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Forging Global FordismNazi Germany, Soviet Russia, and the Contest over the Industrial Order$
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Stefan J. Link

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780691177540

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691177540.001.0001

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Conclusion

Conclusion

Refashioning Fordism Under American Hegemony

Chapter:
(p.207) Conclusion
Source:
Forging Global Fordism
Author(s):

Stefan J. Link

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691177540.003.0007

This concluding chapter explains that American-style postwar “Fordism” was only one pattern in the mottled global legacy left behind by Henry Ford. It was not the least ideological effect of American hegemony that in the 1960s modernization theory could universalize this unique historical arrangement — what can be called “high mass-consumption” — as the target of successful development itself. Responding to the crisis of the 1970s and 1980s, social scientists added a next phase: “Post-Fordism” or “post-industrial society” signaled deindustrialization to some and the promise of a “service and information economy” to others. What united these constructs was a thinking in sequential stages, a preoccupation with national patterns of development, and a theory of causation centered on self-generating forces. It has become clear that cycles of industrialization and deindustrialization are inseparable from concerted efforts to restructure the global division of labor, that productive dual-use technologies are fiercely contested by states and corporations alike, that investment and disinvestment cannot be dislodged from contests over the terms of globalization, and that capital has no autonomous power outside of the designs and struggles of political actors.

Keywords:   Fordism, Henry Ford, American hegemony, modernization theory, post-industrial society, deindustrialization, globalization, Post-Fordism

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