Globalisation, Hegemony and Perspective

Date01 August 2015
AuthorMichael Keaney
Publication Date01 August 2015
DOI10.1111/1478-9302.12045
SubjectArticle
Globalisation, Hegemony and Perspective
Michael Keaney
Metropolia Business School
Globalisation has been treated as a homogenising, even Americanising, process. Its complex nature means that its
effects can be observed at various levels of analysis: economic, political, social, cultural and legal. The books under
review here tackle different aspects of globalisation, with the overarching theme of US hegemony and how that
has been employed in the reconfiguration of the global order. Two titles deal specifically with British decline, albeit
without a perspective informed by political economy, the absence of which is argued to weaken their respective
analyses. The analytical purchase provided by Marxist political economy is also highlighted.
Comfort, N. (2013) The Slow Death of British Industry: A Sixty-year Suicide, 1952–2012. London: Biteback.
Cox, R. W. (ed.) (2012) Corporate Power and Globalization in US Foreign Policy. London: Routledge.
Foster, J. B. and McChesney, R. W. (2012) The Endless Crisis: How Monopoly-Finance Capital Produces Stagnation and
Upheaval from the USA to China. New York: Monthly Review Press.
Horn, L. (2012) Regulating Corporate Governance in the EU: Towards a Marketization of Corporate Control. Basingstoke:
Palgrave Macmillan.
Tate, S. (2012) A Special Relationship? British Foreign Policy in the Era of American Hegemony. Manchester: Manchester
University Press.
Keywords: political economy; hegemony; United States of America; globalisation; crisis
For all their forecasting models’ technical sophistication, economists missed completely
the Great Recession that began in 2007. This catastrophic failure of policy and theory has
reopened the door to the more historically grounded practice of political economy,
whence mainstream economics originally escaped to assume dominance in both the
academy and government. The political economy revival is both welcome and necessary
given the apparent intractability of the financial crisis, not least due to the inadequacy of
the analyses offered and solutions proposed by mainstream economists.
The titles here under review are linked by their respective treatments of various aspects
of globalisation, US hegemony and the impact of these on Britain and the European
Union. In their separate ways, they demonstrate the analytical purchase provided by
approaches informed by political economy.
The Economics of Globalisation
John Bellamy Foster and Robert W. McChesney are flag-bearers of the ‘monopoly
capital’ tradition within Marxism associated with Paul Sweezy, Paul Baran and Harry
Magdoff, and housed within the Monthly Review journal. At root, this tradition high-
lights the tendency of capital to concentrate in response to the tendency of the rate
of profit to fall. As formerly competitive industries become dominated by powerful
oligopolies, the monopoly rents extracted by these drive capital to seek further
POLITICAL STUDIES REVIEW: 2015 VOL 13, 339–350
doi: 10.1111/1478-9302.12045
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© 2014 The Author. Political Studies Review © 2014 Political Studies Association

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