Uneven Development and Capital Accumulation: The Government-Business-Media Complex

  • Justin van der Merwe
  • Nicole Dodd
Part of the International Political Economy Series book series (IPES)


The government-business-media complex (GBM) explains systems of accumulation in the era of neoliberalism and globalisation. In this era networks of elites who have mastered the technologies of capitalism and imperialism, transplant crises of over-accumulation from the core, to the semi-periphery, and periphery. Underdevelopment results from the interplay between international (structural) and domestic (descriptive) level factors, and the ‘labour’ of elites and workers. Affective labour cultivates consent, while infrastructural labour installs the practical arrangements required for accumulation by dispossession. Conversion of economic inputs into development also depends on a country’s descriptive level characteristics, specifically its spatiotemporal considerations (geography, history, and culture) and its GBM. Spatiotemporal elements are relatively unchangeable and create a ceiling for development. Fortunately, efficient conversion of economic inputs into development also depends on the robustness of the country’s GBM, which can be reformed over time.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Justin van der Merwe
    • 1
  • Nicole Dodd
    • 2
  1. 1.Centre for Military StudiesUniversity of StellenboschSaldanhaSouth Africa
  2. 2.School for Human and Organisational DevelopmentUniversity of StellenboschSaldanhaSouth Africa

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