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Tag Archives: Capital and War

Antagonistics: Capitalism and Power in an Age of War



Published June 2009





“Hegel wrote that the moment of triumph of a social movement is simultaneously the moment of its disintegration … Gopal Balakrishnan shows how this holds for the worldwide triumph of liberal democracy in the 1990s … Antagonistics is a book for all those who want to orient themselves in the chaos of our historical moment …” – Slavoj Zizek


“This collection is an intellectual feast and a dazzling commentary on political thinking, contemporary and classical.  Here an intelligence honed on Schmitt and Machiavelli reviews a range of theoretical texts with courteous sarcasm and radical interrogation; the results are witty, devastating and full of suggestive speculation …” – Fredric Jameson


“This collection of essays by New Left Review’s Balakrishnan expounds his prescient view that the debt-driven expansion that fuelled US hegemony was unsustainable.” – New Statesman,


To see some of Gopal’s pieces as they originally appeared in New Left Review see below:

On Hardt and Negri’s ‘Empire’:

On multiculturalism:

On Machiavelli:


ANTAGONISTICS addresses central political and theoretical questions: how should we conceive the relationship between neo-imperial warfare and neoliberalism, American hegemony and capitalist globalization? Reflections on the major issues of the new international order are set within a larger framework, tracing the intertwined evolution of the modern state system and the capitalist mode of production, from the Treaty of Westphalia to the Occupation of Iraq. Balakrishnan interrogates three key political perspectives—Tocqueville’s liberalism, Althusser’s Marxism and Schimtt on the radical right – for their insights into state power and civil society, democracy, and class. Antagonistics combines intellectual history, political philosophy, and historical sociology to produce a highly distinctive portrait of an age of capital and war.


GOPAL BALAKRISHNAN is the author of The Enemy: An Intellectual Portrait of Carl Schmitt, and editor of Debating Empire and (with Benedict Anderson) Mapping the Nation. He is a member of the New Left Review editorial board and a professor in the History of Consciousness Department at the University of California , Santa Cruz .

ISBN 978-1-84467-269-1/ £14.99/$26.95/ Paperback / 304 pages

ISBN 978-1-84467-268-4/£60/$110 / Hardback / 304 pages

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