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Stephen Hobden and Richard Wyn Jones

This chapter examines the contribution of Marxism to the study of international relations. It first considers whether globalization is a new phenomenon or a long-standing feature of capitalist development, and whether ‘crisis’ is an inevitable feature of capitalism, and if so, whether capitalism contains the seeds of its own destruction. The chapter proceeds by discussing a number of core features common to Marxist approaches as well as the internationalization of Karl Marx's ideas by Vladimir Lenin and subsequently by writers in the world-system framework. It also explains how Frankfurt School critical theory, and Antonio Gramsci and his various followers, introduced an analysis of culture into Marxist analysis as well as the more recent ‘return to Marx’. Two case studies are presented, one relating to the Naxalite movement in India and the other focusing on the recent experience of Greece. There is also an Opposing Opinions box that asks whether the global economy is the prime determinant of the character of world politics.


Robbie Shilliam

This chapter examines the ways in which race can been understood as a fundamental ordering principle of world politics. It explores how the histories of European imperialism and colonialism are crucial for understanding the global impact of race, and whether contemporary world politics is less racist than it was in the past. It also considers the relationship between race, biology, and culture. The chapter concludes by discussing the historical processes that gave rise to race, some key debates around the conceptualization of race, and how race continues to order world politics. Two case studies are presented: the first is about the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League (UNIA-ACL) and the second is about caste and Dalits in India. There is also an Opposing Opinions box that asks whether racism emerged as a consequence of the slave trade.


This chapter examines the role of nationalism and national self-determination (NSD) in shaping the major institution of modern international relations: the nation-state. It considers different types of nationalism and how they vary from one another, whether the commonly accepted sequence of nation > nationalism > nation-state is actually the reverse of the normal historical sequence, and whether the principle of NSD is compatible with that of state sovereignty. The chapter also explores the contribution of nationalism to the globalization of world politics and the changing meanings of NSD since 1918. Four case studies of nationalism are presented: Kurdistan, Germany, India, and Yugoslavia. There is also an Opposing Opinions box that asks whether the principle of NSD threatens stable international relations.