Das, R. J. A Marxist Theory of Dispossession: From Primitive Accumulation to Accumulation by Dispossession. London: Taylor and Francis. Expected delivery date: June 2023
Das, R. J. Production and Exploitation in Marx’s Capital: Re-examining Marx's Theory. Leiden/Boston: Brill. Expected delivery date: March 2023
These three books together present key theoretical insights from Marx’s Capital Volume 1, placing them in a critical dialogue with contemporary Marxist writers, and illustrating Marx’s insights through evidence from specific countries of the Global South such as India and China.
The first two books together deal with the topics in Capital Volume 1 that Marx introduces but does not deal with adequately. These concern the processes that are more extra-economic (or political-sociological) in nature, including: the state-capital relations and extra-economic dispossession. The third book presents key ideas from Capital Volume 1, focusing on the aspects of capitalism that are more economic in nature (e.g. commodity and production relations, involving multiple methods of exploitation, and law of accumulation) and that Marx develops in greater details.
The distinguishing characteristics of these three books taken together include the following, indicating my approach to Marxist political economy:
- An emphasis on production in its value-form (in relation to the efforts to dilute its significance in some current trends in political economy);
- A class approach (topics explored from capitalists’ and workers’ standpoint);
- The global character of capitalism (capitalism to be treated as a global system or ‘world economy’, which is split into Global North and Global South);
- Significance attached to the questions of geographically uneven development, and nature, from the standpoint of value and class relations;
- Linking capitalism’s economic aspects to its extra-economic aspects;
- Due attention to dialectics as a form of thinking, and
- Deployment of ‘Full spectrum’ Marxism, or ‘Mellt Marxism’, i.e. the Marxism of Marx and Engels as well as the legacy of Lenin, Luxemburg and Trotsky.
Das, R. J. Developing Critical Concepts in Geography and Development: A Political Economy Perspective. Surrey: Ashgate and Routledge. ISBN: 978-1-4724-8192-4. Expected delivery date: December 2021
This book presents the case that greater engagement within Geography and Development Studies with conceptual thinking and their use of philosophical tools allow a more fruitful exploration of social-economic power relations and that fundamental concepts in political economy offer the resources of critique.
The book opens with a discussion of the very idea of conceptualization, informed by the science of political economy and dual philosophical traditions of dialectics and critical realism. It then applies the principles of critical conceptualization to a set of important issues that confront humanity including: class exploitation; geographical inequality; neoliberalism; globalization; state power; social capital; crisis-ridden reproduction of small-scale private property; intra-national ‘colonial’ relations; and poverty. Offering a general conceptual perspective on a wide range of issues relevant to Geography and Development Studies, and to social science disciplines more generally, this book also provides substantive content and empirical examples from the majority world (i.e. the less developed world, including South Asia) in order to contribute to the production of social science knowledge that is global in character.
Das, R., J. Gough, and A. Eisenschitz. Social Capital and Associationalism: A Marxist Political-economic View from India and the UK. Brill: Leiden. Expected delivery date: October 2022
The aim of the book is to provide a critique of a particular strand in the literature on local development, and to outline an alternative strategy. Over the last 25 years or so, in many countries (e.g. in India, Britain), progressive local politics has become increasingly focused on the building of ‘social capital’, strengthening of civil society, fostering of community ties and institutions, building of social enterprise and the not-for-profit economy, self-help, and voluntary organisations. The book presents a critique of this strategy, without entirely dismissing certain elements of this strategy. Using material from India and the UK, the book argues for a different approach to local politics: to develop social capital, community organizations, local civil society and social economy as forms of struggle against the elites and for the satisfaction of human needs. This approach makes demands on the local and higher scales of the state.
Das, R. J. A Class-theoretical Examination of State Interventions in India, 1950s–1990s. Leiden: Brill. Expected delivery date: December 2023
This book deploys Marxist state theory to understand the nature of the state in India. It subjects the post-independence history of the Indian state’s numerous anti-poverty policies to a rigorous examination that is both theoretically-informed and empirically-rooted.
The book deals with the question of why it is that the state introduces certain policies that it does, focusing on the reasons that have got to do with the capitalist class context and people’s struggle for reforms. It also explains why it is that even if the pro-poor policies of the state are ultimately in the interests of the capitalist class, it fails to adequately implement these policies. The book focuses on three reasons for the failure, all of which are rooted in the class character of society: the constraints that capitalism imposes on the state’s investment in the actual implementation of the policies; the capitalist character of the state-form itself that is not able to work in the interest of the masses, and the relative weakness of the political movement of the masses to make the state implement the pro-poor policies. A major political conclusion of the book is that while the masses must demand reforms from the state, and while the state can grant some concessions, it cannot be relied on for a decent standard of living of the masses on a durable basis as long as it remains the capitalist state, and that therefore the capitalist state must be replaced by the state of workers and the working peasantry belonging to different castes and ethnic status, in a revolutionary political process.