The Socialist Register Series

The Socialist Register 2002

A World of Contradictions

edited by Colin Leys and Leo Panitch  

The contributors, from many countries, discuss the contradictions that exist world wide and the resulting human suffering and misery that emerges. Contrary to the idyllic picture being painted by the promoters of globalization, we learn that workers are without work, that cultural, political, gender and racial conflicts abound, and that contradictions between countries and regions lead to an ever widening gap between the “haves” and the “have nots‘“as health care and social services erode.

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  • January 2002
  • ISBN: 9781552660584
  • 320 pages
  • $36.00
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About the book

The Socialist Register has consistently focused on the processes driving globalization, as well as its costs–from our much-cited 1994 volume, Between Globalism and Nationalism, to our 1999 volume, Global Capitalism versus Democracy. In the present volume we have sought to take this a step further. The task of resubordinating the market forces that now control the world depends not only on understanding them, but on understanding them in their contradictoriness: seeing how they depend on structural relationships that produce problems and vulnerabilities, incoherence and conflict. The energy and commitment that brought so many tens of thousands of people to Seattle and Quebec City–not to mention the thousands of movements evolving in every city and many rural areas of the world, from Soweto to Chiapas–need to be backed by careful analysis of the way that capitalism’s contradictions are now manifested on a global terrain. This task is the primary focus of the 38th annual volume of the Register now in your hands. Our concept of contradiction has not been mechanical or theological. We were not looking for ‘primary contradictions’, let alone the primary contradiction. Still less do we mean to suggest that there are contradictions that will bring down capitalism of their own accord. On the other hand, we have been concerned with systemic contradictions as opposed to just tensions, conflicts, mere paradoxes, ‘ironies’ and the like; i.e., our focus is on structural relations inherent in capitalism which at the same time constitute or give rise to obstacles to its smooth or even continued expansion, and which offer opportunities for effective socialist practice.

Capitalism & Alternatives Global Studies & Development


Colin Leys

Before coming to Queen’s in 1975 Colin Leys taught at Balliol College, Oxford; Kivukoni College in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda; and the Universities of Sussex, Nairobi, and Sheffield. His work has primarily been on the theory and politics of development, with particular reference to Africa and the UK. His publications include European Politics in Southern Rhodesia; Underdevelopment in Kenya;The Political Economy of Neocolonialism; Politics in Britain; Namibia’s Liberation Struggle: The Two-Edged Sword (with John S. Saul and others); The Rise and Fall of Development Theory; The End of Parliamentary Socialism (with Leo Panitch); and Market Driven-Politics: Neoliberal Democracy and the Public Interest.

Leo Panitch

Leo Panitch was a Distinguished Research Professor, renowned political economist, Marxist theorist and editor of the Socialist Register. He received a B.A. (Hons.) from the University of Manitoba in 1967 and a M.Sc.(Hons.) and PhD from the London School of Economics and Political Science in 1968 and 1974, respectively. He was a Lecturer, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor and Professor at Carleton University between 1972 and 1984. He was a Professor of Political Science at York University since 1984. He was the Chair of the Department of Political Science at York from 1988-1994. He was the General Co-editor of State and Economic Life series, U. of T. Press, from 1979 to 1995 and is the Co-founder and a Board Member of Studies in Political Economy. He was also the author of numerous articles and books dealing with political science including The End of Parliamentary Socialism (1997). He was a member of the Movement for an Independent and Socialist Canada, 1973-1975, the Ottawa Committee for Labour Action, 1975-1984, the Canadian Political Science Association, the Committee of Socialist Studies, the Marxist Institute and the Royal Society of Canada. He was an ardent supporter of the Socialist Project.


  • Farewell to “The End of History”: Organization and Visionin in Anti-Corporate Movements (Naomi Klein)
  • Québec City 2001 and The Making of Transnational Subjects (André Drainville)
  • The Nature and Contradiction of Neoliberalism (Gérald Duménil & Dominique Lévy)
  • The Growth Obsession (Elmar Altvater)
  • The Art of Rent: Globalization, Monopoly and the Commodification of Culture (David Harley)
  • Digital Possibilities, Market Realities: The Contradictions of Communications Convergence (Graham Murdoch & Peter Golding)
  • The Dark Side of Life: Globalization and International Crime (Reg Whitaker)
  • Imperalism, Dollarization and the Euro (Gugliemo Carchedi)
  • The New International Financial Architcture: Imposed Leadership and “Emerging Markets” (Susanne Soederberg)
  • Making Poverty Work (Paul Cammack)
  • Capitalism and Disability (Marta Russell & Ravi Malhotra)
  • The Injured Self (Micheal Kidron)
  • Media Power and Class Power: Over Playing Ideology (David Miller)
  • Negotiating Contradictions (Pablo González Casanova)
  • Contradictions: Only in Capitalism? (Ellen Wood)


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