Globalisation, the state and class struggle : a 'critical economy' engagement with open Marxism.

Bieler, Andreas and Morton, Adam David (2003) Globalisation, the state and class struggle : a 'critical economy' engagement with open Marxism. British Journal of Politics and International Relations, 5 (4). pp. 467-499. ISSN 1369-1481

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This article explores common commitments between competing historical materialist perspectives within International Political Economy (IPE). It does so by engaging with the approach of Open Marxism that has emerged as the basis of a radical rethinking of theories of the state, the dialectic of subject-object and theory-practice, as well as commitments to emancipating the social world. Despite these contributions, though, there has been a sonorous silence within debates in critical International Relations (IR) theory in relation to the arguments of Open Marxism. In contrast, we engage with and develop an immanent critique of Open Marxism through a 'Critical Economy' conception of the state proffered by Antonio Gramsci. Previously overlooked, this alternative approach not only promotes an understanding of the state as a social relation of production but also affords insight into a broader range of class-relevant social forces linked to contemporary processes of capitalist development. A key priority is thus granted to theorising the capitalist state, as well as issues of resistance and collective agency, that surpasses the somewhat 'theological' vision of state-capital-labour evident in Open Marxism. Moreover, it is argued in conclusion that the approach we outline provides an avenue to critique additional competing 'critical' approaches in IR/IPE, thereby raising new questions about the potential of critical theory within international studies.

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Journal Article
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British Journal of Politics and International Relations
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04 Mar 2009 15:16
Last Modified:
21 Nov 2022 19:17