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Capitalist Imperialism in Contemporary Theoretical Frameworks

New Theories


Filip Ilkowski

This book analyzes the controversy surrounding imperialism associated with capitalist development. The last dozen years passed under the shadow of two momentous events: the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan conducted in the framework of the broader «war on terror», and the economic crisis. They occurred against the backdrop of global economic integration, but also against the contradictions in its development. Those events and processes are explained in the theory of contemporary capitalist imperialism that the author attempts to reconstruct.

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V. Alex Callinicos - the geopolitics of imperialisms


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V. Alex Callinicos – the geopolitics of imperialisms

Alex Callinicos is the most well-known theoretician of imperialism rooted in the traditions of the International Socialist Tendency. This is an important piece of information if only for the fact that Callinicos – a respected professor and author of dozens of books on various aspects of politics and social theory – is also a political activist associated with the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) in the United Kingdom, with an important role in inter alia the anti-war and alter-globalist movements from the first decade of the 21st century. Callinicos is thus both linked with the academic world, as the overwhelming majority of contemporary theoreticians of imperialism, as well as with the world of organized political contestation, which in turn was characteristic of all the significant Marxist thinkers of the first decades of the 20th century. These ideological and political roots were also significant for his understanding of the issue of capitalist imperialism. Drawing on the Trotskyist tradition, the International Socialist Tendency attempted to expand on that tradition during the Cold War era inter alia through analysis of the USSR and its satellites as a system of state capitalism (Tony Cliff); analysis of the long boom after World War II as a result of the permanent arms economy, undertaken on the basis of analysis of the declining trend in rates of profit (Michael Kidron, Chris Harman) or critique of dependency theory (Nigel Harris). More recently, these thinkers have engaged in analysis of...

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