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Patrick Blannin

One of the most dominant security issues of the twenty-first century has been the US led battle against transnational terrorism – the aptly named Long War. Over the past fifteen years the Long War has been examined using multiple perspectives. However, one central mechanism is missing in current Long War analyses: defence diplomacy. Defence diplomacy enhances the diplomatic and security capacity of a state, providing the only link between executive office and the ministries of foreign affairs and defence, two vital institutions in the Long War. Using a case study of US defence diplomacy in Afghanistan from 2001 to 2014, the paper argues simply that the practice of defence diplomacy far outweighs current theories on what it is, how it works and why it matters. The paper aims to generate a more nuanced understanding of defence diplomacy, as well as identify it as a key component of the US CT/COIN strategy to achieve their Long War policy objectives.

Finance Capital Today

Corporations and Banks in the Lasting Global Slump

Series:

François Chesnais

Finance Capital Today is shortlisted for the The Isaac and Tamara Deutscher Memorial Prize 2017.

Finance Capital Today presents a rich new analysis of the specific features of contemporary capitalism, notably its truly global nature and its financialisation, calling on Marxist analyses of the concentration, centralisation and globalisation of capital and Marx’s theory of interest-bearing and fictitious capital. Chesnais shows how financial globalisation and the exponential growth of financial assets have developed alongside the globalisation of productive capital, paying special attention to the contemporary operations of transnational corporations and global oligopoly. He argues that the macroeconomic perspective is one in which large amounts of capital are looking for profitable investment in a setting of underlying overproduction and low profits. The outcome will be low global growth, repeated financial shocks and the growing interconnection between the environmental and economic crises.

The Poverty of Work

Selling Servant, Slave and Temporary Labor on the Free Market

Series:

David Van Arsdale

In The Poverty of Work, Van Arsdale goes inside the world of temping and discovers a type of work dreadfully insecure yet growing rapidly. Furthermore, through a comprehensive historiography, he illustrates how employment agencies moved from England to North America during the colonial period, where they sold workers into many deprived employment statuses, including indentured servitude and slavery.

Van Arsdale contends that had the history of employment agencies been better understood, they would have likely been abolished with slavery, or at the very least, more tightly controlled by government. Today, left largely unregulated, employment agencies are powerful corporations generating astonishing revenue by selling flexible, on-demand temporary workers. Unfortunately, this labor is trapping millions in a cycle of unemployment, despair, and poverty.

Oil and Security Policies

Saudi Arabia, 1950-2012

Series:

Islam Yasin Qasem

With one quarter of proven oil reserves and the largest oil production in the world, Saudi Arabia has been at the center of world politics. Its vast oil resources have been utilized in various ways to maximize internal and external security. While oil revenue allowed the Saudi state to buy off legitimacy at home and abroad, the Saudi state exploited oil supply to either forge alliances with or pressure consuming and producing countries. By providing an insightful account of how oil resources shaped Saudi security policies since the mid-twentieth century, Islam Y. Qasem offers a timely contribution to the study of oil politics and the interrelationship between economic interdependence and security.

The Future of Work

Super-exploitation and Social Precariousness in the 21st Century

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Adrián Sotelo Valencia

This book analyses the processes, mutations and trends currently characterising the world of work that are bound up within the deep contradictions of a global capitalist system troubled by systemic crisis, where the old Fordist and Keynesian state order has been substituted by a minimal, pro-business neoliberal State founded on the intensive restructuring of economic and productive systems and work organisation, characterised by labour deregulation, flexibility, super-exploitation and social precariousness. This is a work that illustrates the paradigmatic transition from social and labour relations based on job security, comprehensive collective agreements and guaranteed social rights, towards new social relations that find their technical, political and organizational roots in job insecurity, work rotation and monumental social insecurity, generally expressed in the systemic and growing loss of social and labour rights by workers the world over.

First published in Spanish by the Facultad de Ciencias Políticas y Sociales de la UNAM and Editorial Miguel Ángel de Porrúa as Los rumbos del trabajo. Superexplotación y precariedad social en el siglo XXI, Mexico, 2012.

Conflict and Peace in Central Eurasia

Towards Explanations and Understandings

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Babak Rezvani

Conflict and Peace in Central Eurasia combines theory with in-depth description and systematic analyses of ethnoterritorial conflict and coexistence in Central Eurasia. Central Eurasia is at the heart of the Eurasian continent around the Caspian Sea. Much of this macro-region is made up of the post-Soviet republics in Central Asia and the Caucasus, but it also covers other areas, such as parts of Russia and Iran. Central Eurasia is subject to a number of ethnoterritorial conflicts. Yet at the same time, a large number of ethnic groups, speaking different languages and following different religions, coexist peacefully in this macro-region. Babak Rezvani explains ethno-territorial conflicts not only by focusing on these conflicts but also by comparing all cases of conflict and coexistence in (post-)Soviet Central Asia, the Caucasus and Fereydan, the so-called Iranian little Caucasus. Aiming at formulating new theories, this book makes use of qualitative comparative analysis (QCA), as well as case studies and statistical analyses. It provides an innovative and interesting contribution to Eurasian Studies and Conflict Analysis, and at the same time demonstrates a detailed knowledge of the relevant literature. Based on thorough research, the study offers a deep and insightful history of the areas and conflicts concerned.

Series:

Edited by Colin Barker, Laurence Cox, John Krinsky and Alf Gunvald Nilsen

Marxism and Social Movements is the first sustained engagement between social movement theory and Marxist approaches to collective action. The chapters collected here, by leading figures in both fields, discuss the potential for a Marxist theory of social movements; explore the developmental processes and political tensions within movements; set the question in a long historical perspective; and analyse contemporary movements against neo-liberalism and austerity.

Exploring struggles on six continents over 150 years, this collection shows the power of Marxist analysis in relation not only to class politics, labour movements and revolutions but also anti-colonial and anti-racist struggles, community activism and environmental justice, indigenous struggles and anti-austerity protest. It sets a new agenda both for Marxist theory and for movement research.

Contributors include: Paul Blackledge, Marc Blecher, Patrick Bond,Chik Collins, Ralph Darlington, Neil Davidson, Ashwin Desai, Jeff Goodwin, Chris Hesketh, Gabriel Hetland, Elizabeth Humphrys, Christian Høgsbjerg, David McNally, Trevor Ngwane, Heike Schaumberg and Hira Singh.