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Imperialism and Global Political Economy

  • ID: 4027457
  • Book
  • June 2009
  • Region: Global
  • 288 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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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.

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List of Tables vii

Preface and Acknowledgements ix

Introduction: Empire of Theory, Theories of Empire 1

0.1 Marxism and imperialism 3

0.2 The need for theory 6

0.3 Imperialism and global political economy today 14

Part I: Theory 23

1 The Classical Legacy 25

1.1 Continuing Marx s Capital 25

1.2 Luxemburg s fertile diversion 36

1.3 The Lenin–Bukharin synthesis 41

1.4 Organized capitalism and economic crises 53

1.5 Spectres of ultra–imperialism 62

2 Capitalism and the State System 67

2.1 Rethinking the theory of imperialism 67

2.2 Conceptualizing the state system 73

2.3 Interests and ideologies 93

Part II: History 101

3 Capitalism and La Longue Durée 103

3.1 What is capitalism? 103

3.2 Markets and empires 115

3.3 The sinews of capitalist power 123

4 Ages of Imperialism 137

4.1 Periodizing imperialism 137

4.2 Classical imperialism (1870 1945) 144

4.3 Superpower imperialism (1945 1991) 165

5 Imperialism and Global Political Economy Today 188

5.1 The specificity of American imperialism 188

5.2 Global capitalism at the Pillars of Hercules? 197

Notes and References 228

Index 281

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Alex Callinicos
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