Battlefield to Boardroom

I wrote about the business managerial pretensions of former special operators for the LRB: https://lrb.co.uk/the-paper/v44/n04/laleh-khalili/stupid-questions

And then had a chat with Thomas Jones on their podcast: https://www.lrb.co.uk/podcasts-and-videos/podcasts/the-lrb-podcast/the-special-forces-fantasy

Posted in empire, imperialism & colonialism, Middle East, militaries, political economy, war | Leave a comment

North Sea Interviews

Spoke to lovely lefties in Denmark and the Netherlands:

Laleh Khalili: Sandheden om vor tids kapitalisme udstilles på verdenshavene
Langsomme samtaler med Rune Lykkeberg

Professor i international politik ved Queens Mary University har undersøgt den maritime kapitalisme og de forsyningskæder, som er forudsætninger for vores vækst og velstand. Hun har sejlet med de store containerskibe og set de nye kolossale industrihavne, studeret de økonomiske og juridiske magtforhold og skrevet en fremragende bog om det. Hun fortæller i denne langsomme samtale om den beskidte og brutale virkelighed på havet, som ellers er den usynlige del af vores verdensøkonomi.

Lyt i Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/dk/podcast/langsomme-samtaler-med-rune-lykkeberg/id1534708499?i=1000548365913

And

If you want to know what is wrong with our global economy, you should look to the sea, think researchers Laleh Khalili and Alex Colás. Here you will find the excesses of global capitalism – and the solutions.

https://decorrespondent.nl/13067/een-betere-wereld-begint-op-zee/38825993799626-b7697263

Posted in capital accumulation, empire, imperialism & colonialism, environment, infrastructure, labour, political economy, seafaring, shipping conditions | Leave a comment

Planet B: Laleh Khalili on Sovereignty and Seafarers

“Instead of treating the ocean as a space for frictionless accumulation, can we imagine a “blue new deal” that refuses to carve up water into routes and resources controlled by the most powerful?

This episode features insights from Tina Ngata, an advocate for environmental, Indigenous and human rights based in Te Ika A Maui (the North Island of New Zealand), Laleh Khalili, Professor of International Politics at Queen Mary University of London, Elif Saracan, an activist for the Kurdish Womens Movement, and Elizabeth Johnson, a Professor in the Department of Geography at Durham University.” https://novaramedia.com/2021/11/04/planet-b-everything-must-change-water/

My interview can be listened to here: https://soundcloud.com/rosaluxstiftung/planet-b-laleh-khalili-on-sovereignty-and-seafarers

Posted in capital accumulation, empire, imperialism & colonialism, infrastructure, labour, seafaring, the sea | Leave a comment

Interview with Luke de Noronha on race and capital accumulation

I got to talk to the brilliant Luke de Noronha of the Sarah Parker Redmond Centre at UCL. The Soundcloud is here and the transcript can be found here:

https://www.ucl.ac.uk/racism-racialisation/transcript-conversation-laleh-khalili

Posted in capital accumulation, empire, imperialism & colonialism, environment, infrastructure, Middle East, militaries | Leave a comment

LRB Piece on Commodity Traders

I reviewed Javier Blas and Jack Farchy’s fabulous book on Commodity Traders:

https://www.lrb.co.uk/the-paper/v43/n18/laleh-khalili/how-to-get-rich

Extract:

When​ ghana’s first president, Kwame Nkrumah, published Neo-Colonialism: The Last Stage of Imperialism in 1965, it was already clear that the newly independent states were going to have to fight to be allowed to be economically self-sufficient. ‘Decolonisation,’ Nkrumah wrote,

“is a word much and unctuously used by imperialist spokesmen to describe the transfer of political control from colonialist to African sovereignty. The motive spring of colonialism, however, still controls the sovereignty. The young countries are still the providers of raw materials, the old of manufactured goods … Colonialism has achieved a new guise … And neo-colonialism is fast entrenching itself within the body of Africa today through the consortia and monopoly combinations that are carpetbaggers of the African revolt against colonialism.”

The new markets for primary commodities were engineered by those carpetbaggers, the merchants and traders who took advantage of the desperation of newly decolonised and impoverished states which were rich in commodities. Rich cultivated relationships with the conservative government in Jamaica, offering much needed oil in return for shipments of bauxite and even advancing cash to repay Jamaica’s IMF loan. The arrangement led in 1985 to a ten-year contract whereby Jamaica sold alumina to Rich + Co at 25 per cent below market price. A profitable trade followed: he supplied this cheaply bought commodity to Jamaica’s smelters and received finished aluminium products. With Jamaica on the verge of economic collapse, its politicians were grateful for this daylight robbery.

George Monbiot of the Guardian quoted from this piece here:

As Laleh Khalili explains in the London Review of Books, the extractive colonial economy never ended. It continues through commodity traders working with kleptocrats and oligarchs, grabbing poor nations’ resources without payment with the help of clever instruments such as “transfer pricing”. It persists through the use of offshore tax havens and secrecy regimes by corrupt elites, who drain their nation’s wealth then channel it into “English funds”, whose true ownership is hidden by shell companies.

Posted in capital accumulation, empire, imperialism & colonialism, environment, finance and insurance, oil, political economy | Leave a comment

The Economist Podcast

The Economist did an interesting podcast on the containership and they spoke to me and a bunch of very cool people:

https://www.economist.com/podcasts/2021/09/13/thinking-inside-the-box-the-story-of-the-shipping-container

Posted in 2015 Trip, capital accumulation, infrastructure, logistics, transport | Leave a comment

Reviews of Sinews

So excited to have seen Sinews of War and Trade reviewed by the amazing Charmaine Chua for Boston Review, by John Lanchester for the LRB, and by Linda Roland Danil for LARB.

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Abandoned Seafarers – Kerning Cultures

A half-hour long programme/podcast about abandoned seafarers in the Middle East.

Posted in media, seafaring, shipping conditions | Leave a comment

Big Ship Capitalism with the Dig Podcast

Posted in capital accumulation, empire, imperialism & colonialism, finance and insurance, infrastructure, labour, logistics, media, Middle East, oil | Leave a comment

Media: This Is Hell

A conversation with Chuck Mertz about infrastructures, drawing on the essay I did for Noema magazine on infrastructures and degrowth.

Posted in infrastructure, media | Leave a comment