New Chilcote imperialism collection

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Tue Sep 2 15:35:26 MDT 2003

Ronald H. Chilcote, ed. The Political Economy of Imperialism: Critical
Appraisals. Lanham and New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 2000. viii + 261 pp.
Notes, bibliography, biographies, index. $28.95 (paper), ISBN 0-7425-1010-7.

Reviewed by Leland Conley Barrows, UNESCO European Centre for Higher
Education (UNESCO-CEPES), Bucharest.
Published by H-Diplo (July, 2003)

Globalization--The Highest Level of Imperialism

For those of us who feel increasing unease at the apparently unstoppable
forward march of globalization and the triumphalist discourse of its
advocates, this book, a collection of essays on the political economy of
imperialism, approximates the role of the proverbial little boy who
recognizes that the emperor is indeed naked. It consists of ten essays by
well-known political scientists and economists who have devoted much of
their careers to the study of imperialism and (capitalist) economic
development, and who are currently discovering and chronicling the
continuities of both as they emerge as the new exploitative
synthesis--globalization. The essays are preceded by an analytic
introduction by editor and author Ronald Chilcote.

Chilcote's inspiration to compile and publish this volume was a graduate
seminar on the political economy of imperialism that he has been teaching
at the University of California at Riverside since 1990, one that has given
rise to other publications that this volume complements.[1] It is not the
publication of the proceedings of a conference, even though it has that
format; rather, it most approximates a published set of course readings.

This volume, as Chilcote states, has as its point of departure the
"fundamental premise that capitalism in its evolving and consolidated forms
underlies questions and theories of imperialism and development" (p. 1). It
assumes that the basis for a coherent theory of imperialism and development
can be traced back to such classical writers on political economy as Adam
Smith, David Ricardo, and, of course, Karl Marx. Although some of the
authors claim that the diffusion of capitalism throughout the world had
positive, and not simply negative, effects, the negative view predominates
along with the very strong suggestion that globalization is the highest
stage of imperialism. Indeed, the distribution of the essays stresses the
latter point, for they are placed, consecutively, under the following
headings: "Imperialism: Its Legacy and Contemporary Significance,"
"Imperialism and Development," and "Globalism or Imperialism?"


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