In 1996 the pre-eminent political economist Susan Strange published her final book, The Retreat of the State. Strange had dedicated most of her career to studying the ability of the state to tame the power of international finance. The nexus between state and firm had empowered the United States for more than a century; Washington reconstructed the world order after 1945, resurrecting its former enemies, Tokyo and Berlin, to be behemoths once again. For Strange, the battle was lost in the late twentieth century: the state, she asserts, was headlong in a ‘strategic retreat’, captured by the tsunami of global capital.
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