Conflict, Militarism and Global Markets (YorkU, GS6230 3.0, Graduate)

Conflict, Militarism and Global Markets (YorkU, GS6230 3.0, Graduate)
Nitzan, Jonathan. (2001). Political Science. York University. (Course; English).

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Abstract or Brief Description

Does capitalism require peace and stability? Is armed conflict alien to markets? Do capitalists suffer from militarism and war? With the cold war over and liberalism being triumphant, many believe the answer is yes. Capitalism, so it seems, thrives on, and therefore promotes peace and stability. This view, though, stands in sharp contrast to the history of capitalism. In fact, over the past several centuries, the expansion of markets and capitalism was accompanied by an exponential increase, not decrease, in armed conflict and militarism. Have we now passed the peak of this process? Is the end of the cold war the beginning of true ‘capitalist peace’? Are ‘peace dividends’ here to stay? Perhaps. But it is also possible that conflict and militarism are not antithetical to capitalism, and that under certain circumstances, they may even be essential for its survival.

The seminar tackles these questions within a broader analysis of capitalist development, focusing primarily (though not exclusively) on the twentieth century. Drawing on various examples from around the world, it covers issues such as the connection between capitalism and war, political economy of military spending, socio-political aspects of militarism and institutionalized waste, peace and war as phases of accumulation, militarization and ruling-class formation, and the international political economy of the arms trade.

Views on these issues can be delineated along ideological lines. Mainstream approaches, geared primarily toward prediction and decision making, tend to follow the realist framework, separating economics from politics and accentuating the significance of formal structures and state officials. Critical theories of political economy, on the other hand, view the tension between markets on the one hand, and conflict and militarism on the other, as part of wider social context. The seminar traces the evolution of such theories from the early Marxist and institutionalist writings, through the post-war emergence of the Monopoly Capital school and Military Keynesianism, to research on the Military Industrial Complex and ‘peace dividends.’ The globalization of military industries, the arms trade and prospects for disarmament are assessed in light of theoretical debates.



Publication Type



accumulation armament arms exports business capitalism defence disarmament game theory globalization growth institutionalism international political economy growth finance imperialism IPE military keynesianism Marxism military industrial MIC complex monopoly capital national interest peace realism ruling class security stagnation war waste


BN Science & Technology
BN Agency
BN Business Enterprise
BN Capital & Accumulation
BN Civil Society
BN Civilization & Social Systems
BN Space
BN Class
BN State & Government
BN Comparative
BN Theory
BN Conflict & Violence
BN Trade
BN Cooperation & Collective Action
BN Value & Price
BN Crisis
BN War & Peace
BN Culture
BN Data & Statistics
BN Distribution
BN Ecology & Environment
BN Ethnicity & Race
BN Growth
BN Hegemony
BN History
BN Ideology
BN Industrial Organization
BN Institutions
BN International & Global
BN Labour
BN Law
BN Macro
BN Micro
BN Methodology
BN Money & Finance
BN Myth
BN Power
BN Policy
BN Political Parties
BN Production
BN Region - Asia
BN Region - Africa
BN Region - Europe
BN Region - Latin America & Caribbean
BN Region - North America
BN Region - Middle East
BN Region - Other
BN Region - Pacific
BN Religion
BN Resistance
BN Revolution

Depositing User

Jonathan Nitzan

Date Deposited

24 Sep 2004

Last Modified

30 Mar 2016 15:29


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