The purpose of this blog is to provide analytical commentary on formal and informal labour organisations and their attempts to resist ever more brutal forms of exploitation in today’s neo-liberal, global capitalism.

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Global Capitalism. Global War. Global Crisis: new research monograph published.

Global Capitalism. Global War. Global Crisis. How can these conditions be understood in terms of their internal relationship so as to capture capital’s connection to the states-system of uneven and combined development, social reproduction, and the contradictions facing humanity within world-ecology? These are the puzzles Adam David Morton and I are investigating in our recently published book with Cambridge University Press.

This book assesses the forces of social struggle shaping the past and present of the global political economy from the perspective of historical materialism. Based on the philosophy of internal relations, the character of capital is understood in such a way that the ties between the relations of production, state-civil society, and conditions of class struggle can be realised. Conceiving the internal relationship of Global Capitalism, Global War, Global Crisis as a struggle-driven process is a major contribution of the book providing a novel intervention on debates within theories of ‘the international’. 

Through a set of conceptual reflections, on agency and structure and the role of discourses embedded in the economy, the point of departure of class struggle is established. This involves analysing historical and contemporary themes on the expansion of capitalism through uneven and combined development (Global Capitalism), the role of the state and geopolitics (Global War), and conditions of exploitation and resistance (Global Crisis). The conceptual reflections and thematic considerations raised earlier in the book are then extended in a series of empirical interventions. 

These include a focus on the ‘rising powers’ of the BRICS (Global Capitalism), conditions of the ‘new imperialism’ (Global War), and the financial crisis since the 2007-8 Great Recession (Global Crisis). As a result of honing in on the internal relations of Global Capitalism, Global War, Global Crisis the final major contribution of the book is to deliver a radically open-ended dialectical consideration of ruptures of resistance within the global political economy.


A glorious debate on ways of seeing capital and state hegemony as relational and material, from global capitalism in China, to global war in Iraq and the new Bomb-and-Build imperialism, to global crisis in the Eurozone. Andreas Bieler and Adam Morton deliver a rigorous and uncompromising geopolitical text. They also honour the insights of ecological and reproduction feminists on appropriation—accumulation by non-economic means—identifying expanded forms of class struggle emergent today in the grassroots contestation of neoliberalism.

Ariel Salleh, University of Sydney, author of Ecofeminism as Politics: nature, Marx, and the postmodern  

Marx’s dialectics prioritise the relational and evolving qualities of literally everything over the logically separate and static parts into which most people divide our world. The authors of this book give dialectics the attention it deserves in understanding global capitalism, taking you on a mind-stretching voyage you do not want to miss. Highly recommended.

— Bertell Ollman, New York University author of Alienation and Dance of the Dialectic: Steps in Marx’s Method

As tensions and confrontations rise, it is incumbent upon us to understand the intrinsic relations of global capitalism, global war, and global crisis. Feminist political economists share with historical materialists the concern for the increasing reach of capitalist exploitation within households, states, at the border and in zones of conflict and post-conflict. A holistic, explanatory account has never been more important and Andreas Bieler and Adam Morton have produced that account for our time. All serious analysts of world order looking for answers about ‘how we got here’ and ‘where we are going’ should take heed.

   Jacqui True, Monash University author of The Political Economy of Violence Against Women and co-editor (with Aida Hozić) of Scandalous Economics: The Politics of Gender and Financial Crises

Andreas Bieler and Adam Morton offer an original, tightly-argued and extraordinarily rich analytical panorama of the emergence and unevenness of global capitalism, the geopolitical conflicts entailed, and its crisis conditions provoking sources of resistance. The ground-breaking approach developed in this book will shape debates in and beyond political economy for years to come.

  Alfredo Saad-Filho, SOAS University of London

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