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The Marxist Analysis Of War And Military Expenditures, Between Certainty And Uncertainty


  • Fanny Coulomb
  • Renaud Bellais


In analysing capitalism, Karl Marx dealt little with issues of international relations and militarism - Friedrich Engels was in charge of these questions. But war has never been integrated in the Marxist diagram. However, Marx and Engels' writings contain essential remarks on international conflicts conceived as a consequence of the class war, on militarism's role in industrial development and on trade wars replacing armed conflicts. These ideas have later been developed by Marxist theorists, notably in pre-revolutionary Russia, with an insistence on the warlike character of capitalism at the stage of imperialism. The Marxist analysis of militarism was continued after the Second World War, accompanied by a controversy on the impact of military expenditure on the profit rate.

Suggested Citation

  • Fanny Coulomb & Renaud Bellais, 2008. "The Marxist Analysis Of War And Military Expenditures, Between Certainty And Uncertainty," Defence and Peace Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(5), pages 351-359.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:defpea:v:19:y:2008:i:5:p:351-359
    DOI: 10.1080/10242690802354345

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    Cited by:

    1. Adem Y. Elveren & Sara Hsu, 2016. "Military Expenditures and Profit Rates: Evidence from OECD Countries," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(3), pages 551-577, July.

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    War; Capitalism; Marx; Engels;


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