Varieties of state capital: What does foreign state-led investment do in a globalized world?

Milan Babić, Adam D. Dixon*, Jan Fichtner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
26 Downloads (Pure)


Existing studies have scrutinized the rise of states as global owners and investors, yet we still lack a good understanding of what state investment does in a globalized economy, especially in host states. Comparative capitalisms research has analyzed foreign state investment as a potential source of patient capital for coordinated and mixed-market economies. However, this patient capital framework cannot explain the recent surge of protectionist sentiments, even among the “good hosts” of state-led investment. Therefore, we go beyond the patient capital argument and develop a novel framework centered on the globalized nature of foreign state investment. We create and empirically illustrate a novel typology based on different modes of cross-border state investment—from financial to strategic—and different categories of host states. Our results provide a new pathway to study the rise and effects of cross-border state investment in the 21st century.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)663-684
Number of pages22
JournalCompetition and Change
Issue number5
Early online date25 Nov 2022
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023


  • internationalization
  • multinational firms
  • political economy
  • varieties of capitalism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Business,Management and Accounting


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