Series of Talks at King’s College London

12th Oct 2018

Majed Akhter (King’s College London)
Geopolitics of the Belt and Road: Space, State, and Capital in China and Pakistan
17 October 2018
Bush House SE 1.01
30 Aldwych, London, WC2B 4BG

The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a major plank of the Chinese infrastructural vision for Eurasian inter-connectivity known as the Belt and Road Initiative. Within Pakistan, attitudes towards CPEC are highly polarized: either celebrated as a godsend for an economy in tatters, or condemned as a neo-imperialist intervention that will seize Pakistani assets for Chinese development. This chapter eschews the dichotomy of celebration/condemnation to develop a structural and socio-spatial analysis of the politics of Chinese infrastructural investment in Pakistan. By analyzing infrastructure politics through the concepts of the “spatial fix”, “social space”, and “state space”, the chapter illustrates the value of spatial theory for analyzing the politics and historical geography of uneven development, infrastructure politics, and state power in and across Asia.

This talk is open to the public. No registration is required. Contact: Lucia Pradella (lucia.pradella@kcl.ac.uk).




William Clare Roberts (McGill)
Marx’s politics of freedom
8 November 2018
Bush House SE 1.01
30 Aldwych, London, WC2B 4BG

This paper examines and evaluates Marx’s commitments to three notions of freedom: (1) freedom as non-domination, (2) freedom as open-ended self-development, and (3) freedom as self-determination or autonomy. I argue that the first notion, freedom as non-domination, motivates Marx’s mature critique of capitalism and his embrace of the international workers’ movement. His commitment to the second notion, freedom as self-development or self-realization, is fundamentally a vision of ethical perfection, and plays no significant role in Marx’s political thought. Finally, the notion of freedom as self-determination is, despite a long interpretive tradition, at odds with Marx’s understanding and endorsement of democracy.


Lee Wengraf
Extracting Profits: Neoliberalism, Imperialism and the New Scramble for Africa (book launch)
21 November 2018
Location TBC