School of Liberal Studies is organising a seminar by Dr. Rohit Azad on the topic "Is Imperialism passé? Weakened Labour and Resurgent Capital" as part of the Special Lecture Series in Economics.
Is Imperialism passé? Weakened Labour and Resurgent Capital
Rohit Azad1 (Co-author: Shouvik Chakraborty2)
Roy Harrod and Rosa Luxemburg, arriving from different traditions in
Economics (Keynesian and Marxian respectively), understood the
accumulation process under capitalism to be inherently unstable. But if
that were true, how has the system survived for so long? Certain growth
theories either focus on the supply side (neoclassical growth) or demand
side factors (post-Keynesian and some Marxian models) to explain this
stability. What is completely missing, however, from these strands of
thought is capitalism's colonial history and its contemporary form
of imperialism. A particular tradition of Marxian political economy
provides an alternative to these traditions by arguing
that imperialism stabilises the system. But with diffusion of capital in the
third world since the 1980s, this understanding of imperialism (of core-
periphery) has come under severe scrutiny. So, is imperialism an
outdated concept today? We would like to argue to the contrary that the
new imperialism, by disciplining labour globally, is providing the core
its financial (but not necessarily political) stability. Imperialism is alive
not despite but because of globalisation.
1 Assistant Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
2 Assistant Research Professor, Political Economy Research Institute
(PERI), UMASS-Amherst, USA.