Colloquium International Relations and Marxism



Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, 2016


The Marxist strand occupies a marginal position on traditional debates about International Relations (IR). When it is not absent, it appears diluted into other currents of thought, placed on the residual camp of critical theories. Nevertheless, since the beginning of IR as an academic discipline, at the post-First World War period, Marxist studies (and revolutionary struggles of the time) turned to international themes as, for instance, the classical theories of imperialism. At the post-1945 world, theoretical reflections and struggles evolved to beyond Europe, with dependency theories in Latin America, as well as decolonization and self-determination movements, above all, in Africa and Asia. The emergence of the periphery as a hub of resistance and transformation marked early discussions on development and underdevelopment, international division of labour, readings of the historical formation of the capitalist system, all the way until current debates around globalization, multinational companies, the nature and role of the State within capitalism, hegemony, counter-hegemony and the American empire. All this composes the vast Marxist horizon of thinking about the international sphere, forming the elements of this knowledge-area.

Since the 1970’s, Latin-American and Brazilian scholarsbecame distinguished figures within the Marxist strand of dependency theory, as well as in World-Systems theory. However, this did not let to a deeper and more systematic assimilation of those theories’ propositions by the Brazilian academy. The absence of the Marxist perspective as a legitimate paradigm in IR weakens the capacity of elaboration of alternatives to the international behaviour of a dependent country, such as Brazil. This limitation is, at the same time, cause and effect of an identification of IR scholarship and foreign policy markers with the North-American hegemonic core, its theory and practice, constituting a barrier to the construction of a new and profoundly Latin-American, third-worldist identity connected with popular causes from around the world.

The development of a Marxist camp has the potential to impact on the area of IR in Brazil in multiple ways. Because of its intrinsic characteristics, Marxism emphasizes the historical aspect and the possibility of the transformation of international structures. Due to its refusal of compartmentalization of knowledge, it is able to gather International Political Economy, International Relations theory and Geopolitics. Furthermore, Marxism transcends the fields of pure theory, assuming a political role that is inseparable from the scientific one: the inclusion of perspectives that emerge from exploited and oppressed sectors. Marxism goes beyond other critical currents, which point, correctly, to the inexistence of axiological neutrality in IR. It assumes organically a political and theoretical compromise with the oppressed of the earth.

The building of a Marxist camp within the Brazilian IR community presents itself, today, as a necessity. With the aim of fulfilling it, the Interdisciplinary Laboratory of International Studies (LIERI, in Portuguese) from the Federal Rural University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRRJ), together with the Laboratory of Studies on Hegemony and Counter-Hegemony (LEHC), from Rio de Janeiro’s Federal University (UFRJ), decided to organise the colloquium “International Relations and Marxism”.

This colloquium will have, as a challenge, the construction of unity amidst the diversity of Marxist conceptions. There are elements of convergence, theoretical and methodological, as well as political. Even if diverse interpretations exist, there is a conceptual apparatus that brings them closer to oneanother, establishing minimal points of contact, such as dependency, hegemony and imperialism. In this sense, it is worth noticing that the event coincides with the international calendar of commemorations of the hundred years of the publishing of a seminal work for IR, Vladimir Lenin’s Imperialism, superior stage of capitalism(1916), as well as one year before the centennial anniversary of the Russian Revolution.


An event that wishes to construct a political-theoretical camp demands a capacity to deepen reflections, that will be expressed not only during the two days of event, but also previously, during the circulation and discussion of the texts submitted by participants. In order to achieve that, we now open the call for the submission of abstracts and expanded abstracts, which will be finished on April 15th, 2016.

The works will be allowed to vary amongst different themes on the axes Topics of International Relations from a Marxist Prism (including among them, but not exhausting, IR theory, Brazilian Foreign Policy analysis, Geopolitics and Regional Integration) and Marxist Analyses of World Order (encompassing concepts and perspectives from the Marxist perspective, such as Imperialism, Dependency, World-System, Hegemony, Bolivarianism, among others).

Abstracts should limit themselves to the maximum of 200 words and expanded abstracts to the maximum of 1000 words.

Proposals must be sent in Microsoft Word format (.doc) to the following e-mail:


Prof. Dra. Ana Saggioro Garcia (LIERI/UFRRJ)

Prof. Dra. Mayra Goulart da Silva (LIERI/UFRRJ)

Prof. Dr. MunizFerreira (LIERI/UFRRJ)

Prof. Dr. Luiz Felipe Osório (LIERI/UFRRJ)

Prof. Dr. Carlos Eduardo Martins (LEHC/UFRJ)

Prof. Me. Carlos Serrano Ferreira (LEHC/UFRJ)

Prof. Me. Miguel Borba de Sá (IRI/PUC-Rio)

Prof. Dr. João Márcio Mendes Pereira (Pós-graduação de História, UFRRJ)

Prof. Dr. Marcelo Fernandes (Economia/UFRRJ)


 Organized by: LIERI/UFRRJ and LEHC/UFRJ.


Eventos anteriores

Seminário Economia Política Contemporânea, Estado e Crise: Novos Alinhamentos Mundiais e as Alternativas da América Latina