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Commenting on the Mexican Revolution in 1938, Trotsky argued that the country might achieve “national independence,” understood as a break with dependency relations…
Commenting on the Mexican Revolution in 1938, Trotsky argued that the country might achieve “national independence,” understood as a break with dependency relations. Whether this might occur depended – Trotsky continued – on “international factors.” Though not engaging with Mexico, Antonio Gramsci made a similar theoretical point. It is hence from this perspective that this chapter analyses the Mexican Revolution, asking whether it led to a break in dependency relations and the attainment of “national independence” or what I refer to as “relative geopolitical autonomy.” Presenting a framework of analysis largely based on the work of Gramsci that highlights its continuity with the thought of Marx, the chapter will answer negatively to this question. The chapter starts from the idea that Porfirio Díaz’s regime was unable to adapt the economic structure (still pre-capitalist) to the complex superstructures (capitalist), that is, to realize an historic bloc. It would be this job that the emergent Mexican bourgeoisie sought to finish. However, the situation is complicated by the powerful emergence of social movements from below, constituted largely by landless peasants, and to a lesser extent, the industrial proletariat. I will therefore argue that the revolution has been both “passive” and “bounded.” The term passive revolution will be applied to the last phase of the revolution as the emerging bourgeoisie successfully coopted the demands of the popular masses thereby “passivizing” them. But crucially, the revolution was also “bounded” because international factors, and especially US influence, played a conditioning role throughout the revolutionary process. At the same time, it would be the very “passive” nature of the revolution that would contribute to the reproduction of relations of dependency. Hence the chapter concludes that the period Trotsky commented upon (the Cárdenas period) is the highest level of “independence” Mexico achieved, only to decrease again over the years.
This paper attempts to critically question present IPE approaches and analyses that aim at assessing China’s role within the international political economy. Thus, unlike…
This paper attempts to critically question present IPE approaches and analyses that aim at assessing China’s role within the international political economy. Thus, unlike common theorizations that see the country as being integrated within US hegemony (Panitch and Gindin) or those accounts that claim that we are already witnessing the “terminal crisis” of US hegemony accompanied by a hegemonic transition toward China (Arrighi), the paper will argue that China was able to gain “relative geopolitical autonomy” as a result of the revolutionary processes it went through and eventually assert itself as a contender state, now just in the process of challenging US hegemony. Dissatisfied with existent theorizations of hegemony, I will be drawing on the critical edition of Gramsci’s Quaderni and attempt to offer a new perspective regarding the conceptualization thereof. Thus applying the elaborated framework of analysis to the current situation, I argue that unlike the US’s ability to counter the challenge of its traditional imperial rivals Germany and Japan as they developed under the grip of US hegemony, the country is facing difficulties in countering China’s ascent. However, while maintaining that China does indeed represent a challenge to US hegemony, particularly in East Asia, I will argue that the idea of a “crisis of US hegemony” is premature as China remains distant from fully realizing hegemonic relations, even at the regional level.
The purpose of this paper is to present reflections on the contradictions between structure and agency in theories of the Bolivian Revolution, 2000-2005. Most studies into…
The purpose of this paper is to present reflections on the contradictions between structure and agency in theories of the Bolivian Revolution, 2000-2005. Most studies into the trajectory and outcomes of the revolutionary period in Bolivia between 2000 and 2005 tend to emphasise on the primary role of structural factors or social movements in shifting the terrain of political debate. This paper argues this represents a false dichotomy and discounts the value of this debate. In doing so, it seeks to highlight the need for research that focuses on the role of institutional variables that mediate between structure and agency.
The paper uses theories of the Bolivian Revolution, which occurred between 2000 and 2005, to highlight the way theory shapes – and is shaped by – the political organisations that espouse it. This constructivist thesis is applied to conceptions of neoliberalism and Katarismo, an ideology of indigenous liberation, based in Andean-Aymara history. The intellectual and political projects of each approach are demarcated. Theories that privilege either the intellectual project or political project in their narrative of the Bolivian Revolution are then queried.
