Uneven and Combined Confusion: On the Geopolitical Origins of Capitalism and the Rise of the West

Uneven and Combined Confusion: On the Geopolitical Origins of Capitalism and the Rise of the West
Di Muzio, Tim and Dow, Matthew. (2017). Cambridge Review of International Affairs. OnlineFirst. 10 February. pp. 1-20. (Article - Journal; English).

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Alternative Locations

https://www.academia.edu/31416595/Uneven_and_combined_confusion_on_the_geopolitical_origins_of_capitalism_and_the_rise_of_the_west, http://www.capitalaspower.com/2017/02/dimuzio-and-dow-uneven-and-combined-confusion/

Abstract or Brief Description

This article offers a critique of Alexander Anievas and Kerem Nişancioğlu’s "How the West came to rule: the geopolitical origins of capitalism". We argue that while all historiography features a number of silences, shortcomings or omissions, the omissions in How the West came to rule lead to a mistaken view of the emergence of capitalism. There are two main issues to be confronted. First, we argue that Anievas and Nişancioğlu have an inadequate and misleading understanding of "capital" and "capitalism" that tilts them towards a theoretical stance that comes very close to arguing that everything caused capitalism while at the same time having no clear and convincing definition of "capital" or "capitalism". Second, there are at least three omissions—particular to England/Britain within a geopolitical context—that should be discussed in any attempt to explain the development of capitalism: the financial revolution and the Bank of England; the transition to coal energy; and the capitalization of state power as it relates to war, colonialism and slavery. We conclude by calling for a connected-histories approach within the framework of capital as power.



Publication Type

Article - Journal

Additional Information



Bank of England capitalization energy origins of capitalism power state


BN International & Global
BN Money & Finance
BN Power
BN State & Government
BN Value & Price
BN Capital & Accumulation
BN Civilization & Social Systems
BN Comparative
BN History

Depositing User

Jonathan Nitzan

Date Deposited

16 Feb 2017 11:23

Last Modified

17 Feb 2017 15:47



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