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A Theory of Imperialism


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Table of Contents

Foreword, by Akeel Bilgrami Preface 1. Introduction 2. The Threat of Increasing Supply Price 3. Coping with the Threat 4. The Reserve Army of Labour in the Periphery 5. Capitalism, Poverty, and Inequality 6. Further Elaborations and Clarifications 7. Metropolitan Demand on Tropical Landmass: The Empirical Picture 8. The International Monetary System: Some Issues in Political Economy 9. Some Concluding Remarks A Commentary on A Theory of Imperialism, by David Harvey A Response to David Harvey's Comments Notes References Index

About the Author

Utsa Patnaik is professor emerita and Prabhat Patnaik is professor emeritus at the Centre for Economic Studies and Planning, School of Social Sciences at Jawaharlal Nehru University. Utsa's books include The Agrarian Question in the Neoliberal Era (2011) and The Republic of Hunger and Other Essays (2007). Prabhat is the author most recently of The Value of Money (Columbia, 2009) and Re-envisioning Socialism (2011). David Harvey is a distinguished professor in the anthropology, history, and Earth and environmental sciences programs at CUNY's Graduate Center. His books include Seventeen Contradictions and the End of Capitalism (2014) and Cosmopolitanism and the Geographies of Freedom (Columbia, 2009).


A highly original, powerfully presented, and extremely thought-provoking new theory of imperialism that will force anyone concerned with the question of imperialism to rethink their own presuppositions. -- Robert Pollin, codirector and professor of economics, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts, Amherst Utsa and Prabhat Patnaik provide us with an important and incisive contribution to the theory of imperialism. Through a rigorous analysis of the policies pursued in India, they demonstrate how the contemporary pattern of imperialism is a continuation of its previous colonial pattern, in which peasant agriculture is systematically undermined, thus generating a gigantic and growing reserve of surplus labour. The ideas outlined in A Theory of Imperialism are central to understanding the construction of the unequal global system in the past and in the present. -- Samir Amin, author of The Implosion of Capitalism This is the best book-length treatment on the economic aspects of imperialism to have been published in the past several decades. It is theoretically powerful and empirically scrupulous, and its historical range covers the entire span of imperialism from the colonial period down to the present day -- Irfan Habib, author of The Agrarian System of Mughal India 1556-1707 Compelling, convincing, and a corrective that is urgent. Jadaliyya

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