As a consequence of this analysis, the paper concludes by emphasizing the need for political organisation and theory to be considered dialectically along the lines of Gogol (2012). It argues that further research into institutions is required to appreciate why some post-neoliberal projects flourish while others fragment.
The paper proposes a modified understanding of the interplay between structure and agency in conceptions of the Bolivian Revolution (2000-2005) and suggests an original approach to resolving the underlying questions that motivate these debates.
The purpose of this study is to provide a political explanation of management, accounting and control (MAC) practices in a traditional and unstable African setting. This…
The purpose of this study is to provide a political explanation of management, accounting and control (MAC) practices in a traditional and unstable African setting. This was done by exploring the influence of latest revolutionary politics in Egypt along with labour dynamics in the context.
Theoretically, the study uses the institutional logics perspective to understand the effects of higher order institutions on corporate management and workers at the micro level. Methodologically, the study adopts an interpretative case study approach. Data were collected using a triangulation of interviews, documents and observations.
The study finds that volatile political settings can have different contradictory implications for MAC practices. It also concludes that revolutionary events play a central role not only in the configuration of MAC practices but also in the mobilisation of labour resistance to these practices.
The study contributes to the literature by investigating the different appearances of MAC practices in a volatile, political or revolutionary context, in contrast to highly investigated stabilised Western contexts. This broadens the definition of the social in the area of accounting and control.
What is the historical, normative and institutional setting that helps leading Latin American and Eurasian countries to implement a post-hegemonic agenda and contribute to…
What is the historical, normative and institutional setting that helps leading Latin American and Eurasian countries to implement a post-hegemonic agenda and contribute to the multipolarization of global politics? Post-hegemony describes a situation in which the unipolar organization of the world political economy is challenged by a plurality of alternative projects, without however being entirely replaced by another system. Emblematic of post-hegemonic initiatives is the rise of the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa countries who have taken the lead in creating alternative institutions that constrain US global hegemony, while however failing to spearhead a coherent, uniform and confrontational opposition movement. Regarding post-hegemonic regionalism, Latin American regionalism – as represented by Bolivarian Alliance for Our America (ALBA) – is characterized by a social justice-driven agenda that refutes US neoliberal hegemony, whereas the peculiarity of Eurasian regionalism – as represented by Shanghai Cooperation Organization – lies in its security-oriented focus that confronts US interventionism and international terrorism. An underlying commonality of both Latin American and Eurasian experiences is that they constitute a multi-front struggle centered on four main areas: culture, economy, financial cooperation, and regional defense. They both hinge on a strong normative framework and firm commitment in the regionalization of an endogenous culture, educational cooperation, and defense system. They all accord primary importance to social, financial, and infrastructural development. Overall, these experiences suffer from unresolved tensions between national sovereignty and supranationalism alongside the predominance of charismatic leaders inhibiting institutionalization. The limitations and contradictions of post-hegemonic transformations also include Latin America’s inability to resolve the question of extractivism, Eurasia’s neglect of the question of democratic participation, and both regionalism’s failure to offer a coherent alternative model of economic development to US hegemonism.
The Bandung Conference played a constructive role in mobilizing a movement against the bipolar hegemony of the post World War II period. This period, from Yalta (1945) to Malta (1989), can be characterized as an international neo-colonial regime in a post-colonial world. Despite political, economical and cultural differences, the Third World states represented at Bandung called for a counter hegemonic alliance based on the principles of peaceful coexistence (The Pancha Sila).1 These principles enabled cooperation among the states and peoples of Asia and Africa. The Latin American states later joined this non-aligned movement. The principles of peaceful coexistence, which were first proclaimed by India and China, represented an imaginative reformulation of the modern Western framework of international systems established initially by the Peace of Westphalia in 1648. This new framework, which based cooperation among the recently independent states on the Western principles of national sovereignty, stressed mutual respect and benefit in place of the Westphalia premise of international anarchy.