marx portrait

To accompany the newly-published paperback edition of The Quest for a Moral Compass,  I am running a series of extracts from the book. Previous extracts were on Joshua Greene’s idea of two modes of moral thinking and on whether universalism is merely a form of Western particularism.  This extract, from Chapter 13, ‘The challenge of history’, examines Marx’s claim to be a moral thinker. You can buy The Quest for a Moral Compass in most bookshops, through Amazon or from my Pandaemonium bookstore.

From The Quest for a Moral Compass, pp 230-233, 235-238

In 1864, Karl Marx was one of a number of revolutionaries attempting to set up a Workingmen’s International Association (which eventually came to be known as the First International). He was unable to attend the first meetings in London that discussed the Association’s declaration of principles. When he finally saw the draft that…

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Is Marxism too ‘eurocentric’? A critique of postcolonial IR theory


Why Marx theory implies a internacionalist perspective?

Jode Bloggs

This is an essay originally written to discuss the charge or ‘western-centrism’ in international relations (IR) theory as a whole, though I have adapted it to address the charge against marxism in particular. I initially wrote this around October 2013.

Postcolonialism is a post-positivist theory, or critique, meaning that it rejects the idea that knowledge is static and material, and instead claims that knowledge is shaped by human consciousness and bias. It offers an assessment of world politics focused on race and the experiences of those parts of the world that have suffered colonisation and imperialism, which have been obscured in the international system and mainstream international relations (IR) theory. In this regard, postcolonialists charge IR theories with being ‘eurocentric’ or ‘western-centric’, and Marxist theory is included under this label.

Origins of ‘Western’ IR Theory

It is indeed evident that IR theory has its origins in ‘the West’. Although the ideas used in many key IR theories can be traced…

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