Magazine July 19, 2010, Issue

Perils of State Capitalism

The End of the Free Market: Who Wins the War Between States and Corporations? by Ian Bremmer (Portfolio, 240 pp., $26.95)

‘Now that the free market has failed, what do you think is the proper role for the state in the economy?” The question, from a high-ranking Chinese diplomat last year, poses a challenge of the first order to the Western democracies. State capitalism, defined by author Ian Bremmer as a system in which the state “acts as the dominant economic player and uses markets primarily for political gain,” is distorting the global economy and undermining its ability to create sustainable growth.

In this new book, Bremmer, president of the risk consultancy Eurasia Group, examines big trends — globalization, capitalism, authoritarianism, and democracy

Gordon G. ChangMr. Chang is the author of Nuclear Showdown: North Korea Takes On the World. He lived and worked in China and Hong Kong for almost two decades.

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