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Competition State

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The Competition State 

The promotion of economic competitiveness and competition as a political priority in response to globalization’s lowering of economic borders between countries.

Definition Reference Cerny, Philip G. (2005) “Political Globalization and the Competition State,” in Richard Stubbs and Geoffrey R.D. Underhill, Political Economy and the Changing Global Order, 3rd edition, pp. 300-309.  


A notion put forward by Philip Cerny, the ‘competition state’ is the process by which political and bureaucratic actors shift their focus from traditional forms of state intervention to activities intended to ensure the competitiveness of national firms and economic policies in global markets. This shift has been on the one hand a response to globalization’s lowering economic borders among countries and the reduction of domestic political autonomy that entails, and on the other a self-perpetuating process whereby the pursuit of competitiveness fosters the further elimination of national barriers to global economic activity.

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