chapter  1
29 Pages


Historical and conceptual issues
ByAkira Kudo, Matthias Kipping

Among the most important trends in the international economy during the 1990s was the tremendous influence of the American economy, which manifested itself globally. This has led to a renewed debate about a possible Americanization.1 The argument for Americanization has been fiercely contested with counter argument. This controversy has been linked with that on globalization, which has developed along with Americanization. The debate on convergence or divergence has also developed, arguing whether or not each nation’s capitalism with its own character will change through Americanization and globalization.2 This debate has been continuing even after the prosperity that long-persisted in the United States began to decline after 2000. In spite of the economic downturn, Americanization itself seems not to have lost its dynamics. It is interesting to ask why it persists. Moreover, its consequences are still unclear.