Selected Essays

From National Liberation to Globalisation


Nigel Harris’s Selected Essays: From National Liberation to Globalisation presents an encompassing overview of the work of one of the most prolific and insightful Marxist economists of the second half of the twentieth century. It starts off with a new interview in which Harris reflects on the development of his thought over the more than half a century separating the death of Stalin from the latest developments in globalisation and capitalist restructuring. The collected essays deal with topics ranging from imperialism and the state to the political economy of development and migration, and offer an ample selection from Harris’s political journalism. Together the work constitutes at once a personal journey through the history of the British revolutionary left and a trenchant commentary on some of the most fundamental problems facing a renewed Marxist theory.
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Biographical Note

Nigel Harris is a British economist and Professor Emeritus of the Economics of the City at University College London. His Mandate of Heaven: Marx and Mao in Modern China was republished by Haymarket Books in 2015.

Ahmed Shawki is author of Black Liberation and Socialism. He is also an editor at Haymarket Books in Chicago and on the editorial board of the journal International Socialist Review.

Table of contents

Introduction: An Interview with Nigel Harris

Imperialism and the World Order

1.1 Imperialism Today

1.2 How Should We Characterise the World Order? Reflections on Callinicos’s Imperialism and Global Political Economy

1.3 Can the West Survive?

1.4 On Economic Globalisation, Neo-Liberalism and the Nature of the Period

The State and Economic Development

2.1 The ‘Scissors Crisis in India and China’

2.2 Agriculture, Peasants and Accumulation

2.3 The Revolutionary Role of the Peasantry

2.4 China, Decentralisation and Development

2.5 New Bourgeoisies?

2.6 Nationalism and Development

2.7 The War-Making State and Privatisation

2.8 The Rise and Fall of the Concept of ‘National Economic Development’

Issues in Political Economy

3.1 Food, Development and Crisis

3.2 Deindustrialisation

3.3 The Road from 1910

3.4 Trade in Early India: Themes in Indian History


4.1 The New Untouchables: The International Migration of Labour

4.2 The Economics and Politics of the Free Movement of People

4.3 Immigration and State Power

4.4 The Freedom to Move

Journalism and Shorter Pieces

5.1 Japan: From the Other Side of the Hill

5.2 Nicaragua: 1979

5.3 Vietnam: Old Men Remember

5.4 Tehran Diary

5.5 Churchill: A Ruling-Class Militant

5.6 Two Notes on a Visit to the United States

5.7 Rip van Winkle in China

5.8 Apartheid is Dead! Long Live Apartheid!

5.9 Korea’s New Revolution

5.10 Structural Adjustment in Romania

5.11 Forms of Compulsion

5.12 Economic Fusion, Political Fission

5.13 Mexico’s Tiananmen Square

5.14 Peru: Emerging from the Crisis

5.15 Vietnam: Back at the Beginning

5.16 Lebanon: There is Life after Death

5.17 Moscow’s Migrants

5.18 Indonesia: The Year of Anniversaries

5.19 The First Commonwealth Immigration Act 1962: Fifty Years On

Bibliography of Nigel Harris’s Writings


Scholars and educated readers interested in theories of immigration and imperialism, development economics, the world market, politics of international solidarity.

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