‘My Capitalism Is Bigger than Yours!’

‘My Capitalism Is Bigger than Yours!’ AbstractThis article reviews Alex Anievas and Kerem Nişancıoğlu’s How the West Came to Rule: The Geopolitical Origins of Capitalism (2015). It argues that the book offers a stimulating and ambitious approach to solving the problems of Eurocentrism and the origins of capitalism in growing critical scholarship in historical sociology and International Relations. However, by focusing on the ‘problem of the international’ and proposing a ‘single unified theory’ based on uneven and combined development, the authors present a history of international relations that trades off methodological openness and legal complexity for a structural and exclusive consequentialism driven by anti-Eurocentrism. By misrepresenting the concept of social-property relations in terms of the internal/external fallacy, and by confusing different types of ‘internalism’ required by early-modern jurisdictional struggles, the book problematically conflates histories of international law and capitalism. These methodological problems are contextualised by examples from the Spanish, French and British empires’ conceptions of sovereignty and jurisdiction and their significant legal actors and processes. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Historical Materialism Brill

‘My Capitalism Is Bigger than Yours!’

Historical Materialism, Volume 26 (3): 26 – Jan 1, 1

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
Copyright © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1465-4466
eISSN
1569-206X
DOI
10.1163/1569206X-00001532
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

AbstractThis article reviews Alex Anievas and Kerem Nişancıoğlu’s How the West Came to Rule: The Geopolitical Origins of Capitalism (2015). It argues that the book offers a stimulating and ambitious approach to solving the problems of Eurocentrism and the origins of capitalism in growing critical scholarship in historical sociology and International Relations. However, by focusing on the ‘problem of the international’ and proposing a ‘single unified theory’ based on uneven and combined development, the authors present a history of international relations that trades off methodological openness and legal complexity for a structural and exclusive consequentialism driven by anti-Eurocentrism. By misrepresenting the concept of social-property relations in terms of the internal/external fallacy, and by confusing different types of ‘internalism’ required by early-modern jurisdictional struggles, the book problematically conflates histories of international law and capitalism. These methodological problems are contextualised by examples from the Spanish, French and British empires’ conceptions of sovereignty and jurisdiction and their significant legal actors and processes.

Journal

Historical MaterialismBrill

Published: Jan 1, 1

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