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IV. Foundations for Analysing Capitalism

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Chapter Summary

Any analysis of global rivalries bases itself on a theory of capitalist development. Thus, this chapter aims to sketch an analysis of capitalism - that is, not yet an analysis of capitalist society. Further, it describes some fundamental features of capitalism that not only defines the system's dynamism but also its tendency towards instability. The chapter first introduces these features at an abstract level, integrating historical data only so as to illustrate key points. Later, it turns to a discussion of capitalism as an international, inter-societal system in space and time, wherein it addresses historical arguments specific to a given era in addition to general, theoretical considerations. Finally, it develops a number of positions and uses them to examine specific historical phases and constellations. Together, these dimensions constitute a Global Political Economy (GPE) framework. The chapter makes a distinction between political form, an individual territorial state, and the national state.

Keywords: capitalism; Global Political Economy (GPE) framework; global rivalry; international relation; territorial sovereignty



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