Global Political Economy: A Marxist Critique

Global Political Economy: A Marxist Critique

Bill Dunn

Language: English

Pages: 384

ISBN: 0745326668

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

This is an ambitious survey of the history and state of the world economy, covering the major upheavals of the capitalist system over the last 100 years.

Bill Dunn provides an original and enlightening explanation of the state of the world economy. He covers all the main aspects of global political economy explaining the theories behind production, trade, finance and relations between rich and poor countries. He also tackles the question of the origin of capitalism, a debate that always proves popular among students and academics. Dunn also includes a critique of alternative perspectives, showing that Marxism still provides the best analytical tools for understanding the global economy.

This comprehensive text is a must for students of politics and economics who are keen to understand how the economy reached its current stage and what the future is likely to bring.

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also clear that a hitherto closed economy should be opened with caution. Even Ricardo’s opposition to the Corn Laws was qualified (Fusfeld 2002). A period of European trade openness in the 1860s and 1870s was followed by substantial closure in the nineteenth-century ‘Great Depression’, with Germany joining the United States in implementing protectionist policies and overtaking Britain in the process. The wars and Great Depression of the 1930s meant further retreat from integration. International

needed shielding from foreign competition. Britain in the sixteenth century was a backward country compared to the Netherlands or the Italian city states. Britain encouraged imports of raw materials like wool, cotton, linen, dyestuffs and leather, freeing them of customs levies and sometimes even subsidising them. Conversely the import of finished goods was banned or subjected to high tariffs. The reverse applied to exports. Where previously they might all have been encouraged, by the late

work, earn one-tenth of its income and own less than one-hundredth of its property’ (1996:171). The numbers may be contestable, but they emphasise the scale of economic inequality. Gender inequalities in political power are similarly well documented both in parliaments and in unelected authorities like the judiciary and military. Contemporary change, in the form of ‘globalisation’, is also substantially gendered. Women’s participation in the paid labour force rose in rich countries (OECD 2005)

its supersession. Chapter 6 discusses the emergence of industrial capitalism and the development of imperialism from the late nineteenth century up to the Second World War. Chapter 7 considers the long post-war boom and its breakdown, setting the scene for the discussion of contemporary global political economy in the rest of the book. Issues, Structures and Agents Part III begins with separate chapters on contemporary production, trade and finance. These broad areas are the staple of IPE.

power, which helped produce the conditions by which Britain became the richest country. Industrial capitalism then produced even more profound social and economic upheavals, challenges to the old order and to old ways of thinking. Classical political economy was part of a great intellectual tradition that rose to meet the challenges. Classical PE also reproduced many of the ambiguities of the Enlightenment tradition of which it was a part. For example, Hobbes (1991) had taken atomistic premises

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