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The Accumulation of Waste: A Political Economy of Genocide and Imperialism With Ali Kadri and Max Ajl 

Jun 26, 2024



Time of Event:

Wednesday 11:00 AM ET

Please join the LPE Project on Wednesday, June 26th at 11:00-12:30 PM ET, for a virtual event featuring Professor Ali Kadri (Sun Yat-sen University) in conversation with Dr. Max Ajl (University of Ghent) on “The Accumulation of Waste: A Political Economy of Genocide and Imperialism.” The conversation will be moderated by Dr. Helyeh Doutaghi (Yale Law School). 

War is often understood through the lens of its immediate physical destruction and human cost, and is perceived as a burden on the economies it impacts. Specifically, it has destroyed the economic infrastructures of peripheral countries such as Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, and Syria, among others. In his recent book, The Accumulation of Waste: A Political Economy of Systemic Destruction, Ali Kadri moves beyond this perspective to explain the fundamental ways in which wars underpin economic structures and the systemic role of war in shaping economic policies and class dynamics worldwide.

In this event, Ali Kadri will discuss how wars play a pivotal role in the process of economic accumulation, acting as a fundamental precursor to industrial expansion. The quest for manufacturing necessitates access to people, resources, and materials at minimal costs. Wars facilitate this by enabling the acquisition of cheap labor, cheap materials, and accessible resources, effectively serving to devalue nature, which requires the devaluation of humans.

Professor Kadri  in conversation with Dr. Ajl will bring the insights from his book to analyze the political economy of the genocide in Palestine, examining it as a strategy to weaken the bargaining power of people in resource-rich and strategically important region of West Asia and its relationship to imperialism. They will discuss how the continuous cycle of war supports industry by reshaping power dynamics and lowering costs, perpetuating a system where economic growth relies on increasing exploitation of both nature and humans.

Ali Kadri, a professor at Sun Yat-sen University, is the author of several books, including A Theory of Forced Labour Migration: The Proletarianisation of the West Bank Under Occupation (1967-1992) and Arab Development Denied. He has written extensively on the political economy of war and de-development in West Asia. He will be in conversation with Max Ajl, a senior fellow at the Department of Conflict and Development Studies, University of Ghent, and an associated researcher at the Observatory of Food Sovereignty and the Environment, Tunis. He has authored A People’s Green New Deal and recently wrote “Palestine’s Great Flood” and works on themes of political ecology. He is also an associate editor of Agrarian South: Journal of Political Economy. The discussion will be moderated by Helyeh Doutaghi (Yale Law School).

This event will be on Zoom; please register here.