FREE Delivery in the UK.
Only 1 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon.
Gift-wrap available.
Quantity:1
A Theory of Global Capita... has been added to your Basket
+ £2.80 UK delivery
Used: Good | Details
Sold by owlsmart_usa
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Good clean copy with no missing pages might be an ex library copy; may contain marginal notes and or highlighting
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

A Theory of Global Capitalism: Production, Class, and State in a Transnational World (Themes in Global Social Change) Paperback – 6 Feb 2004

1 customer review

See all 2 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Hardcover
"Please retry"
£61.15
Paperback
"Please retry"
£15.50
£9.68 £9.41
£15.50 FREE Delivery in the UK. Only 1 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

A Theory of Global Capitalism: Production, Class, and State in a Transnational World (Themes in Global Social Change) + The Making of a Transnational Capitalist Class: Corporate Power in the 21st Century
Price For Both: £32.49

Buy the selected items together



Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press; First Printing edition (6 Feb. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801879272
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801879272
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.5 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 892,551 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description

Review

Robinson has some interesting things to say... What began as a dry theoretic treatise has morphed into a tub-thumping harangue.

(William Lasser The New Leader)

Clever and panoramic analysis. Written in a conversational, yet rigorous style.

(Development and Change)

This book is an impressive accomplishment. One need not agree with its thesis... to find it interesting and worthy of further study.

(Choice)

A must read, presenting a powerful theoretical thesis.

(Jerry Harris Science and Society)

William I. Robinson has earned a reputation as one of the leading critical analysts of capitalist globalization as a system of power. This book―both rigorous and readable―develops his thesis that we are witnessing a world-historical transition into a new phase of capitalism, with new forms of power, resistance and struggle. Whether or not you agree with Robinson's controversial thesis, you will agree that this book represents formidable scholarship and raises crucial political questions for the twenty-first century.

(Mark Rupert, Syracuse University)

This is a fine, succinctly argued, presentation of a critical theory of 'global capitalism.' The author regards globalization as a new phase in the history of capitalism―specifically, in the development of a transnational global economy. This book is particularly striking with respect to its cogency, vitality and great commitment to a democratic global order.

(Roland Robertson, University of Aberdeen)

The leading analyst of transnational class formation provides a clear, straightforward, and convincing account of the economic, political, and social contours of contemporary capitalism. This is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the global condition and prospects for its amelioration.

(Craig N. Murphy, M. Margaret Ball Professor of International Relations, Wellesley College, and Chair, Academic Council on the United Nations System)

Yet another book on globalization? If you think you have read too many already, think again! Here is a fresh look at the subject which shatters the illusion that globalization has to do with either free international trade or the disappearance of the state. Robinson expertly gathers the diverse threads that run through our world order and unerringly hones in on class and transnational power at the heart of it.

(Ankie Hoogvelt, University of Sheffield)

Review

"William I. Robinson has earned a reputation as one of the leading critical analysts of capitalist globalization as a system of power. This book -- both rigorous and readable -- develops his thesis that we are witnessing a world-historical transition into a new phase of capitalism, with new forms of power, resistance and struggle. Whether or not you agree with Robinson's controversial thesis, you will agree that this book represents formidable scholarship and raises crucial political questions for the twenty-first century." -- Mark Rupert, Syracuse University

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Inside This Book

(Learn More)
First Sentence
Who these days does not talk about globalization? Read the first page
Explore More
Concordance
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
5 star
0
4 star
1
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
See the customer review
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By M. A. Krul on 24 April 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Although the author is William I. Robinson, who teaches sociology and IR at UC Santa Barbara, this book is the very opposite of a Robinsonade - in fact, it deals with the global convergence of the capitalist class and its interests. Robinson's thesis in this book is that rather than conceiving of globalization as increasing internationalization, i.e. increasing trade and political connections between nation-states and proceeding from that political level, it should instead be understood as an increasing transnationalization. In other words, it means that there is now a secular tendency for the formation of a global, transnational capitalist class, which operates on the basis of the interests of global capital and increasingly forms a transnational state apparatus (from UN to WTO to IMF) to exercise its power. This global capitalist class is in opposition to the old national bourgeoisies, which are ever more succumbing to this struggle, and dominates global production in terms of volume - as Robinson aptly demonstrates with some choice statistics from the 1990s (surely even more true now). This global capitalist class has not made the nation-states obsolete, but restructures their organizations and institutions of power according to its needs and tries to pave the way for the total domination of this class over all state power by programmes of austerity, privatization, 'structural adjustment', and so forth. In other words, according to Robinson, the neoliberal order is the political mode of appearance of the interests of the global capitalist class.

