Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Imperialism and political economy.

Here, I review Alex Callinicos' latest - one of his better books in my estimation - on Imperialism and Global Political Economy. I think the most theoretically interesting part of the book is that on the relation between capital and states. Drawing on some theoretical ideas he shares with David Harvey, he elaborates a theory of imperialism (in the sense of the term intended in the Lenin-Bukharin thesis, meaning capitalist imperialism and inter-imperial rivalry) that deals with one of the most difficult problems for marxist theory: namely, the question of the nation-state. Marxism sustained serious body-blows from competing theorists in the 1980s due to its apparent inability to adequately explain in historical materialist terms the rise of national states. This is important, because if you can't explain nation-states, then your theory of imperialism lacks something So, it is invigorating to see an answer to this conundrum begin to emerge.

In other 'complete and utter works' news, the Morning Star published an edited version of my Honduras article here.