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St Catharine's Political Economy Seminar Series


Date: Wednesday 17 April 2019
Time: 18:00 -19:30
Speaker: Photis Lysandrou
Talk Title: 'The Global Commodity System in the 21st Century'
LocationRamsden Room, St Catharine's College

The seminar series is supported by the Cambridge Journal of Economics and the Economics and Policy Group at the Cambridge Judge Business School.

An audio recording of the presentation is here:

Photis Lysandrou is Research Professor at City University Political Economy Research Centre (CITYPERC), Department of International Politics, City University of London. His current research interests are in the areas of the global finance, shadow banking, corporate governance and the political economy of Europe. His recent journal publications include "The Colonisation of the Future: An Alternative View of Financialisation and its Portents", Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, December 2016, and "The Explosive Growth of the US ABCP Market Between 2004 and 2007: A Search for Yield Story" (co-author, Mimoza Shabani), Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, March, 2017. His most recent book is 'Commodity: The Global Commodity System in the 21st Century' published by Routledge.

Talk Overview:
The purpose of this contribution is to provide a generalising into the contemporary global economic condition. To this end, it deploys an analytical framework whose basic unit of analysis is the commodity principle as defined by Karl Marx. During Marx's lifetime that principle was only dominant in a few regions and even then merely encompassed the labour power and capital capacities in addition to their material outputs. By the end of the 20th century the commodity principle had not only been stretched to encompass the entire globe and but also deepened to encompass the public capacity of government in addition to the private capacities and financial securities in addition to material goods and services. Thus the contemporary global economic condition is viewed from the standpoint of this newly emergent global commodity system. The seminar will first discuss the structure, genesis and operation of the global commodity system before concluding with some proposals for controlling the system. The key proposal will be a call for the establishment of a global tax authority charged with the dual responsibility of coordinating national tax regimes and of implanting a global wealth tax.

Please contact the seminar organisers Philip Arestis ( and Michael Kitson in the event of a query.

Wednesday, 17 April, 2019 - 18:00 to 19:30