Re-upping this point, with another thread below.
“Structural adjustment” is usually understood narrowly to mean the conditional lending programs, imposed on poor countries (usually amid debt crises) in order to get them to agree to the reforms which by 1990 became known as "the Washington Consensus."
But a fuller understanding of the global history of "structural adjustment" would have to go well beyond this, to include three additional crucial stories.
First, it would need to also include a chapter on the various “shock therapy” regimes that were imposed on post-communist countries (especially in Eastern Europe) in the 1990s, which were also meant to impose "structural adjustment" on these governments, economies & societies.
Second, it would also need to cover the “austerity” programs that were imposed (especially on Southern European countries) by the ECB in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.
Third, this history would need to be framed as absolutely central to the China’s development strategy -- which, in a nutshell, has been above all designed to ensure that outsiders would *never, ever* be able to impose "conditionality" on it.

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More from @nils_gilman

13 Sep
"Political violence in democracies often seems spontaneous. But in fact, the crisis has usually been building for years, and the risk factors are well known. The United States is now walking the last steps on that path." - @RachelKleinfeld…
I've been sounding the warning for years...
Read 4 tweets
26 Aug
Americans struggle to envision how the US may be faced with a new civil war, because we think a civil war entails massed armies fighting set piece battles over territory. But we’re not in the 19th century any more, & that’s not how wars (including civil wars) get fought nowadays.
Nowadays wars (including civil wars) get fought with information operations, “little green men,” targeted assassinations, and cyberattacks designed mainly to demoralize & disorient the adversary.

Seen from that perspective, Civil War 2.0 has ALREADY begun in the United States.
The future is already here, it’s just unevenly distributed
Read 5 tweets
4 Jun
Covid-19 is in fact the THIRD major ‘grey rhino’ event that has happened this century – the first being 9/11, the second being the global financial crisis, and the third being the novel coronavirus pandemic.
These all have in common that they (a) were foreseeable, (b) were foreseen, (c) were inadequately prepared for and (consequently) responded to, and (d) exposed and deepened political and social fissures, both nationally and globally.
Plenty of other Grey Rhinos lurk in the wing: US/China hot war; the disorderly implosion of the EU; the collapse of the global dollar system; a cyber pearl harbor; Indo-Pakistani nuclear war; radically bioengineered humans; discontinuous climate change; etc.
Read 9 tweets
19 May
A lot to digest in this @samuelmoyn piece on the political dangers of the misuse of historical analogy, especially an overly promiscuous use of "the political F-word" (fascism) to contextualize 😡. A couple of quick responses.…
1: Methodologically, I 100% agree that historical comparisons, especially when made for policy analysis, must always identify BOTH the similarities between the cases AND the differences. Neustadt & May made this point definitively in THINKING IN TIME…
2: I also agree (though with some reservations) that when comparing monstrous historical episodes, the point of comparisons should not be the diminish or relativize the monstrosities in question. "Not as bad as the Nazis" is lousy history and lousy politics.
Read 14 tweets
1 May
"Dollar primacy feeds a growing American trade deficit that shifts the country’s economy toward the accumulation of rents rather than the growth of productivity. This has contributed to a falling labor share of income [among other ills]." - @BuddyYakov…
"Rather than viewing the dollar system as primarily a national tool of the United States government, we should understand it as a consequence of a globalized economy that privileges the preferences of financial elites for the free, international movement of capital."
"A globalized system with a dominant key currency aids the accumulation of rents at the expense of higher consumption from workers in exporter countries and the hoarding of those rents in the legal black hole of offshore finance."
Read 6 tweets

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