The New Spirit of Global Capitalism and the Culture of Neoliberalism in Asia

Thursday, 2 July 2015: 8:30 AM-10:00 AM
CLM.B.06 (Clement House)
Markus Pohlmann, Heidelberg University, Heidelberg, Germany
The paper will focus on empirical contributions made by a number of international scientists on the subject, “a new spirit of capitalism". Thematically, it is located within the polemical field of globalization research and the implications for the convergence of capitalism.

More than ten years ago a study conducted by Luc Boltanski and Ève Chiapello initiated the discussion about a new spirit of capitalism. This also tapped into a broader debate about the "varieties of capitalism" and specifically two main questions, referring back to Max Weber: what forms of self-regulation characterize life under modern capitalism and what modes of rationalization are connected to them? The paper shows, that there is no significant spread of neoliberal ideas to be observed when analyzing the collective mindsets of top managers in East and South Asia. While neoliberal management concepts are partly used for windows-dressing, the management thinking behind is deeply influenced by the business cultures, the managers are socialized in. Thus, concerning the spirit of capitalism the convergence hypothesis has to be rejected.