The tension and disparity between developed and underdeveloped nations will be a major challenge to world stability in the twenty-first century. In an era of international markets and global economy, it is thus important to understand the dynamic forces that have led to the development and expansion of capitalism, which continues to transform society at a galloping pace. The key essays in this valuable collection present different perspectives but they are all united by the fundamental premise that capitalism is at the root of both development and imperialism. Editor Ronald H. Chilcote has selected major contributors in the field of economic development and divided their articles into four thematic sections. The first section provides a conceptualization of imperialism in the context of capitalism and a definition of the limits of imperialism elaborated by Paul Sweezy. Classical theories of imperialism are then reviewed, including those of J. A. Hobson, Rudolf Hilferding, Nicolai Bukharin, V. I. Lenin, Rosa Luxemburg, and Joseph Schumpeter. The second set of selections focuses on the relationship of imperialist theory to contemporary views of development and underdevelopment, taking into account both the legacy of Marx and of Lenin. The third section builds on the earlier theoretical contributions of the classical thinkers, links imperialism to the underdevelopmental literature, and traces the evolution of development-underdevelopment theory after the Second World War. The final section reminds us that some of these presumably dated theories and concerns remain current and relevant today. This well-designed anthology provides an excellent basis for a sophisticated understanding of current political and economic realities and the historical developments that went into their making.
Ronald H. Chilcote, professor of economics and political science at the University of California, Riverside, is the author of many articles and books, including The Brazilian Communist Party: Conflict and Integration, 1922-1972, Amilcar Cabral, Revolutionary Theory and Practice, and Theories of Comparative Political Economy.