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Symposium on Ellen Meiksins Wood's Empire of Capital: Editorial Introduction

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Ellen Wood's study of the new imperialism represents the latest instance of her broader project of reconstituting a non-deterministic form of Marxism which is able both to explain the historical specificity of capitalism and to inform socialist political activity. This essay seeks to locate her analysis of imperialism both in the wider political context within which it was written and as an example of the fecundity of her re-interpretation of historical materialism. After outlining the main themes of Wood's 'political-Marxist' project, I move on to overview the thesis of her book Empire of Capital (2003) before finally pointing to the main themes of the ensuing debate.

Affiliations: 1: Leeds Metropolitan University;, Email:


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