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Daily Archives: March 13th, 2010

A Crisis of Capital


Bonfire of Illusions: The twin crises of the liberal world
By: Alex Callinicos (Kings College London)

Something dramatic happened in the late summer and autumn of 2008. The post-Cold War world came to an abrupt end. This was the result of two conjoined crises. First, in its brief war with Georgia in August 2008, Russia asserted its military power to halt the expansion of NATO to its very borders. Secondly, on 15 September 2008 the Wall Street investment bank Lehman Brothers collapsed. This precipitated a severe financial crash and helped to push the world economy into the worst slump since the 1930s.

Both crises marked a severe setback for the global power of the United States, which had driven NATO expansion and forced through the liberalization of financial markets. More broadly they challenged the consensus that had reigned since the collapse of the Soviet bloc in 1989 that a US-orchestrated liberal capitalist order could offer the world peace and prosperity. Already badly damaged by the Iraq debacle, this consensus has now suffered potentially fatal blows.

In Bonfire of Illusions Alex Callinicos explores these twin crises. He traces the credit crunch that developed in 2007-8 to a much more protracted crisis of overaccumulation and profitability that has gripped global capitalism since the late 1960s. He also confronts the interaction between economic and geopolitical events, highlighting the new assertiveness of nation-states and analysing the tense, complex relationship of interdependence and conflict that binds together the US and China. Finally, in response to the revelation that the market is not the solution to the world’s problems, Callinicos reviews the prospects for alternatives to capitalism.

229 x 152 mm , 6 x 9 in
144 pages

“The crisis of 2007-9 is an event of historic importance that has affected economy, society and politics. Callinicos analyses its causes within the broader development of capitalism in recent decades. Particularly relevant is his stress on financialisation as well as the implications he draws regarding the balance of imperial power across the world. Written with the author’s customary skill, this is a welcome contribution from the left to the public debate.” — Costas Lapavitsas, SOAS, University of London

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Director: Professor Maggie MacLure
Monday 19 – Friday 23 July 2010,
Education and Social Research Institute, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK

Dear Colleague

We are pleased to announce that the outline programme, keynote abstracts and further details are now available. These can be viewed online at:


Patti Lather, Ohio State University. ‘The State of Qualitative Inquiry: Methodology 2.1’
Stephen Ball, Institute of Education, London. ‘Challenges of Policy Analysis in Hard Times’
Erica Burman, MMU. ‘Washing Dirty Linen in Public: Performing Gender, Generation and Class in Neoliberal Times’
Neil Mercer, University of Cambridge. ‘Analysing Classroom Dialogue: Theory and Method’
Nick Lee, Warwick University. ‘Researching Childhood, Growth and Change: Bio-politics, Affect and Attractors’
Maggie MacLure, MMU. ‘The Offence of Theory’
Bridget Somekh, MMU. ‘Localisation or Globalisation? The Dynamics of Action Research’
Lorna Roberts, MMU. ‘Critical Race Theory’
Ian Parker, MMU. ‘Psychoanalytic Theory’.
Rachel Holmes, Liz Jones, Maggie MacLure, Christina MacRae, MMU. ‘Encounters with Art Theory’

Standard delegate fee: £195 (including all lunches, teas & coffees, plus 2 wine receptions).

The Registration Form can be downloaded at:

For further details or enquiries, email the Summer Institute Administration:

The Summer Institute will be of interest to researchers and research degree students, particularly in education, the social sciences and the health and caring professions.

THE EDUCATION AND SOCIAL RESEARCH INSTITUTE (ESRI) AT MMU is a leading centre for applied social and educational research, with a world-class reputation for the development of theory and methodology. It is one of the top ten UK education research establishments, according to the latest Research Assessment Exercise. Find out more about ESRI online at:

Professor Maggie MacLure
Institute of Education
Manchester Metropolitan University
799 Wilmslow Road
Manchester M20 2RR, UK
phone: +44 (0)161 247 2053

Jean Davidson
Manchester Metropolitan University
Institute of Education, Research Centre
799 Wilmslow Road, Didsbury
M20 2RR, U.K.
Tel: +44 (0)161 247 2318
Fax: +44 (0)161 247 6353

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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