||A means of economic and political control articulated through the powerful states and capitals (see transnational) of developed economies (notably the USA, Japan and, collectively, the member states of the EU) over the economies and societies of the underdeveloped world (see development; underdevelopment). The dominated states are apparently independent â€” there is no formal or direct rule (see colonialism), they exhibit the outward trappings of independence and they are possibly able to participate in a practice and discourse of postcolonialism. But their economic and political systems remain closely controlled from outside (see dependence).
This control may be exerted in a variety of ways. The presence of foreign industrial and finance capital (Radice, 1975; Dicken 1998) does not merely have an effect upon the external economic relations of the neo-colonial societies but, in addition, serves to restructure their class relations and exerts foreign domination by the maintenance of a comprador bourgeoisie (see new international division of labour). Participation in special commercial relations such as those linking France with its West African dependencies and those within the Sterling Area helps not only to tie underdeveloped to developed economies by means of trade and investment but also to enforce an internal economic discipline upon the policies of the underdeveloped economies. The LomÃ© conventions negotiated between the EU and 60 or so African, Caribbean and Pacific states develop the techniques of neo-colonialism by means of aid, trade and investment agreements (Kirkpatrick, 1979). At an even more extensive multilateral scale, the International Monetary Fund enforces a form of capitalist discipline upon the states of those underdeveloped societies which turn to it for help â€” as debates around the efficacy of the Fund\'s involvement in South-East Asia in the late 1990s reveal. Political control may also be manipulated more directly and carried out covertly by agencies such as the US Central Intelligence Agency (Agee, 1975).
More generally neo-colonialism is sustained and developed through discourse (Said, 1978; cf. Orientalism). The construction of (neo)colonial \'others\' is sustained by, for example, representations such as \'emerging markets\'. These discursive constructions and reconstructions are made daily in the global financial press, which construct the characteristics of such markets (including their construction as \'markets\') in terms salient to the needs/interests of portfolio and foreign direct investors. This discourse shapes constructions of development and dependence as the possibilities for and problems to be overcome by \'emerging markets\' become those relevant to finance capital, whilst the descriptive representations of \'emerging markets\' reflect the competitive challenge presented by fear and loathing of, and disgust and desire for risk in, such \'markets\' amongst those articulating flows of capital into and out of them. Such fear and desire was central to the violent contradictions embedded in the geographies of the colonial world.
The colonial world is a world cut in two. The dividing line, the frontiers, are shown by barracks and police stations.
On one side of the divide,
The settler\'s town is a strongly-built town; the streets are made of stone and steel. The settler\'s town is a well fed town, an easy-going town; its belly is always full of good things. The settler\'s town is a town of white people, of foreigners.
And, on the other side,
The town belonging to the colonized people, or at least the native town, the Negro village, the medina, the reservation, is a place of ill fame, peopled by men of evil repute. They are born there, it matters little where or how; they die there, it matters not where, or how. It is a world without spaciousness â€¦ The native town is a hungry town, â€¦ a crouching village, â€¦ a town of niggers and dirty arabs. The look that the native turns on the settler\'s town is a look of lust, a look of envy; it expresses his dreams of possession â€” all manner of possession: to sit at the settler\'s table, to sleep in the settler\'s bed, with his wife if possible. â€¦ The colonized man is an envious man. And this the settler knows very well. (Fanon 1967/ 1961, p. 30)
Frantz Fanon\'s study of the Algerian revolution combines not merely the economic and political materialities of colonialism â€” the contradictions which made and make it unsustainable â€” but the representations of otherness and of absence; the native town is represented in orientalist terms, down to the conditional possibilities of possession.
Faced with these contradictions of colonialism, the various practices of neo-colonialism serve to keep the dominated societies secure within the wider sphere of neocolonial influence, definition and assessment. Its origins and continued sustenance lie in imperialism â€” classically associated with the spread of Euro-American expansion during the latter part of the nineteenth century â€” driven by racism, religious expansionism, economic opportunity and geopolitical power (cf. geopolitics). But for radicals â€” despite all their differences of emphasis â€” \'theories of imperialism have essentially the same logic â€¦ to relieve contradictions internal to the capitalist system\' (Peet, 1991, p. 135). With the globalization of contemporary economic geographies â€” based traditionally upon trade, the internationalization of production and access to raw materials but now related as much to flows of finance capital â€” the attempt to maintain this security will be intensified. As a result, neo-colonialism, with its associated unproductive and high costs of maintenance and inherent potential for conflict along with the intensification of discipline and chaos exerted through globalized financial markets, is likely to grow and extend. It will thereby contribute directly as well as indirectly to the continued development of underdevelopment.Â (RL)
References Agee, P. 1975: Inside the company: C.I.A. diary. London: Penguin; New York: Bantam Books.Â Dicken, P. 1998: Global shift: transforming the world economy, 3rd edn. London: Paul Chapman Publishing, ch. 13.Â Fanon, F. 1967/1961: The wretched of the earth. Harmondsworth: Penguin.Â Kirkpatrick, C. 1979: The renegotiation of the LomÃ© Convention. National Westminster Bank Quarterly Review May: 23-33.Â Peet, R. 1991: Global capitalism: theories of societal development. London and New York: Routledge.Â Radice, H., ed., 1975: International firms and modern imperialism. London: Penguin.Â Said, E. 1978: Orientalism. London: Routledge.
Suggested Reading Buchanan, K.M. 1972: The geography of empire. Nottingham: Spokesman Books.Â Dicken (1998), ch. 13.Â Fanon (1967/1961).Â Frobel, F., Heinrichs, J. and Kreye, O. 1980: The new international division of labour. Cambridge and Paris: Cambridge University Press and Editions de la maison des sciences de l\'homme.Â Peet (1991) ch. 8.