In Imperialism and Global Political Economy Alex Callinicos intervenes in one of the main political and intellectual debates of the day. Imperialism and Global Political Economy, Polity Press: Cambridge,. capitalist heartland, this book by Alex Callinicos could hardly have arrived in a more. Book review: Alex Callinicos Imperialism and Global Political Economy, Polity Press: Cambridge, ; pp: , £ (pbk). Show all authors.

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Obviously, the evidence is extremely complex, contradictory, difficult to parse, and subject to various interpretations. Supply-side theories of crises are agent-centred, since they explain the business cycle in terms of the relative capacities for self-organisation of collective class actors.

Imperialism and global political economy

But, once again, it is hardly news. But if tendencies to boom and crisis are alsx consequence of structural realities — in particular, relatively decentralised and anarchic competition among capitals — that are not easily amenable to collective interventions even by the most powerful capitalist states, then these states, the US included, are much more constrained in their actions than Panitch and Gindin are prepared to concede.

Harvey, as the passage cited at the start of this paper makes very clear, conceives the relationship between the logics of territorial and capitalist power as a dialectical one in which the two potentially contradict one another.

The best account of US strategy in successfully addressing these crises is provided by Gowan: Imperialism and Global Political Economy is an invaluable guide as well as a unique and persuasive argument by glogal. Panitch and Gindin are right to see this achievement as a result of the pursuit of a conscious grand strategy by the American ruling class, as numerous studies have confirmed.

Anyone who doubts the real problems posed by the American deficit could do worse than to consult the excellent series of articles on the subject by Martin Wolf published in the Financial Times on 1, 8 and 22 December Marxist Perspectivesas above. The case of Japan underlines the importance of not reducing geopolitical to economic relations.

Imperialism, he concludes, is far from dead.

But — whatever might or might not have been true in the past — name a serious contemporary Marxist political economist who thinks otherwise the implication that such exist is the caricature. I guess that’s to be expected, as politifal Left has done enough self-cannibalism over the years.

Imperialism and Global Political Economy – Alex Callinicos – Google Books

Brenner, The Globla Economy, — Globalisation, the State and WarInternational Socialism 2: Bill Crane rated it really liked it Aug 07, Pete Ramand rated it really liked it Jan 20, Callinicos explores these questions in this wide-ranging book. Sebouh Akharjalian rated it liked it Aug 21, Doyle, Empires Ithaca NY,p. Let us return to the issue of inter-imperialist rivalries.


This was a fundamental mistake that has, ever since, continued to plague proper understanding. Caklinicos does not mean that it is no longer useful to speak of contradictions inherent in capitalism, but we must be careful not to make too much of their consequences unless they take the form of class contradictions that raise challenges to capital in terms of whether it can adapt or respond and labour in terms of whether it can develop the political capacity to build on the openings provided.

Very much looking forward to reading the debates between Callinicos and Chris Harman about the former’s support of Althusser, imperialusm also the latter’s critique of this book. In the first part, he critically assesses the classical theories callinivos imperialism developed in the era of the First World War impeiralism Marxists such as Lenin, Luxemburg, and Bukharin and by the Liberal economist J. Similarly, I conceptualise imperialism as the intersection of economic and geopolitical competition in part precisely to avoid the suggestion that the latter is an epiphenomenon of the former.

See, for example, N. All of this is fair enough, and one can add other specific reasons why economic competition within the Western bloc need not translate into military conflict.

Sep 22, Martin Empson rated it really liked it. This is a wide-ranging study of the classical imperiaalism of imperialism and its meaning in the contemporary world The author is one of the leading radical thinkers in the world today and has a large following Callinicos outlines a distinctive theory of the relationship between capitalism as an economic system and the international state system, in contrast to existing thought on pplitical subject This fascinating new title will appeal those studying politics, political theory and the history of politics and philosophy.

Impsrialism rated it really liked it Apr 10, Return to Book Page. It is undeniable that there is an asymmetrical relationship between the US and even the most powerful of the other advanced capitalisms — Japan, Germany, Britain, France, etc.

Not simply was the conquest of Iraq thus a pre-emptive strike by the US, less against Saddam Hussein than against the other leading powers, but the unfolding of the crisis made the tensions within the Western bloc dramatically visible.

Imperialism and Global Political Economy by Alex Callinicos

Simultaneously China has also become a lightning-rod for geopolitical tensions, has supplanted Japan as the main object of protectionist agitation in the US, and has been identified by the Pentagon and the CIA as the Great Power with which America is most likely to go to war. Another was what I have called the partial dissociation of economic and geopolitical competition: The First and Second World Wars were from this perspective inter-imperialist conflicts reflecting antagonisms at the heart of capitalism in its imperialist stage.


This accessible book provides an important introduction to a complex field and explores the significance of contemporary as well as classical forms of imperialism. The difficulty with this line of argument is that it says nothing at all about the strategic thinking behind the Iraq war.

More detailed analysis of the causes and consequences of the Iraq war will be found in A. This dialectical relationship sets the stage for an analysis of capitalist imperialism in terms of the intersection of these two distinct but intertwined logics of power. And such a theory needs to comprise not only inter-imperial rivalry, and the conjunctural predominance of one imperial state, but also the structural penetration of former rivals by one imperial state GCAEpp.

My library Help Advanced Book Search. This passage is a strange mixture of truism, implied caricature, and potential error. See the critical responses collected gloval G. On the one hand, the administration has if anything strengthened its rhetorical commitment to spreading democracy by the sword.

They elaborate their own alternative approach thus:. This differentiates Panitch and Gindin from those, such as Brenner and Harvey, who argue correctly, in my view that global capitalism continues to suffer from the crisis of profitability and over-accumulation that first exploded in the mids.

Its extension was a result of the creative political intervention of the American state, particularly under the Clinton administration, for example, to take advantage of the Ecomomy Wars to force through NATO and EU expansion on terms that preserved and indeed extended the role of the US as the leading politjcal and political power in Eurasia, and to reinforce the role of the Bretton Woods institutions as enforcers of the neo-liberal Washington Consensus on terms favourable to the Anglo-American model economg free-market capitalism.