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IPE Session 5 Marxism

IPE Session 5 Marxism - Session 4 1 MARX LENIN AND THE...

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Session 4 1 MARX, LENIN, AND THE STRUCTURALIST PERSPECTIVE Karl Marx is one of the most imposing figures in the history of political economy. With the collapse of communism in Russia and Eastern Europe. However, ideas that originated with Marx, remain very much alive today. Theories that incorporate notions of class struggle, exploitation, imperialism and technical change, to name just a few, remain important tools of IPE analysis. The general heading Structuralism accounts for some of the more recent theories and concepts that incorporate a number of Marx's and Lenin's ideas. Modern Structuralists often ask questions that others tend to overlook or downplay. The underlying notion uniting the ideas of what we will call structuralism, is that Structure conditions outcome . Since capitalism was primarily a national phenomenon in Marx's time he focused most of his analysis on national economies and how the class Structure resulted in exploitation, conflict, and crisis within nation- states. Lenin expanded Marx's study to account explicitly for imperialism, which was manifested in the dominant and exploitative relationship of industrial countries over their colonial possessions. More recently a number of Structuralists focus on a variety of issues associated with imperialism, or otherwise with the relationship of developing to developed countries. Two concepts that are integral to these studies are the dependency and the Modern World System theory. Those who hold Structuralist views see the global political economy in ways fundamentally different from liberals and mercantilists. The keys for them are the national and international economic structures, which they consider to be the driving force behind IPE. “Economics determines politics”, as the saying goes. Likewise, whereas liberals and mercantilists make individuals and the state their respective basic units of analysis, Structuralists focus on class and the global political economy (often referred to as the Modern World System).
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