A Theoretical War: Accounting for American Imperialism in the Middle East

In: Journal of Labor and Society
Jacob Mundy Department of Peace and Conflict Studies, Colgate University, 13 Oak Drive, Hamilton, NY 13066, USA

Search for other papers by Jacob Mundy in
Current site
Google Scholar
Download Citation Get Permissions

Access options

Get access to the full article by using one of the access options below.

Institutional Login

Log in with Open Athens, Shibboleth, or your institutional credentials

Login via Institution


Buy instant access (PDF download and unlimited online access):



This review surveys two decades of academic research on the question of contemporary imperialism and holds it up against the historical record of America’s increasingly violent entanglements in the Middle East over the course of the previous half century, though particularly since 2001. While early contributions to this literature emerged from a different context than the one they often sought or were expected to explain, others attributed a simplistic and problematic understanding of the relationship between US foreign policy and the political-economy of petroleum. Later contributions then eschewed a close analysis of imperialism in the Middle East in favor of a broader accounting of the dynamics of global capitalism. This review ultimately critiques the widespread assumption that the vitality of hegemony and capital must be assessed in relation to their ability to secure control and homogenous conditions of reproduction. A more robust understanding must be based in an approach that views the economic and the political not as fundamental units of analysis but as sites of struggle in the historical and contemporary constitution of imperialism.

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 1326 956 19
Full Text Views 336 98 2
PDF Views & Downloads 598 179 4