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ABSTRACT. Although this paper constitutes a revision of a paper originally published in 2007 (see note 1), the editors are pleased to republish this paper due to its theoretical importance for the critique of Marxism as well the interest it creates for establishing the possibility of a new political economy based upon the work of Michel Foucault. The paper documents and interrogates the contradictions between postmodernism and poststructuralism with Marxism. Starting by documenting the crisis of the Left at the start of the twenty-first century, an attempt is made to radically critique and reappraise Marxism in a direction set out by Foucault. The paper is not so much an attempt to meld Marxism and poststructuralism but rather to generate a new poststructuralist historical materialism which still has equality and fairness as its central concerns, but which goes beyond the traditional problems of Marxism based on its adherence to outmoded methodologies and theoretical modes of analysis. Echoing well known critiques of Marxist historical materialism, the paper focuses on forms of articulation drawn from the revolution in language influenced by post-modernism and by historically more recent post-quantum complexity theories. pp. 39–69

Keywords: Marxism; the Left; political economy; poststructuralism; Michel Foucault; historical materialism; complexity; global politics; neoliberalism

MARK OLSSEN
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University of Surrey
MICHAEL A. PETERS
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University of Waikato

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