In 2001 Harvard Unversity Press published a post-modern analysis of imperialism by the Harvard scholar Michael Hardt and the independent Italian leftwing intellectual Toni Negri. The book, Empire, quickly became a huge bestseller in the US. Many other leftwing intellectuals, however, have been deeply disturbed by the book, feeling that it is analytically deeply misconceived; has unfortunate implications for political resistance to imperialism, and that it ignores both the experience and intellectual analysis of thinkers from the South. Atilio Boron is one of those. He argues that Hardt and Negri's concept of 'imperialism without an address', though well intentioned, ignores most of the fundamental parameters of imperialism. The nation state, far from weakening, remains a crucial agent of capitalism, deploying a large arsenal of economic weaponry to protect and extend its position and actively promoting globalization in its own interests.
Atilio A. Boron is professor of political theory at the University of Buenos Aires and executive secretary of the Latin American Council of Social Sciences (CLACSO). He is a political scientist and sociologist educated in Argentina and Chile, and holds a doctoral degree from Harvard University.