».

Toussaint, Eric (2020), «No, The Coronavirus is not Responsible for the Fall in Stock Prices», MR Online, 4 March.Accessed on 31 March 2021.Available in:

Transnational Institute (TNI) (2021), «State of Power 2021», (Amsterdam: TNI, 16 May). Accessed on 1 June 2021. Available in:¬cation/state-of-power-2021

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) (2019), Digital Economy Report 2019, UNCTAD, Geneva.

Wallerstein, Immanuel (1983), Historical Capitalism, London: Verso.

Wolf, Marin, «Same as It Ever Was: Why the Techno-Optimists are Wrong», in The Fourth Industrial Revolution: A Davos Reader (Davos: Foreign Affairs, un¬dated but contents suggests a mid 2010s publication date).

Zuboff, Shoshona (2019), The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power, New York: Public Affairs.

Cómo citar
Robinson, W. I. (2021). Can Global Capitalism Endure?. Revista de Estudios Globales. Análisis Histórico y Cambio Social, 1(1), 13–41.