American Sociological Association

Featured Essay Review: The Durability and Dynamism of David Harvey

With an export-oriented manufacturing economy dependent on consumer demand in the United States, China confronted a massive crisis of unemployment when the U.S. economy crashed in 2008. To address this crisis, the Chinese government organized an extraordinary wave of investment in physical infrastructure—employing over 20 million workers to build cities, industrial zones, transportation grids, communications networks, and other megaprojects. In just three years, China consumed 1.5 times as much cement as the United States consumed during the entire twentieth century. The vast majority of these infrastructure projects were financed by credit. China’s massive investment in the built environment helped to temporarily ‘‘fix’’ the 2008 economic crisis, while setting the stage for a future crisis by reproducing the pattern of speculative financialization that produced the U.S. housing bubble after the crash of the earlier ‘‘dotcom’’ bubble. The story of China’s role in saving global capitalism from disaster....

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Andy Clarno





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