Author

Adham Shebl

Abstract

This thesis examines the applicability of Karl Marx’s theoretical apparatuses in explaining the development of capital relations in India’s transition from commercial to industrial colonialism. Its findings engage with and are a response to the preponderance of secondary literature that argues against Marx’s usefulness in understanding the colonial moment in the Global South. Many of these secondary studies have argued against the use of Marx because of his purported Eurocentricity that renders his conclusions regarding the Global South inadequate. This study argues that fundamental to dissecting this intellectual argument is developing an understanding of Marx’s levels of generality whereby the historical descriptions and conclusions, and the theoretical framework and methods he employs are abstracted. To this end, this thesis asserts the levels of generality as the most critical to reading Marx as they permit the reader to move beyond the causal laws and tendencies and instead delve further into the relations that allow them to exist. Finally, this study shows how Marx’s totality of social life can be used to understand a particular society in a specific moment: India in the colonial period. While not all-encompassing, it shows the applicability of Marx’s theoretical apparatus to examine a colonized society — using India as an illustration — especially with regards to modes of production, social relations, and some aspects of legal and governmental arrangements. While further research would need to incorporate additional aspects of the social totality, including mental conceptions, reproduction of daily life, technology, and relationships to nature, its combination with the findings of the present study allows for a more complete view of capital relations in colonial India.

Department

Political Science Department

Degree Name

MA in Political Science

Date of Award

6-1-2019

Online Submission Date

May 2019

First Advisor

Molavi, Shourideh C.

Committee Member 1

Taha, Mai

Committee Member 2

Delatolla, Andrew

Document Type

Thesis

Extent

100

Rights

The author retains all rights with regard to copyright. The author certifies that written permission from the owner(s) of third-party copyrighted matter included in the thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study has been obtained. The author further certifies that IRB approval has been obtained for this thesis, or that IRB approval is not necessary for this thesis. Insofar as this thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study is an educational record as defined in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 USC 1232g), the author has granted consent to disclosure of it to anyone who requests a copy.

IRB

Not necessary for this item

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