Maurice Coakley interview: why Ireland’s economy was so susceptible to the financial crisis

April 7, 2013

Maurice Coakley, author of Ireland in the World Order: A History of Uneven Development (Pluto, 2012) has been interviewed by PoliticalEconomy.ie about his book’s analysis of the Irish economy.

In the interview Maurice gives a great summary of the main argument in his book, exploring why the Irish economy was so susceptible to the effects of the economic crash in ’07.

The interview also covers broader questions of the crisis and form of capitalism in the global system, Ireland’s place in it, as well as the variations and design of austerity measures being rolled out in Europe, rounding off with talk of viable counter strategies for the left.

It’s a great read (check it out here), and a convincing enough reason to go out and buy Maurice’s book today.

Ireland in the World Order

A History of Uneven Development

Maurice Coakley

Examines Ireland’s development from the medieval to the modern era, comparing its unique trajectory with that of England, Scotland and Wales.

“The scope of the work is original…a complex interaction between political theory, Irish history, theology, sociology and anthropology.” – Senior Lecturer in European Studies, Queen’s University Belfast

£19.99 only £17.50 on the Pluto site


Historical Materialism 2012

November 7, 2012

It’s that time of the year again, when radicals and theorists from around the world get giddy with the prospect of the reanimation of Marx’s ghost. That’s right – the ninth annual Historical Materialism conference starts tomorrow, at the School of African and Oriental Studies (SOAS) in London. And this year Pluto’s feeling particularly flush in the brains department; across the four days of the conference we have 28 authors speaking, chairing, or otherwise participating in this great event.

The conference brochure kicks off with a particularly weighty quote, heaving with portent and prescience:

Men make their own history, but they do not make it as they please; they do not make it under self-selected circumstances, but under circumstances existing already, given and transmitted from the past. The tradition of all dead generations weighs like a nightmare on the brains of the living.

And to borrow more liberally from the introduction (why waste energy in a time-consuming paraphrase, I say?)

Has Marx been reanimated once again? From mainstream media to academia, this question hangs in the air. The old ghosts of revolution appear to be shaking off their shackles and getting agitated. What is this spirit? Who are the militants haunting this ramshackle capitalism?

Are these new spectres – stalking the streets of Syria, Tunisia and Egypt, Athens, Spain and Wall Street and beyond – direct descendants of socialist and communist ones?

How does the past haunt the present? How might the present spook the future?

Whatever answers crop up, the old questions refuse to go away: What type of organisation is needed to sharpen the conflicts, if any? Who is the agent of history and change? Is the scope of political action national or international? What is the political value of alliances and fronts? Does history cunningly work a progressive path through and around the contingencies of struggle? Are the same mistakes to be made, the same failures repeated?

The ninth HM annual conference focuses on the returns and the persistence of political forms and theoretical problems, on the uses and abuses of the history of Marxism in this turbulent present and on the ways and forms in which an inheritance of various Marxist traditions can help us to organise and to act in this turbulent present.

The full timetable of the conference can be found by accessing this PDF. For anyone whose dedication to Pluto surpasses even our own (we must confess to occasionally read books we haven’t published) the list below contains the names of all of our attending authors, plus the days they’re speaking on. We’ll be there too, with a stall selling dozens of different titles at special event discounts. So keep your eyes peeled and your ears open…

Thursday
Adam Hanieh
Jane Hardy
Des Freedman
John Rose
Jacob Blumenfeld
Helen Scott
Esther Leslie
Alberto Toscano

Friday
Adam Morton
Donny Gluckstein
Lindsey German
Mike Wayne
Andrew Hemingway
Ben Noys
John Newsinger

Saturday
Andreas Malm
Radhika Desai
Sheila Cohen
Maurice Coakley
John Roberts
Werner Bonefeld
Mike Haynes
Ronnie Munck

Sunday
Gilbert Achcar
Massimo D’Angelis
John Roberts (again)
Peter Hallward
Enzo Traverso
Cynthia Cockburn


Andy Storey’s talk at the Launch of ‘Ireland in the World Order’ by Maurice Coakley

September 29, 2012

Andy Storey gave a wonderful talk at the launch event for Maurice Coakley’s Ireland in the World Order (Pluto, 2012) last week. For those of us who weren’t lucky enough to be there, or for those of you who were – but have since forgotten precisely what was said – the good people at the Irish Left Review (ILR) decided to transcribe it and put it up on their site.

