The Middle Eastern Origins of Capitalism

Kerem Nisancioglu // International Relations // 6th March 2-3pm // Top Floor, Bramber House 


Note a change of time and venue. This week’s lecture will be held at Occupy Sussex on the top floor of Bramber House at 2-3pm. As always, all are welcome!

Capitalism is today an unmistakably international phenomenon. And yet dominant historical accounts suggest that its emergence is to be found exclusively in Europe. This idea of historical privilege has underpinned Eurocentric notions that only ‘the West’ was capable of indigenous capitalist development, while ‘the Rest’ were doomed to stagnation. This assumption has in turn legitimised the so-called ‘civilising’ influence of capitalism’s international diffusion through practices of imperialism and colonialism. This lecture challenges the claims of Eurocentrism by demonstrating the extensive impact of the Middle East on the origins of capitalism, through an historical analysis of its geopolitical and economic relations with Europe.

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