Unit Four: Historical Materialism & IPE. Dr. Russell Williams

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1 Unit Four: Historical Materialism & IPE Dr. Russell Williams

2 Essay Proposal due in class, October 8!!!!!! Required Reading: Cohn, Ch. 5. Class Discussion Reading: Robert W. Cox, Civil Society at the Turn of the Millennium: Prospects for an Alternative World Order, Review of International Studies, 25 (1999), pp Outline: 1. Introduction & Key Concepts 2. Marxist Economics 3. Historical Structuralism and IPE 4. Modern Approaches 5. Conclusions

3 1) Introduction & Key Concepts a) Same origins as liberal approaches focus on economic relations under capitalism and globalization Possibilities of cooperation (liberalism) replaced with structural imperatives of capitalism E.g. Class Conflict b) Interested in issues discursively excluded by Liberalism and Realism E.g. Exploitation and Inequality

4 c) Key Concepts (derived from Marx): Mode of Production : Basic system of production Impacts all other social relations Relations of Production : Society s laws, politics, culture and ideology The social superstructure Determined by mode of production (?) Importance of history: Specific historical & geographical settings have different modes/relations of production

5 Class: Each mode of production organizes individuals into classes A )Those who own and control the means of production; and b) Those who sell their labour Class Struggle Struggle between these classes drives history

6 2) Marxist Economics: a) Labor the basis of all value... Total direct & indirect labor in production determines true price of product b) Profits based on surplus value... Capitalism always exploitative c) Increases in profit only achieved by increasing extraction of surplus value d) Capitalism was dynamic would spread

7 2) Marxist Economics cont.... Key analytical claim - Capitalism based on fundamental tensions : 1) Economic concentration: Competitive markets produced concentration E.g. monopolies 2) Falling rate of profit : As the ratio of indirect labour (machinery) grew in relation to direct labour, there would be a steady decline in the rate of profit. 3) Growing exploitation of workers: Produced crisis of under-consumption Recessions and unemployment Bottom Line: Capitalism prone towards crises and collapse

8 3) Historical Structuralism and IPE: Problem: If capitalism should collapse, why does it survive and flourish? a) Theory of Monopoly Capitalism: When capitalism became monopolistic, corporations could force the state to support their activities. Prevent collapse of system Required more consideration of the role of the state...

9 Problem: If capitalism should collapse, why does it survive and flourish? b) State-Capital relations.... Two theories: Instrumental Marxism : State run by, or run in the direct interest of, capitalists. State must be captured by proletariat Structural Marxism : State serves interests of capitalists over the long term. Has relative autonomy in the short term. E.g. Post war class compromise Overcame problem of under-consumption Either way... State protects capitalism

10 Problem: If capitalism should collapse, why does it survive and flourish? c) Lenin s Theory of Imperialism : Argued: Monopoly Capitalism led to imperialism overcome domestic falling rate of profit.... Lead to New Imperialism, nationalism and WAR Implications: Capitalism must be violently overthrown imperialism and conflict, inevitable, and good for capitalism Impact on non-colonial societies...?

11 4) Modern Approaches: a) Dependency Theory : (Gunder-Frank and Cardosso and Faletto) Popular in Latin America and Canada Sources: 1) Marxists: Argued MNC s from north prevented development in south for super-exploitation 2) Latin American Structuralism (Prebisch): Argued free trade didn t work for South Problem of Declining Terms of Trade Claims: Developing nations exploited by powerful capitalist states Capitalism uneven: core and periphery = underdevelopment South dominated by Comprador Classes

12 Dependency Theory implications: Radicals recommended socialist revolutions = Breakout of global capitalism! Moderates recommended economic nationalism autonomy Import Substitution Industrialization (ISI) : Tariffs to protect development of local industries Situation could be changed... Problems? Unclear concepts - economic nationalism vs. Marxism Importance of state power? Empirical problems Success of East Asian NIC s thought to disprove theory Dependencistas do not accept this!

13 4) Modern Approaches: b) World Systems Theory : (Wallerstein) Derived from Dependency Theory but focuses on geographic exploitation of capitalism Argues: Single world capitalist system power comes from position in system States organized hierarchically (Core, semi-periphery and periphery) Logic of Marxist exploitation applied to states E.g. Periphery are exploited for their surplus value Problems: Vague, not widely applied Marxists criticize lack of class analysis IR scholars criticize under-theorization of state power

14 4) Modern Approaches: c) Regulation Theory: (Lipietz regulation school ) Very Structural Marxist approach to IPE Argues: States create different regimes of accumulation to adapt to changing labour process After WWII= Fordism and Taylorism Required Keynesianism Since 1980s= Post-fordism Profit squeeze requires Neo-liberalism Political struggle not as important as needs of capitalism However, problem of economism / economic-determinism

15 4) Modern Approaches: c) Regulation Theory: (Lipietz regulation school ) Very Structural Marxist approach to IPE Argues: States create different regimes of accumulation to adapt to changing labour process After WWII= Fordism and Taylorism Required Keynesianism Since 1980s= Post-fordism Profit squeeze requires Neo-liberalism Political struggle not as important as needs of capitalism However, problem of economism / economic-determinism

16 4) Modern Approaches: d) Gramscian or Neo-Gramscian Theory: (Gramsci, Cox, Gill and others...) Global politics understood through a Neo-Marxist class analysis Rejects economism of Regulation Theory Concepts: a) Interrelationship of material capabilities, institutions and ideas all impact class struggle b) Hegemony : Seen as class domination - economic and ideological domination of elite class c) Organic Intellectuals : Ideological organizers of class politics

17 Further Reading: Dependency Theory: Joseph L. Love, "The Origins of Dependency Analysis," Journal of Latin American Studies, 22 (February, 1990), pp World Systems Theory: Christopher Chase-Dunn and Peter Grimes, World-Systems Analysis, Annual Review of Sociology, 21 (1995), pp Regulation Theory: Michael Dunford, Globalization and Theories of Regulation, in Ronen Palan, ed., Global Political Economy: Contemporary Theories, (London: Routledge, 2000), pp Gramscian Methods: Robert W. Cox, Gramsci, Hegemony and International Relations: An Essay in Method, Millennium, 12-2 (1983), pp

18 Conclusions: Strengths? Focus on concepts ignored by realism and liberalism (Exploitation and inequality) Central emphasis on capitalism and globalization Weaknesses? Lack of prescription What is to be done? (E.g. Regulation Theory) Confusing concepts, not widely applied Role of state power often obscured Is this a problem?

19 For Next Time: Unit Five: Contemporary Approaches - Feminism and Constructivism (October 15 & 20) Required Reading: Cohn, Ch. 5. Class Discussion Readings: Penny Griffin, Refashioning IPE: What and how gender analysis teaches international (global) political economy, Review of International Political Economy, Oct2007, Vol. 14 Issue 4, pp Rawi Abdelal, Mark Blyth, and Craig Parsons, The Case for a Constructivist International Political Economy, in Constructivist Political Economy (Unpublished manuscript)

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