Subimperialism reconsidered: the rise and crisis of the Mexican subimperialism and the neoliberal rescaling in Central America

Ertan Erol


This work aims to reconsider and reconceptualise Ruy Mauro Marini’s renowned concept of subimperialism in the contemporary context of neoliberal re-territorialisation of the south-southeast region of Mexico and the Central American region. Studying the conditions of Brazilian dependency and relative autonomy in its foreign and commercial relations during 1960s, Marini categorised the country as a subimperialist power which extends the existing conditions of global capitalism towards its surrounding area and enjoying a degree of superiority without radically altering its structural dependency to the industrialised centre. In his conceptualisation, Marini successfully anticipated the contemporary neoliberal restructuring of the international division of labour and paved way to study the changing conditions of the modern dependency and subimperialism.
Therefore, the concept of subimperialism still possess a great significance in understanding the global expansion of the neoliberal capitalism on an intermediary scale even though it is necessary to reconceptualise its ever changing aspects. In this vein, this work reframes the concept of subimperialism in terms of to the neoliberal rescaling of capitalism regarding to Mexico’s role in the re-territorialisation of Central America. In the last three decades Mexico had been the champion of trade liberalisation and neoliberal reorganisation in the region and initiated several programmes of economic integration and development. These processes need to be located within the wider framework of reproduction of the conditions of the dependency and subimperialism. Nevertheless, these processes inevitably received serious challenges, thus, it is also important to assess the state of the crisis of Mexican subimperialism.

subimperialism, - rescaling