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Historical Materialism and World System Theory

Historical Materialism and World System Theory

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Published by: hanafi9 on Apr 05, 2010
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Historical Materialism and World System Theory
Marxism of International Relations – a brief note from“Making Sense of IR” (Sterling-Folker, 2006)1.Histomat and WST emphasize economic change as thedriving force of world politics. Mode of productiondetermines the nature of social and political relationswithin political entities and among them.2.Histomat and WST utilize the concept of a worldcapitalist system i.e. the global dominance of capitalism.3.Histomat and WST argue that IR can only beunderstood within the context of world capitalistsystem. Halliday put it succinctly “those who do notwant to talk about capitalism, should not talk aboutinternational relations” (2002).4.Capitalism involves three basic elements of mode of production: market exchange, political and socialelevation of those with capital in various marketventures, subordination of those laboring the goods inthose ventures.5.In IR, capitalism promoted imperialism seen as a formof transnational exploitation (Lenin, Luxembourg,Hobson).6.How imperialism works? Overproduction by capitalistclass, underconsumption by lower class in a country ->seeking markets abroad for reinvesting surplus capital,unequal terms of interaction -> instead of outrightconquest, capitalists use IFIs to force their interests.7.Imperialism leads to international rivalry and conflictamong capitalist societies, as they compete fordominance in alternative markets and regions.8.world politics is driven by capitalist economic forces,and that economic exploitation is an integral part of thecapitalist system and is required to keep it functioning.
Gramsci: developed the concept of historic bloc with ahegemonic grip over social consciousness and identity.How global capitalism constitutes a material and

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