POLS 102 Lecture Notes - Lecture 20: Friedrich Engels, Antonio Gramsci, Economic Globalization

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Political Science 102 5 April 2017
Marxism
March did not write much about international relations.
However, his general ideas have inspired many IR scholars
One major contribution by Marx and his friend Friedrich Engels was an analysis of imperialism
Imperialism – Conquest over a lot of land
In turn, their analysis can be applied to economic globalization.
Marx and Engels argued that capitalism, in its relentless quest for profits, will bring the whole of
the world into its explorative system
For Lenin, imperialism was the highest (and final) stage of capitalism, and would be characterized
by a widening gap between rich and poor nations.
Since the Second World War, Marxist-inspired writers have explained under-development in ‘Third
World’ nations as a direct product of imperialism.
Critical theory in IR
Critical theory has been very influential amongst IR scholars
It is not exclusively Marxist, but it shares Marx’s views about emancipation and opposition to
exploitation.
The Italian Antonio Gramsci (1891-1937) is a key figure in this tradition
Gramsci argued that ruling classes maintained power by making prevailing inequalities seem
‘natural’
This idea is summarized by the term ‘hegemony
For scholars influenced by Gramsci, realist theory is ‘hegemonic’ because it underpins the status
quo.
They argue that the existing order can (and should) be challenged, because ‘reality’ is socially
constructed by humans who can reshape the world they live in.
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Document Summary

March did not write much about international relations. However, his general ideas have inspired many ir scholars. One major contribution by marx and his friend friedrich engels was an analysis of imperialism. Imperialism conquest over a lot of land. In turn, their analysis can be applied to economic globalization. Marx and engels argued that capitalism, in its relentless quest for profits, will bring the whole of the world into its explorative system. For lenin, imperialism was the highest (and final) stage of capitalism, and would be characterized by a widening gap between rich and poor nations. Since the second world war, marxist-inspired writers have explained under-development in third. World" nations as a direct product of imperialism. Critical theory has been very influential amongst ir scholars. It is not exclusively marxist, but it shares marx"s views about emancipation and opposition to exploitation. The italian antonio gramsci (1891-1937) is a key figure in this tradition.

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