Crony Capitalism: Caricature or Category?
This paper, part of a series on Crony Capitalism and Contemporary India, examines the conceptual meaning of the term crony capitalism, which has acquired considerable popularity since it was used as an explanation for the East Asian crisis. The paper argues that the conception of crony capitalism as a description of a distinct kind of capitalism associated with the State playing a key role in the allocation process suffers from serious deficiencies and therefore does not provide a suitable framework for understanding the business-state interaction. While the phenomenon that is called cronyism is very real, it is widespread in modern capitalism and not a peculiar feature of capitalism characterized by a particular economic policy regime. In fact, crony capitalism may lie at the very heart of the contemporary global capitalist order, and this crony capitalism may explain why the concept of crony capitalism has acquired such prominence in recent times
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