It’s a brilliant introduction to the central themes in Maurice’s book, and so we’ve reproduced it here as well. For the full, rounded version of the argument, you can always click a few buttons on our website and order a lovely new copy of the book itself. Details, as usual, can be found at the bottom, or you can click HERE.

In his novel Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad’s imperialist monster Kurtz admits that

“The conquest of the earth, which mostly means the taking it away from those who have a different complexion or slightly flatter noses than ourselves, is not a pretty thing when you look into it too much…”

Read the rest of this entry »


Ireland in the World Order – book launch, Dublin

September 19, 2012

Book Launch Event

Maurice Coakley’s Ireland in the World Order: A History of Uneven Development is being launched by Andy Storey at an event in Dublin on 20th September.

The event is taking place at the Teachers’ Club, 36 Parnell Square, Dublin at 7pm. All are welcome.

For more info please contact publicity@plutobooks.com

About the Book

Ireland in the World Order explores Irish history from the medieval to the modern era through the lens of historical materialism. It looks at Ireland’s rejection of the Reformation, its violent incorporation into the British state and its failure to industrialise in the 19th century.

The book examines the roots of the national independence movement and concludes with an assessment of Ireland’s development since independence and partition, stressing the structural background to the country’s current debt crisis.


New books from Pluto in July – Border Watch / How to Read Barthes / Ireland in the World Order / Dot.compradors

July 6, 2012

Alexandra Hall, Border Watch: Cultures of Immigration, Detention and Control

Border Watch

Cultures of Immigration, Detention and Control

Alexandra Hall

Inside account of the much discussed, but little understood, immigration system, focussing on life inside the controversial detention centres.

“Border Watch challenges the way we understand detention just as this practice is becoming ever more central to the policing of borders and boundaries in many countries. With its focus on the everyday life of guards and officers in a particular detention complex, and its creative mix of ethnography, political theory, cultural geography and moral philosophy, it will inspire a whole new generation of studies of migration/security.” – William Walters, Professor of Political Science and Sociology at Carleton University, Ottawa, and author of Governmentality: Critical Encounters (2012).

“Immigration detention is a huge but little-known phenomenon of our era. Border Watch is a rich, thoughtful, fair, and ultimately strong examination of immigration detention centres and guards. The devil is in the details: a saying that genuinely describes what Hall discovers. This book succeeds in linking ethnographic description with major public issues of immigration and power.” – Josiah McC. Heyman, Professor of Anthropology and Chair of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Texas, El Paso.

£19.99 only £17.50 on the Pluto site

Ed White, How to Read Barthes’ Image-Music-Text

How to Read Barthes’ Image-Music-Text

Ed White

Accessible guide to Barthes’ most widely taught work. A perfect companion for studying Barthes’ ideas in cultural studies and literary theory.

“Using clear examples to explicate Barthes’s concerns, this volume is a triumph of exposition and illustration, be it in narrative analysis, visual theory, cultural studies, or textual essayism. By taking the essays in Image-Music-Text in the non-chronological order given to them by Stephen Heath, the volume even attempts, tentatively, provisionally, a synthesis.” – Andy Stafford, Senior Lecturer in French and Francophone Studies, University of Leeds

£14.99 only £13.00 on the Pluto site

Maurice Coakley, Ireland in the World Order: A History of Uneven Development

Ireland in the World Order

A History of Uneven Development

Maurice Coakley

Examines Ireland’s development from the medieval to the modern era, comparing its unique trajectory with that of England, Scotland and Wales.

“The scope of the work is original…a complex interaction between political theory, Irish history, theology, sociology and anthropology.” – Senior Lecturer in European Studies, Queen’s University Belfast

£19.99 only £17.50 on the Pluto site

Jyoti Saraswati, Dot.compradors: Power and Policy in the Development of the Indian Software Industry

Dot.compradors

Power and Policy in the Development of the Indian Software Industry

Jyoti Saraswati

Argues that the celebrated Indian IT industry is in fact a substantial obstacle to a broader-based, more egalitarian form of development in India.

“This important book blasts open the myths about what is seen as the Indian economy’s most successful sector. Dot.compradors will become required reading not only for those concerned with the Indian software industry, but anyone interested in the Indian economy and in this particular trajectory of development. “ – Jayati Ghosh, Professor of Economics, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

“A very important intervention. Saraswati’s book fills a very important gap in the existing literature… A must-read for courses on economics and management in India.” – Chirashree Das Gupta, Associate Professor, Ambedkar University Delhi

£17.99 only £16.00 on the Pluto site


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