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Alexander Anievas and Kerem Nişancıoğlu

Abstract

Our reply focuses on three key themes raised in the symposium. First, we discuss an enduring issue in Marxist International Relations: ‘the problematic of the international’ and the problems of methodological internalism. We examine how our interlocutors have responded to this problematic and why we consider these responses insufficient. Specifically, we suggest that the source of our disagreement is grounded in two divergent understandings of the problem of internalism itself. We then reassert the value of our chosen response to the problematic – uneven and combined development (UCD). Second, we respond to the criticism that our extension of UCD as a ‘transmodal’ general abstraction is problematic by further explicating the significance and role of general abstractions in Marxist theory – a point yet addressed by our critics. Finally, we return to the fundamental question at the core of the transition debate: what is capitalism and how do we theorise it?

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Alexander Anievas and Kerem Nişancıoğlu

Abstract

This article seeks to reassess the potential merits and weaknesses of the Subaltern Studies project through the prism of Vivek Chibber’s much-publicised and controversial book Postcolonial Theory and the Specter of Capital. By critically examining Chibber’s work, the article aims to better pinpoint exactly what is ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ with the Subaltern Studies project, while drawing out some productive points of engagement between Marxism and postcolonial theory more generally. In particular, we argue that an understanding of the origins of capitalist modernity remains a relatively unexplored omission within postcolonial thought that problematises their broader project of ‘provincialising Europe’. Against this backdrop, the article explores the affinities between Leon Trotsky’s notion of uneven and combined development and postcolonialism, demonstrating how the former can provide a theoretical solution to the problem of Eurocentrism that the Subaltern Studies project correctly identifies but inadequately conceptualises.