ICS Seminar Series - Professor Manfred Steger

Date: Thursday 7 August, 2014
Time: 11.30am - 1pm
Venue: EB.2.21, UWS Parramatta South campus

Professor Manfred Steger

The Specter of the Communist Manifesto Haunts Neoliberal Globalisation: Reconfiguring the Political Discourse(s) of the Marxist Left in the 1990s


Starting with a brief genealogy of the keyword 'globalisation' from its earliest usages before World War II to its explosive rise in the academic and public discourse of the 1990s, this lecture focuses on some key texts produced by Marxist intellectuals in the 1990s. I argue that the Marxist Left around the world responded to neoliberal pronouncements of the 'death of Marxism' in the wake of the 1989 communist collapse by reconfiguring its beleaguered political discourse(s) around the rising keyword 'globalisation'. Primarily seizing upon Marx's and Engels' Communist Manifesto as the founding text of 'globalisation theory', Marxist intellectuals around the world reinvigorated their theoretical and political vision by imbuing the new buzzword with alternative meanings that challenged hegemonic neoliberal definitions and understandings of 'globalisation' as the 'inevitable expansion and integration of markets around the globe'. 


Manfred B. Steger is Professor of Political Science and Senior Advisor on International Education and Globalisation to the Dean of Social Sciences at the University of Hawai’i-Manoa. He is also the Co-Research Leader of the Globalisation and Culture Program in RMIT University’s Global Cities Research Institute. A member of the editorial board of the journals American Political Science Review and Globalizations, Steger has served as an academic consultant on globalisation for the US State Department and as an advisor to the PBS TV series, “Heaven on Earth: The Rise and Fall of Socialism.” A past Chair of the Steering Committee of the Global Studies Consortium, Steger is the author or editor of over twenty books on globalisation, global history, and the history of political ideas, including: The rise of the global imaginary: political ideologies from the French Revolution to the global war on terror (Oxford University Press, 2008); the award-winning Globalisms: the great ideological struggle of the 21st century, 3rd ed. (Rowman & Littlefield, 2009); the bestselling Globalization: a very short introduction, 3rd ed. (Oxford University Press, 2013); and Justice globalism: ideology, crises, policy (Sage, 2013).

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