Chapter 2: Marx and political economy
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Marxist-influenced political economy is experiencing a revival among economists through the work of scholars such as Milanovic and Piketty. Arising from the 2008 financial crisis, the rise of Asian economies and the sharp increases in economic Inequality, these scholars find aspects of Marx's analysis particularly fruitful. This is a highly selective use of Marx concerning the inherently crisis-ridden tendencies in capitalism, the inevitability of economic globalisation and the concentration of wealth. However, this revival rejects the old Eurocentric historic sequences of 'modes of production' and, in particular, the political perspective of proletarian socialist revolution. The revival is felt less in anthropology despite the wide-ranging impact of political economy on economic and cultural anthropology in the past. Within this context, this chapter outlines in some detail this impact, emphasising the role of concepts such as 'the articulation of modes of production' and the continued importance of world systems and dependency theory.

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