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Tag Archives: New Books on the Crisis

Global Economic Crisis


Edited by: Stephen Gill, York University, Toronto
•                Paperback
•                ISBN: 9781107674967
•                Publication date:   October 2011
•                320 pages
•                £18.99

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Book Description

This groundbreaking collection on global leadership features innovative and critical perspectives by scholars from international relations, political economy, medicine, law and philosophy, from North and South. The book’s novel theorization of global leadership is situated historically within the classics of modern political theory and sociology, relating it to the crisis of global capitalism today.

Contributors reflect on the multiple political, economic, social, ecological and ethical crises that constitute our current global predicament. The book suggests that there is an overarching condition of global organic crisis, which shapes the political and organizational responses of the dominant global leadership and of various subaltern forces. Contributors argue that to meaningfully address the challenges of the global crisis will require far more effective, inclusive and legitimate forms of global leadership and global governance than have characterized the neoliberal era.


‘This book provides an insightful Gramscian analysis of the forms of privately-based expert leadership that characterizes the current global order. The authors explore the weak material foundation of this leadership – made evident by climate change, water shortages, and the end of cheap oil – and they point to the emergence of new potential sources of global leadership in professions (such as medicine) and a new global network of courts committed to a broad interpretation of human rights, in global social movements, and in the transformation-oriented traditions of a politically energized Islam.’— Craig Murphy, Professor of Global Governance, University of Massachusetts, Boston

‘In this wide-ranging, interdisciplinary volume, radical political economist Stephen Gill and his collaborators trace the economic, political, social and ecological crisis-tendencies within contemporary global capitalism and trace their ramifications for emergent forms of political agency and leadership both in the global North and the global South. This book is an essential contribution to our understanding of global neoliberalism – and to the ongoing work of envisioning, and forging, alternatives to it.’ — Neil Brenner, Professor of Urban Theory, Harvard University

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“One of the most formidable intellects among young radicals from the 1960s New Left.” – Misha Glenny

“Peter was a socialist intellectual of the highest calibre, combining enormous energy and independence of mind with a truly collective spirit.” – Tariq Ali

“For those who wish to understand the reality of contemporary politics, here is an invaluable handbook. Peter Gowan exposes the pretensions of power with penetrating clarity.”  – Andrew J. Bacevich, author of WASHINGTON RULES: AMERICA’S PATH TO PERMANENT WAR
In this wide-ranging and incisive collection, Peter Gowan traces the contours of the world order that emerged after the end of the Cold War and assesses its prospects in the light of the global economic downturn. Arguing that the present inter-state system was shaped from the outset by Washington’s drive to maintain its status as global hegemon, Gowan dissects several cherished myths of the liberal mainstream, offering a radical counter-history of the UN and a sharp critique of the West’s interventions in the Balkans.

Gowan provides a forceful response to advocates of a new cosmopolitanism, and engages with neo-realist theories of international relations—asking whether the US invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan have resulted in a crisis for their visions of American power, and discussing what the lineaments of a future order might be.

Gowan sadly passed away between completing this book and its publication. The introduction to A CALCULUS OF POWER is provided by Tariq Ali, who has worked closely with Gowan throughout their careers, after first meeting in 1967 through the Vietnam Solidarity Campaign. In Gowan’s obituary, Ali commented: “the international left has lost one of its most astute political analysts, and NEW LEFT REVIEW the most generous and steadfast of comrades.”
Gowan’s death is a great loss to the left and to the field of international politics, and Verso is proud to publish his last book.

PETER GOWAN (1946–2009) taught international relations for many years at London Metropolitan University. He was the author of THE GLOBAL GAMBLE, co-editor of THE QUESTION OF EUROPE, cofounder of the journal LABOUR FOCUS on Eastern Europe and a longstanding member of the editorial board of NEW LEFT REVIEW.
ISBN: 978 1 84467 620 0 / $26.95 / £16.99 / $33.50 / Hardcover / 272 pages
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It starts tomorrow,

When I go to work’

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Disguised as maximum fun’

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