Sovereign Wealth Funds in the Global Political Economy: The Case of China

  • Henk Overbeek
Part of the International Political Economy Series book series (IPES)


This book deals with the crisis of neoliberalism and the forces determining its future trajectory. One of those forces seen in the early days of the crisis, or so it seemed, was the rise of government-owned invest-ment funds or ‘sovereign wealth funds’ (SWFs) from China, Singapore and the Arab Gulf countries. These countries invested billions of dollars in failing Western financial institutions such as Citicorp, UBS, Merrill Lynch and Barclays Bank (Farrell, Lund and Sadan 2008: 10). Ironically, the billions of Communist China were called in to save some of the most prominent icons of Western financial capitalism. Headlines in the international press increasingly referred to ‘the return of the state’ and the rise of ‘state capitalism’ (e.g., Bremmer 2008, Lyons 2007). Where these SWFs originate in what Van der Pijl has called Hobbesian contender states (see Van der Pijl 1998, 2006) such as China, their increasing prominence has gone hand-in-hand with an emerging geopolitical and geoeconomic rivalry. In this chapter, we will analyse the role of the China Investment Corporation (CIC), the Chinese SWF established in 2007, from a comparative perspective.


Foreign Direct Investment Hedge Fund Accumulation Strategy Currency Reserve Foreign Exchange Reserve 
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© Henk Overbeek 2012

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  • Henk Overbeek

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