Carbon Capitalism and World Order

  • Tim Di Muzio
  • Matt Dow
Part of the Palgrave Handbooks in IPE book series (PHIPE)


This chapter offers an overview and critique of how mainstream theories in IR and IPE have treated the question of energy. Assuming a critical political economy perspective, we make three arguments. First, traditional theories have an inadequate understanding of the relationship between fossil fuel energy and the development of global capitalism and a liberal world order. Second, the capital as power approach offers a more illuminating perspective than its theoretical rivals. Third, the source and supply of world energy and energy systems are just as foundational as conflict and war, the state and society, and labour and capital in the (re-)making of the capitalist world order. As such, scholars must incorporate an appreciation for the role of non-renewable fossil fuel energy into future discussions of modern capitalism.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tim Di Muzio
    • 1
  • Matt Dow
    • 2
  1. 1.International Relations and Political EconomyUniversity of WollongongWollongongAustralia
  2. 2.Political Science, York UniversityTorontoCanada

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