Since the crisis of 2007–2009, sovereignty, government and politics are on the agenda of social sciences and of international policy platforms, most recently in Davos. This is a departure from anti-statist, free-tradist visions of global market development in the 1980s and 1990s when sovereignty was simply associated with freedom of action of economic actors (most significantly, global corporations and banks) and governance simply referred to technical rules serving the ends of these actors posed in terms of dictates of the market. This paper points to societal dislocations (e.g. income discrepancies, unemployment) incumbent on global market development and to a time lag in which these made themselves felt in the developed and developing world. It argues that the developing world experienced the disillusionment with markets in the latter part of 1990s and early 2000s and sought solutions in effective governments, putting them in the service of reaping the benefits of global market expansion for individual regions. It meant non-liberal ways of governing markets, distancing from abstract formulations of individual rights, turning the ‘rule of law’ into living law deeply rooted in societal concerns not limited to commercial actors but including those of both blue-collar and white collar workers, of migrant populations, and women. At issue is an introduction of politics, of political agency and initiatives. The developed world rejected what is labeled as an ‘autocratic turn’; and is lost for a solution to market woes, except for further measures to maximize gains by major commercial actors, as in the case of the Greek crisis.
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