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Rethinking Capitalist Development – Primitive Accumulation, Governmentality & Post-colonial Capitalism

Rethinking Capitalist Development
Kalyan Sanyal
Routledge, 2013
Level: beginner
Perspective: Other
Topic: North-South Relations & Development
page count: 276 pages
ISBN: 9780415735469


In this book, Kalyan Sanyal reviews the traditional notion of capitalism and propounds an original theory of capitalist development in the post-colonial context. In order to substantiate his theory, concepts such as primitive accumulation, governmentality and post-colonial capitalist formation are discussed in detail. Analyzing critical questions from a third world perspective such as: Will the integration into the global capitalist network bring to the third world new economic opportunities? Will this capitalist network make the third world countries an easy prey for predatory multinational corporations? The end result is a discourse, drawing on Marx and Foucault, which envisages the post-colonial capitalist formation, albeit in an entirely different light, in the era of globalization.

Comment from our editors:

The book review is a good summary of the complex arguments made by Kalyan Sanyal in his book Rethinking Capitalist Development making these accessible to a wide range of readers who would like to understand the debates around postcolonial capitalist development. In doing so, it provides a basis for grounded debates on decolonisation of economics and development in varied contexts of the global South.

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