Posts Tagged 'uneven development'

The City and the City, by China Miéville

Through Tyador Borlu, a police Inspector conducting a murder investigation in decaying Beszel and wealthy Ul Qoma, two Eastern European cities inhabiting the same space, Miéville explores the extent to which borders determine the lives of ordinary people. The best scenes describe Borlu experiencing the architecture, culture and people he has always lived with but that he has learned to ‘unsee’ since birth; scenes during which the reader shares in the sense of unease and shock. This is a gripping crime novel that develops pace and intrigue although in terms of narrative and analysis, the concluding pages are slightly disappointing. MM

Pan; 2010, 373 pages

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Adam Smith in Beijing: Lineages of the Twenty-First Century, by Giovanni Arrighi

This expansive work seeks to understand differing paths of capitalist economic development and portends tectonic shifts in world capitalism as China emerges as challenger to US hegemony. Beginning with a theoretical discussion of Adam Smith’s political economy, Arrighi contrasts Europe’s historical development with the purer market economics of the contemporaneous Far East. By examining historical transitions from one world-leading centre of capitalism to another, considering the role of financialisation in these processes, Arrighi ponders the future of US dominance after a series of monumental political and military failures. In the background China is rising; the new workshop of the world. SS

Verso; 2008; 418 pages

Spaces of Global Capitalism: Towards a Theory of Uneven Global Development, by David Harvey

Here are three lectures delivered by Harvey, a geographer by trade, in 2004. In the first he analyses neoliberalism in what is a finely composed exposition of its meaning: the restoration of ruling class power. The second is focused on uneven geographical development and Harvey masterfully employs his Marxian analytical toolbox to demonstrate how this unevenness is inherent to the system via processes of primitive accumulation, competing capitals and commodity fetishism. Finally, for the specialist Harvey tackles the notion of ‘space’, producing a nine-coordinate ‘matrix’ of different conceptions which we are asked to consider simultaneously and dialectically; it’s challenging stuff. SS

Verso; 2006; 154 pages


Language ought to be the joint creation of poets and manual workers. George Orwell

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