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Worlds beyond capitalism: images of uneven and combined development in Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars trilogy

Cooper, Luke (2020) Worlds beyond capitalism: images of uneven and combined development in Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars trilogy. Cambridge Review of International Affairs. ISSN 0955-7571

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Identification Number: 10.1080/09557571.2020.1828282

Abstract

This article explores the implications of uneven and combined development for how system-change is conceptualised. The current moment has featured extensive discussions of how technological transformation is altering the nature of our economy, labour force and environment. Postcapitalists argue that zero cost production undermines the price mechanism in capitalism and opens up new emancipatory possibilities for the construction of the commons. This powerful critique and political vision is let down, however, by a failure to incorporate ‘the international’ dimension into the theory of change. U&CD provides a vitally needed correction to this unilinear thinking. To recover an understanding of how societal multiplicity affects the nature of system-change, this article makes the until-recently unusual step of turning to fictional literature. Specifically, it investigates the dynamics of uneven and combined development within the imagined universe brought to life by Kim Stanley Robinson’s science fiction odyssey the Marstrilogy. Despite the events Robinson describes existing wholly in the realm of imagined fantasy, I argue the three books contain five images of uneven and combined development relevant to real world social struggles. Drawing these out can start to develop a normative, political conception of uneven and combined development for the twenty-first century.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://www.tandfonline.com/toc/ccam20/current
Additional Information: © 2020 Department of Politics and International Studies
Divisions: International Development
Subjects: J Political Science > JC Political theory
H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
Date Deposited: 09 Sep 2020 10:24
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2021 04:09
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/106525

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