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Cronies Everywhere

From the Middle East and Russia to China and many other countries around the world, crony capitalism is alive and well. But what does this well-worn term actually mean in practice, and can it tell us anything about the likely fate of Russian kleptocracy, Chinese "state capitalism," or Middle Eastern rentier states?

WASHINGTON, DC – “Western market capitalism” is generally defined as a system in which many economic agents interact and compete in decentralized competitive markets, with the state’s role confined to enforcing property rights, regulating markets, ensuring competition, and providing basic public goods financed by taxes. Obviously, this is an idealized version of what actually exists. But many political economists find it useful to contrast market capitalism with “state capitalism,” wherein the state directs investment decisions and owns/controls large segments of the economy, while still allowing for private ownership of the means of production.