Histomat: Adventures in Historical Materialism

'Historical materialism is the theory of the proletarian revolution.' Georg Lukács

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Imperialism and Global Political Economy

New Book: Imperialism and Global Political Economy By Alex Callinicos (Kings College London)

Description: In Imperialism and Global Political Economy Alex Callinicos intervenes in one of the main political and intellectual debates of the day. The global policies of the United States in the past decade have encouraged the widespread belief that we live in a new era of imperialism. But is this belief true, and what does 'imperialism' mean? Callinicos explores these questions in this wide-ranging book. In the first part, he critically assesses the classical theories of imperialism developed in the era of the First World War by Marxists such as Lenin, Luxemburg, and Bukharin and by the Liberal economist J.A. Hobson. He then outlines a theory of the relationship between capitalism as an economic system and the international state system, carving out a distinctive position compared to other contemporary theorists of empire and imperialism such as Antonio Negri, David Harvey, Giovanni Arrighi, and Ellen Wood. In the second half of Imperialism and Global Political Economy Callinicos traces the history of capitalist imperialism from the Dutch East India Company to the specific patterns of economic and geopolitical competition in the contemporary era of American decline and Chinese expansion. Imperialism, he concludes, is far from dead.

Table of Contents• Epigraph• Introduction: Empire of Theory, Theories of Empire•

Part I: Theory•
1. The Classical Legacy• 1.1 Continuing Marx's Capital• 1.2 Luxemburg's fertile diversion• 1.3 The Lenin-Bukharin synthesis• 1.4 Organized capitalism and economic crises• 1.5 Spectres of ultra-imperialism•
2. Capitalism and the State System• 2.1 Rethinking the theory of imperialism• 2.2 Conceptualizing the state system• 2.3 Interests and ideologies•

Part II: History•
3. Capitalism and La Longue Durée• 3.1 What is capitalism?• 3.2 Markets and empires• 3.3 The sinews of capitalist power•
4. Ages of Imperialism• 4.1 Periodizing imperialism• 4.2 Classical imperialism (1870-1945)• (i) A liberal world economy• (ii) An economically and politically multipolar world• (iii) Territorial expansion• (iv) Military competition and state capitalism• (v) Race and empire• 4.3 Superpower imperialism (1945-1991)• (i) Open Door imperialism• (ii) The partial dissociation of economic and geopolitical competition• (iii) The Third World - malign neglect and partial industrialization•
5. Imperialism and Global Political Economy Today• 5.1 The specificity of American imperialism• 5.2 Global capitalism at the Pillars of Hercules?• (i) Entrenched uneven development• (ii) A persisting crisis of profitability• (iii) A redistribution of global economic power• (iv) Continuing geopolitical competition

Edited to add: Book Launch featuring a discussion between the author and Professor David Held
In the Council Room, King's College London,
Strand, London WC2R 2LS
On Wednesday 1 July 2009
At 6.00 pm
RSVP to Pelagia Pais
King’s College London
Strand, London WC2R 2LS
Email: pelagia.pais@kcl.ac.uk

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