Cover

Table of Contents

Cover

Dedication

Title page

Copyright page

TABLES

PREFACE AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

INTRODUCTION: EMPIRE OF THEORY, THEORIES OF EMPIRE

0.1 Marxism and imperialism

0.2 The need for theory

0.3 Imperialism and global political economy today

Part I: THEORY

1 THE CLASSICAL LEGACY

1.1 Continuing Marx’s Capital

1.2 Luxemburg’s fertile diversion

1.3 The Lenin-Bukharin synthesis

1.4 Organized capitalism and economic crises

1.5 Spectres of ultra-imperialism

2 CAPITALISM AND THE STATE SYSTEM

2.1 Rethinking the theory of imperialism

2.2 Conceptualizing the state system

2.3 Interests and ideologies

Part II: HISTORY

3 CAPITALISM AND LA LONGUE DURÉE

3.1 What is capitalism?

3.2 Markets and empires

3.3 The sinews of capitalist power

4 AGES OF IMPERIALISM

4.1 Periodizing imperialism

4.2 Classical imperialism (1870–1945)

4.3 Superpower imperialism (1945–1991)

5 IMPERIALISM AND GLOBAL POLITICAL ECONOMY TODAY

5.1 The specificity of American imperialism

5.2 Global capitalism at the Pillars of Hercules?

Index

To Sam, again, with love

Title page

TABLES

1.1 Global GDP growth rates 1820–2003

3.1 Levels of per capita GDP ad 1–2003

4.1 Relative shares of world manufacturing output, 1750–1980

4.2 Area pattern of British overseas investment, 1860–1929

4.3 India’s trade and bullion balances

4.4 Ratio of merchandise trade to GDP

4.5 Direct foreign investment in selected foreign country groups 1965–1983

5.1 Defence expenditure of top fifteen economies, 2006

5.2 Foreign direct investment inflows, 1992–2006

5.3 US non-financial corporate net profit rate by business cycle, 1948–2007

5.4 Leading economies GDP, 1980–2007

PREFACE AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Imperialism, to many people’s surprise, survived the Cold War. More to the point, it has also survived the presidency of George W. Bush. So it is an important subject. I have been fortunate enough to write about it during what can only be considered a great renaissance of the Marxist theory of imperialism. This has allowed me to develop my own ideas in dialogue – and sometimes in confrontation – with many of the leading contributors to this revival. Thanks to a variety of social forums, congresses and conferences, mostly generated by the contemporary movements against neoliberal globalization and imperial war, I have been able to debate with, and learn from, Gilbert Achcar, Samir Amin, Giovanni Arrighi, Daniel Bensaïd, Bob Brenner, Frank Deppe, Peter Gowan, Michael Hardt, David Harvey, David McNally, Toni Negri, Leo Panitch and Claude Serfati.

I have also benefitted from being allowed to present the thought that forms the subject of chapter 2 of this book – that there is a necessary relationship between capitalism and the international state system – in various forums, including the Cambridge Review of International Affairs. I am grateful to the editors of this journal, and particularly to Alex Anievas, who has both orchestrated and contributed to a much more extensive debate about Marxism, the international, and uneven and combined development in the pages of CRIA. It has also helped to have had the opportunity to present my ideas to seminars at Birmingham, Cambridge, London Metropolitan, and Nottingham universities, and at Goldsmiths College, to the Historical Sociology Group of the British International Studies Association, and to the 7th International Relations Conference of the Middle East Technical University in Ankara. My thanks to all involved, and perhaps especially to Gonso Pozo-Martin for his searching criticisms both in print and in discussion.

Sam Ashman, Chris Harman, Nigel Harris, Justin Rosenberg, Andrew Wright and an anonymous reviewer all read this book in draft and made very helpful comments. Both Sam and Andrew are engaged in research of their own, some of whose findings overlap with my arguments; I am very grateful to the intellectual support their work has given me. My correspondence and conversations with Justin have provided enormous stimulus and pleasure. Chris and Nigel wrote at once the most detailed and much the rudest comments, showing that old comrades may diverge politically without losing the robust intellectual training all three of us received from the late Tony Cliff. I particularly appreciate Nigel’s patience and kindness in sticking with a train of thought that he regards as thoroughly misguided.

At Polity David Held suggested that I write a short book about imperialism and has taken this much longer one on the chin. I am grateful to him and also to Clare Ansell, Helen Gray and Sarah Lambert for guiding the book to publication.

My biggest debt, however, is to Sam Ashman. We have talked non-stop about many of the topics that I have ended up writing about in this book. My debt to her is enormous, not just intellectually, but also for the support she has provided in what have proved to be quite stressful times. It is in token of what I owe that I am dedicating this book to her.