Going South: Capitalist Crisis, Systemic Crisis, Civilisational Crisis

Crisis concept

Writing in the immediate aftermath of the global financial crisis, Barry K. Gills argues that the world is actually in “a multidimensional set of simultaneous and interacting crises on a global scale” that he terms a “triple conjuncture.” It involves:

  • A capitalist crisis of over-accumulation that includes the externalities of neoliberalism.
  • A world system crisis involving a geographic shift of the center of economic power alongside a hegemonic transition in the international system.
  • A civilizational crisis in which environmental degradation indicates the incoherence between material production (which has grown unsustainable and self-undermining) and the ideational and institutional structures that continue to support the status quo.

“What this crisis may require for its ultimate resolution is no less than a global revolution, a shift to a new paradigm, not only of the economic system, but of the understanding of human life, society, their making, and their relation to all other life in nature” (pp. 181-2).


Barry K. Gills

Publication Date

7 April 2010


Third World Quarterly (vol. 31, iss. 2)


Crisis concept

Resource Type

Academic Journal Article

Systems Addressed

Economy • Geopolitics and International Security • Social Order and Governance
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