Translated from the original Russian, this book analyzes the economic development of leading European empires and the United States of America. The author exposes the myths of the spontaneous emergence of the market economy and the role of government as a disincentive towards private initiative, when for centuries the state power has been carrying out a "coercing to the market" with all its strength.
This book presents a somewhat epic depiction of the development of Western hegemonic powers within the capitalist world system, from the struggles of the late Middle Ages to the rise and crisis of the American Empire. It both develops and questions some of the traditional assumptions of the world-system theory, arguing that it was very much the political form of the state that shaped capitalism as we know it and that, though the existence of a hegemonic power results from the logic of the system, hegemony is often missing in reality.
A major work of historical Marxist theory, this book is essential reading for students of international political economy, globalisation and the crisis of capitalism. This book is also ideal for students of politics, history, economics and international relations.
Boris Kagarlitsky is Director of the Institute of Globalization and Social Movements in Moscow and a Fellow in the Institute for Comparative Political Studies, the Russian Academy of Sciences. He was a political prisoner under Brezhnev and latterly has been an adviser to the Chair of the Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Russia.
Introduction 1. World Empires 2. Crisis and Revolution in Medieval Europe 3. Reformation and Expansion 4. The Crisis of the Seventeenth Century 5. The Rise of Hegemony 6. The Discovery of 'The West' 7. An Epoch of Wars and Revolutions 8. The Bourgeois Empire 9. Imperialism 10. The Crisis of Hegemony 11. The Change of Hegemony 12. Imperialism without an Empire: The United States Conclusion