So far, so good. Much of this is plausibly argued, and the author makes a number of valuable points.
Read more ›
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 7 reviews
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
A correct formulation of the problem... 7 Oct. 2008
By Summer Gray - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The final chapter of Robinson's book opens with important words once written by Karl Marx: "The correct formulation of the problem already indicates its solution." Robinson's paradigm-shifting articulation of the problem of global capitalism as a hegemonic transnational phenomenon calls for a transnational counterhegemonic response -- a solution that is imaginatively new, materially realizable, and desperately needed.

There is much to praise in this work, particularly in its move to transcend outdated frameworks and epistemological standards to arrive a problem that spells out possible solutions. By deconstructing the role of the nation-state in the global economy and pointing to the significance of transnational production and the rise of a transnational class and the transnational state, Robinson opens up the door and lets class, agency and culture back into the room.

I have engaged with a variety of critical literature that has sought to place the disempowered at the center of analysis in order to legitimize the voice of the "other." While I still believe that this kind of work is important, I have been frustrated with its tendency to fragment struggles by arriving at an array of different problems and respective solutions due to a lack of agreement on the most appropriate unit of analysis. As a critical theorist, Robinson avoids this by critiquing nation-state-centrism and tracing class relations to the material world. He argues that the globalist bloc "achieved hegemony in the last twentieth century because it came to exercise a commanding influence over material life around the world, including the ability to provide rewards and impose sanctions, and because it achieved an ideological dominance by developing both an alternative ideology and a viable alternative program to global capitalism" (174).

This book has major insights for anyone critical of the world in which they live. I approached this book critically, weary of another `big picture' grand narrative story, and finished with a heightened sense of awareness about the world in which I live. Don't be intimidated by the word 'theory' in the title. This book is for everyone.

One last note: While I was reading Robinson's book, I was reminded of a documentary called Mickey Mouse Monopoly-- a film that takes a critical look at the Disney Company's role in shaping global culture through its enormous corporate power (you can watch the entire documentary in ten minute sections on youtube.com). Robinson correctly emphasizes the importance of culture in his book, noting how such cultural icons as Coca Cola, Mickey Mouse, Big Macs, and Nike are "symbolic of the real material domination of TNCs" (31). As Robinson further notes "the ownership and merger of media worldwide is a major area of transnationalization...and their tight control over the worldwide flow of information and images are issues of cultural domination" (129). The Disney Corporation is an example of a transnational corporation participating in a larger global capitalist hegemonic project, and demonstrates careful attention to policing its image and representation. In the documentary the narrator describes Disney as "a transnational media conglomerate owning TV and radio networks, cable systems, internet sites, music studios, media production companies, magazines, sports teams, theaters and theme parks." The narrator continues to raise questions of democracy and Disney's tendency to present a "very limited world view skewed and dominated by corporate interests."

The documentary ends with a revealing quote from Disney's own Michael Eisner in an internal memo: "we have no obligation to make history, we have no obligation to make art, we have no obligation to make a statement, to make money is our only objective."

Dr. Gail Dines, professor of Women's Studies at Wheelock College, poses the following concerns: "What kind of society do we want to live in? Do we want to live in a society were seven global corporations control our culture? At the moment the only people at the table are the holders of corporate power. That's not a democracy."

So, what kind of society do you want to live in? Read Robinson's book and let's talk.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
The emergent transnational state 7 Oct. 2008
By Jeb Sprague - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is the most important work published for those interested in studying globalization from a materialist perspective. Robinson argues that connected social, political, and economic arrangements are occurring transnationally (in a very complex manner) in today's Global Political Economy. The book is a treasure trove of theory. This is the first book also to layout the nascent formation of transnational state apparatus in which political institutions on a global level share some overarching arrangements in globalization. Interested readers should also check out Leslie Sklair's The Transnational Capitalist Class, Jerry Harris' The Dialectics of Globalization: Economic and Political Conflict in a Transnational World and the rest of Robinson's books. These three works hold the solid core of the theory behind the 'global capitalism school' approach.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
A useful contribution to Marxist theories of international relations 24 April 2012
By M. A. Krul - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Although the author is William I. Robinson, who teaches sociology and IR at UC Santa Barbara, this book is the very opposite of a Robinsonade - in fact, it deals with the global convergence of the capitalist class and its interests. Robinson's thesis in this book is that rather than conceiving of globalization as increasing internationalization, i.e. increasing trade and political connections between nation-states and proceeding from that political level, it should instead be understood as an increasing transnationalization. In other words, it means that there is now a secular tendency for the formation of a global, transnational capitalist class, which operates on the basis of the interests of global capital and increasingly forms a transnational state apparatus (from UN to WTO to IMF) to exercise its power. This global capitalist class is in opposition to the old national bourgeoisies, which are ever more succumbing to this struggle, and dominates global production in terms of volume - as Robinson aptly demonstrates with some choice statistics from the 1990s (surely even more true now). This global capitalist class has not made the nation-states obsolete, but restructures their organizations and institutions of power according to its needs and tries to pave the way for the total domination of this class over all state power by programmes of austerity, privatization, 'structural adjustment', and so forth. In other words, according to Robinson, the neoliberal order is the political mode of appearance of the interests of the global capitalist class.

