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Colonial Global Economy

Prof Gurminder K Bhambra, Dr Paul Robert Gilbert, Prof Catherine Hall, Dr Lisa Tilley, Prof Genevieve Le Baron, Dr Keston Perry, Prof Joel Quirk, Dr Lucia Pradella
Connected Sociologies, 2020
Level: beginner
Perspective: Other
Topic: Globalization & International Economic Relations, Inequality & Class, North-South-Relations & Development, Race & Gender, Reflection of Economics
Format: website
Link: https://connectedsociologies.org/curriculum/colonial-global-economy/

Colonial Global Economy is a module of the Connected Sociologies Curriculum Project and examines the ongoing significance of colonial relations in the structure of the global economy. It consists of 7 introductory lectures which range between 17 and 39 minutes of length. In addition, further readings, resources and questions for discussion are provided with every lecture. Overview of the single lectures: 1) The first lecture by Dr Paul Robert Gilbert is meant as an introduction and emphasizes that in order to understand current inequalities and extractive processes you have to bare in mind that there was never a clear rupture between the colonial period and today. Colonial arrangements and imaginaries endure until today. 2) In the second lecture Prof Catherine Hall examines the legacies of slave ownership with the compensation of slave owners as a starting point. 3) The third lecture by Dr Lisa Tilley covers the concept of Racial Capitalism firstly developed by Cedric Robinson in "Black Marxism" and shifts the perspective in the analysis of capitalism towards geographies other than Europe. The concept calls for regarding the enslaved, plantation workers and migrant workers as the real agents of radical economic change. 4) Lecture four by Prof. Genieve Le Baron introduces the concept of Unfree Labour and explains how modern capitalism structurally causes a stable 'supply' and 'demand' for forced labour. 5) The fifth lecure by Dr Keston Perry is on the Political Economy and the Environment with particular focus on the Caribbean and elaborates that programs such as a Global Green New Deal do not deliver justice for the Global South, but instead neglect reparative demands from enduring lagacies of colonialsm and create new dependencies through finance, technology and governance. 6) In lecture six Prof. Joel Quirk emphasizes how anti-slavery reforms from Europe still reinforced colonial hierarchies by positioning European people and states at the moral and racial apex of 'civilization'. 7) Last but not least, in lecture seven Dr. Lucia Pradella gives a talk on draining value based on historical examples just as well as on current mechanisms.


Comment from our editors:

The Connected Sociologies Curriculum Project currently hosts 4 further modules on rethinking sociological concepts and topics to support students and teachers interested in 'decolonising' curricula. The project is directed by Gurminder K Bhambra who is Professor of Postcolonial and Decolonial Studies at the University of Sussex and also co-editor of Decolonising the University. Connected Sociologies was recommended to me by Exploring Economics editor Vrinda Chopra and was very useful to me for obtaining an overview of different concepts related to the global colonial economy.

Go to: Colonial Global Economy

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