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Marxist Theory Of International Relations

Marxist Theory Of International Relations . Introduction. The Great Experiment had failed…. Bolshevik Revolution = Creation of USSR Cold War = End of USSR Marxist Theory = Dustbin of History World = Liberal Democracy and Capitalist But… Marxist Thought refuses to go away

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Marxist Theory Of International Relations

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  1. Marxist TheoryOf International Relations

  2. Introduction • The Great Experiment had failed…. • Bolshevik Revolution = Creation of USSR • Cold War = End of USSR • Marxist Theory = Dustbin of History • World = Liberal Democracy and Capitalist • But… Marxist Thought refuses to go away • Two reasons for renaissance • Failure of USSR embarrassment to Marxist • USSR = Didn’t truly follow Marx • Marxist now can promote communism without having to defend USSR Behavior • Marxist Theory becoming more relevant in the world of Globalization • All events take place in and are a consequence of the Global Capital System • Many of Marx predictions of GCS are coming true

  3. Elements of Marxism • Karl Marx • Communist Manifesto • Outlined and provided critical critique of Capitalism • Prophesized rise of working class socialist societies • Never discussed international relations • Schools of Thought emerged inspired by Marx • Four Major Strands have Developed that share Key Marxist Ideology • Social World (Sciences) Should be viewed as a Totality • Non can be understood without the knowledge of others • Materialist Conception of History • Historical change reflection of the economic development of society • Means of Production conflict with Relations of Production and forms Economic Base which will determine the Superstructure of Society

  4. Continue • Means of Production • The elements that combine in the production process (Labor, tools, technology, etc…) • Relations of Production • Link and organize the Means of Production • Technical and institutional relationships that allow production process • Structure that govern process and control end products • Economic Base • Economic system of a society = power and control • When one changes (MoP or RoP) then EB will be forced to change • Superstructure • Political, legal, cultural, etc… norms and institutions grow out of and reflect and reinforce the power and control of the economy

  5. Continue • Class Structure • Society is prone to class conflict • Bourgeoisie = The Capitalist • Proletariat = The Workers • Emancipation • Marx thought philosophers should be actors in creating change • Overthrow the existing/prevailing order and replace it with a communist society • Replace wage labor and private property with a new social order • The definition and terminology of emancipation is debated among contemporary Marxist

  6. Four Marxist Theories • World-System Theory • Developed in response to… • Imperialism • Monopoly Capitalism = capital becoming consolidated in the hands of wealthy nations • Core • Periphery • Harmony of Interests = pacifying the working class in the core with economic gain from the Periphery • Declining Terms of Trade • Price of Manufactured goods increased more rapidly than that of raw materials • Periphery become poorer relative to the core • Takes more coffee grown to buy a refrigerator

  7. Continue • Key Features of World-System Theory • Prominent Protagonist = Immanuel Wallerstein • History = rise and fall of a series of WS • Current System Formed in 16th Century • Birth of Age of Discovery (Globalization) • Catalyst = Capitalism • Interrelationships in the World Economy • Core • Democratic, welfare state, and high standard of living • Imports = raw materials, Exports = manufactures • Semi-Periphery • Provides home for this industries that con no longer function in profitably in the Core • Stabilizing factor of WST • Authoritarian, low welfare services and standard of living • Imports and exports both • Periphery • Non-Democratic Gov and no welfare services • Imports = manufactures, Exports = raw materials

  8. Continue • Three zones are linked in exploitive relationship • Wealth is drained form the Periphery to the core • Temporal Dimensions of world-economy • Cyclical Rhythms • Capitalism goes through series of expansions (booms) and contractions (busts) over time • Secular Trends • Long-term growth of world economy in association with cyclical rhythms • Each cycle starts/stops at different places • Contradictions • Makes one set of behavior optimal for the long run, while another set of behaviors are optimal for the short run… • Often not possible to follow both • Crisis • Cyclical Rhythms, Secular Trends, and contradictions counter act and bring end to world system and replaced by a new world system

  9. Continue • Gramscianism • Named after Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci • Important contributions to the study of International Political Economy • Founded Italian Communist party and jailed in 1926 for beliefs, spent rest of life in jail • Wrote Prison Notebooks • Key Questions • Why had it proven to be so difficult to promote revolution in Western Europe? • Marx predicted revolution would take place in most industrialized societies, but reality revolution took place in underdeveloped societies • Capitalist Society -> Revolution -> Socialist Society

  10. Continue • Answer = Hegemony • Coercion and consent • Coercion = fear of… keeps the exploited and alienated majority in society from rising up and over throwing the system that is the cause of their suffering • Laws, norms, regulations, etc… • Consent = allows the moral, political, and cultural values of the dominant group to become dispersed to the subordinate groups and classes • Media, education, religion, etc… • Society can only be changed through Counter-Hegemonic struggle • Robert Cox • Modern proponent of Gramscianism • Knowledge cannot be objective and timeless

  11. Continue • Ideas and Values are reflection of social relations and are transformed by those social relations means all knowledge must reflect a certain, context, time, and space • All Theorist inevitable bring their values to bear on their analysis • No separation of facts and values • Theories are for and serve the interest of those who prosper under the prevailing order • Consent and coercion and Harmony of Interest • Reinforcing the ruling hegemony • Hegemony is important for maintaining stability and continuity • Dominant powers have to shape a world order that suits their interest • Free Trade – promoted by hegemony and accepted by masses, though it does not benefit the masses

  12. Continue • Critical Theory • Challenges the prevailing order by seeking out, analyzing, and where possible, assisting social processes that can potentially lead to emancipatory change • Born from Frankfurt School • Left-Wing German Jews • Nazism forced into exile, worked in the US • Focuses almost entirely on Superstructural aspects of society • Cultural, bureaucracy, politics, family structure, etc… • Argue working class has been absorbed by the system and no longer is a treat to it • Results from rise of Mass Media and mass culture

  13. Continue • Explores the meaning of Emancipation • Barbaric and Immoral behavior conducted in the name of Emancipation • Stalinism and Imperialism • Domination of nature and humanity to common • Seeks reconciliation with nature and humanity • Radical Democracy • Widest possible participation in democracy by eliminating barriers (social, economic, or cultural) • Should extend beyond state • Andrew Linklater – main contemporary Critical Theory • Borders of the sovereign sates have lost their ethical and moral significance • European Union

  14. Continue • New Marxism • Return to the fundamental tenets of Marxist thought • Critical of stands that distort or neglect original intent • Focuses on International Relations where Marx was vague • Justin Rosenberg – main contemporary • International System changes with each new period of time and Relations of Production • Relations of Production impact state society • State society interacts globally • Relations of Production impact global society • Change in Relation of Production in state will impact international society

  15. Continue • Benno Teschke – Other Main Contemporary • Social Property Relations • Examines the way in which class relations, forms of exploitation, and control of the means of production have changed in different historical epochs • Two major transformations in IR • Feudal System -> Early Modern (Monarchies) • Early Modern -> Modern (Capitalist States)

  16. Globalization and Marxism • Marxism v. Globalization • Marxist don’t deny the relevance and importance of Globalization • Do deny that it is new or novel • Just latest phase of Capitalist expansion and exploitation of non-capitalist or semi-capitalist nations • The Globe is dominate by capitalism, all people and institutions are by capitalism through globalization, as integration and interdependence increase the trend will continue to grow • Boarders may become obsolete, but capitalism is still king

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