The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Imperialism and Anti-Imperialism

Living Edition
| Editors: Immanuel Ness, Zak Cope

Marxism and Imperialism

  • Alex SuttonEmail author
Living reference work entry



The relationship between Marxism and imperialism has been established since the writings of Marx himself. However, the Marxian study of imperialism since then has developed from a belief that, while some analysis of imperialism was present in the works of Marx, a dedicated analysis of the state and the international sphere had been left at an embryonic stage. The phenomenon of imperialism, while discussed by Marx in a number of instances, was not given the same sustained critical attention as other issues in his work. Imperialism, therefore, to Marxism has always been a ‘problem’ of some form. Indeed, the ‘problem’ of imperialism derives from a number of perceived sources: gaps in Marx’s own writing; an explanation for why capitalism endures; an account of the phenomenon of globalisation. This essay contends that the ongoing relationship between Marxism and imperialism reveals one of Marxism’s...

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Politics and International StudiesUniversity of WarwickWarwickUK