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Bina to Speak at Columbia University Seminar

Posted by Jenna Ray on Monday, Sep. 16, 2013

Cyrus Bina, distinguished research professor of economics at the University of Minnesota, Morris, has been invited to speak at Columbia University’s Seminar on Globalization, Labor, and Popular Struggles #671 on Monday, September 30. The title of Bina’s talk is “The Specter of Our Time: Oil, War, and Global Polity.”

Based on Bina’s latest book, A Prelude to the Foundation of Political Economy: Oil, War, and Global Polity (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), the talk will focus on three interrelated issues that have affected the lives of millions across the world in more than one agonizing way: the evolution of oil from International Petroleum Cartel to today’s competitive globalization, the real cause of war, and the post-Pax Americana world and the nature of polity in the post-hegemonic world.

“The Right laments that, while ‘access’ to oil is the prime reason, the credibility of the United States, as a global hegemon, is at stake,” writes Bina. “The Left takes this as a self-evident truth and runs with it in opposite direction through the jingle of ‘No Blood for Oil’—as if ‘access’ to oil (or lack thereof) would matter anymore. The right is in command of the cause-and-effect, while the left glides in-and-out of this rightwing dogma rather curelessly as to the motivation of the United States, be it under the Bush-Cheney or the Obama administrations. In other words, the Left regurgitates and replicates the Right’s allusion to the US hegemony and global power. Meanwhile, public opinion is made as to the necessity of American ‘leadership’ in the new post-American (and globally decentered polity) polity that is now emerging rather deliberately on the ruins of the postwar interstate system, known as the Pax Americana.” Bina argues that the train of globalization has long departed from the dusty and deserted era of the Pax Americana and the new polity (and defused global power) in formation has already crossed the Rubicon.

Bina is the author of The Economics of the Oil Crisis (1985), Oil: A Time Machine, Second Edition (2012), and A Prelude to the Foundation of Political Economy: Oil, War, and Global Polity (2013), and co-editor of Modern Capitalism and Islamic Ideology in Iran (1991), Beyond Survival: Wage Labor in the Late Twentieth Century (1996), and Alternative Theories of Competition: Challenges to the Orthodoxy (2013). He has written more than 200 scholarly and policy articles and has been a guest on radio and television across the world on the issues surrounding oil and energy, war and peace in the Middle East, and United States foreign policy. Bina is currently editing a three-volume work entitled Global Economics: An Encyclopedia Crisis and Transnational Change. He is a fellow of Economists for Peace and Security and an editor for the Journal of Critical Studies in Business and Society.

The Seminar on Globalization, Labor, and Popular Struggles seeks to clarify the boundaries of labor politics and the labor movement by examining theoretical and historical developments in order to clarify what has been learned and what needs to be learned in the current world-historical moment of global capitalist reorganization. Additional information is available online.