So far, so good. Much of this is plausibly argued, and the author makes a number of valuable points. First is the importance of seeing the current transformation of capitalism not as a struggle between nations, such as the US and China, at the fundamental level, but rather as the rise to hegemony of the global capitalist class. Its opponents are those capitals that have purely national or regional interests to maintain specifically against the interests of the global capitalist class, and of course the proletariats of the world, which are (if much more slowly) also globalizing. Second, that it is in the interests of the global capitalist class to maximize the mobility of capital, but to minimize the corresponding mobility of labor, insofar as this would allow the development of a global proletarian opposition. The forces of globalization require ever more social containment on the part precisely of the territorial state powers, in order to prevent the Polanyian counter-movement from appearing (my words, not his).

Finally, this has only been possible because every part of the globe has now been formally subsumed under the capitalist order; there is no extensive form of 'original accumulation' possible any more on any serious scale. Robinson argues that therefore the global capitalist class' main interest in international relations is to overcome the opposition not just of the various working classes, but also of the national capitals that stand in the way; and that it seeks to supplant these by introducing everywhere 'polyarchy', i.e. the hollow form of 'liberal democracy' that channels civil society and oppositional forces into the periodic election of one or another branch of the elite. He implies it is precisely the status of petty dictators and the like as representatives of the interests purely of their national capitals and their nation-state territorial position that makes them undesirable in the eyes of the global capitalist class, however willing they may be to trade with them if they have to. This would then explain the neo-imperialist adventurist turn of many of the richer countries, including many not previously participants in such undertakings.

There are some problems with the argument nonetheless. Firstly, Robinson's economic historical explanation as well as his crisis theory are somewhat shoddy and in many cases questionable. For example, as Marx himself already pointed out, to explain a crisis by stating that there is overproduction and underconsumption is to explain precisely nothing - that is how a crisis appears under capitalism. Similarly, his reading of the social-democratic consensus is surely too rosy. It is not likely that neoliberalism appeared solely as a way for globalizing capital to escape the clutches of this consensus; the consensus itself was deeply limited in scope and intensity to certain parts of Europe and the Anglo-American countries, and it was two rapid crises that brought it down at least as much as its success.

This also fits Robinson's main weakness in the otherwise excellent and essential global outlook on political economy - namely, a serious understatement of the significance of previous imperialism and the contradiction between the First and the Third World, so-called. I agree that there is a long-term secular tendency now towards the creation of an 'equalized' global proletariat and Robinson is certainly right against Arrighi c.s. that this tendency is a victory of global capitalism rather than of East Asian capitalism. Yet this does not mean that we are yet anywhere near this situation of equalization, and precisely the distinction in existing wealth creates strong counter-globalizing forces including among the Western working classes, who have much to lose by this turn of events. By all accounts, they would prefer returning to the rosy social-democratic consensus based on the post-imperial dominance of the West, and for this reason the response to globalizing capital has been explicitly right-wing, not left-wing. Robinson is too optimistic, or too naive, when he implies that the (white) working class of the US or Europe is close to an objective or subjective position of being in the same predicament as the workers of Mexico or the Philippines. They are moving there, but are doing everything they can to prevent it, at the expense of the global proletariat as much as anything.

That said, this book is an important contribution at the political and strategic level to a truly global understanding of capitalist processes in the postwar period and today. So far, much of the initiative in this has proceeded solely from Maoist or post-Maoist sources and authors like Samir Amin. It is good to see this trend being more widely followed, and the significance of this perspective being increasingly appreciated among Marxists more widely. We cannot leave world system thinking to the followers of Frank and Arrighi, great as their contributions have been; let alone such people as Niall Ferguson or Joseph Stiglitz. "A Theory of Global Capitalism" should help put us on the right path.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
William I. Robinson`s Invaluable Theory of Global Capitalism. 8 July 2013
By Colin Burgess - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I gave William Robinson`s book a five star rating because he has provided me with a theoretical structure which fits the last two chapters of my book. I say "fits" because the concepts he uses are in many cases the same as mine but from a transnational viewpoint rather than a national one. Consequently I have learnt a lot by bringing the two perspectives together. In this way Robinson is more basic than Sklair, whose work I can also use in bringing together the work of many other empirical and theoretical writers. Whether this is of any interest or use to anyone else I don`t know, but this is how it is helpful to me. Colin Burgess
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Global capitalis class. 5 Mar. 2014
By Jose M. Pellicer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I like to understand global capitalism and Mr Robinson make it very clear. His analisis make you change your old ways.
Were these reviews helpful? Let us know


Feedback