Disintegrative Tendencies in Global Political Economy: Exits and Conflicts

August 2, 2017

Disintegrative Tendencies in Global Political Economy: Exits and Conflicts is now in the production process and is coming out in October. A double book launch will take place in Helsinki on Wednesday 4 October.

I completed the manuscript already in mid-June, but it turned out that the text was somewhat too long for Routledge’s Focus-series. Following delays due to holidays etc, we finally reached a reasonable compromise with the publisher. Eventually my friend and colleague Jamie (Morgan) played a key role in helping to shorten the text by the required few thousands of words.

Like Bill Mitchell’s and Thomas Fazi’s new book Reclaiming the State. A Progressive Vision of Sovereignty for a Post-Neoliberal World, my new book discusses the political economy underpinnings of alt-right, Brexit, Trump and so on, but focusses also on the conflict in Ukraine and, more generally, on the spectre of war. There are deep similarities but also some interesting and important tensions between the two books. The double book launch will take place on Wednesday 4 Oct.

Precise time and location have now (10 Aug) been confirmed:

Venue: PIII in Porthania, City Campus

Time: 11:15 – 12:45



Disintegrative Tendencies in Global Political Economy: Exits and Conflicts

List of contents
1. Introduction: the world falling apart
2. Brexit and the causes of European disintegration
3. EU, Russia and the conflict in Ukraine
4. Trumponomics and the dynamics of global disintegration
5. Piketty’s inequality r > g: the key to understanding and overcoming the causes of disintegration
6. Conclusion: holoreflexivity and the shape of things to come

Whether we talk about human learning and unlearning, securitization, or political economy, the forces and mechanisms generating both globalization and disintegration are causally efficacious across the world. Thus, the processes that led to the victory of the ‘Leave’ campaign in the June 2016 referendum on UK European Union membership are not simply confined to the United Kingdom, or even Europe. Similarly, conflict in Ukraine and the presidency of Donald Trump hold implications for a stage much wider than EU-Russia or the United States alone.

Patomäki explores the world-historical mechanisms and processes that have created the conditions for the world’s current predicaments and, arguably, involve potential for better futures. Operationally, he relies on the philosophy of dialectical critical realism and on the methods of contemporary social sciences, exploring how crises, learning and politics are interwoven through uneven wealth-accumulation and problematical growth-dynamics. Seeking to illuminate the causes of the currently prevailing tendencies towards disintegration, antagonism and – ultimately – war, he also shows how these developments are in fact embedded in deeper processes of human learning. The book embraces a Wellsian warning about the increasingly likely possibility of a military disaster, but its central objective is to further enlightenment and holoreflexivity within the current world-historical conjuncture.

This work will be of interest to students and scholars of international relations, peace research, security studies and international political economy.

Heikki Patomäki is Professor of World Politics at the University of Helsinki, Finland.