Studied and taught Sociology at the LSE and Oxford in the sixties, with interests focusing on historical sociology, critical social theory, modern capitalism and the third world, publishing studies of the Cuban revolution and editing a survey of critical approaches, Ideology in Social Science (1972).
Subsequent work explores the institutional shaping of the market, the dynamic of capitalist development, and the historical selection of structures of power and ideology. One strand of this work analyses the dynamics of slavery, slave resistance and anti-slavery, embodied in two books The Making of New World Slavery: from the Baroque to the Modern, 1492-1800 (1997) and The Overthrow of Colonial Slavery, 1776-1848 (1988). These works look at the formation of racial ideologies and national identities in a world beset by rivalry and in transition to modernity. The other strand concerns 20th century attempts to suppress or control the market, and the workings of today's financial institutions, the first leading to 'Fin de Siècle', a long essay on the fall of Communism published in After the Fall (1992), and the second a study entitled 'The New Collectivism' published in the January/February 1999 issue of New Left Review, which subsequently form the basis of 'Banking and Death, or Investing in Life'(2002).
Recent academic appointments have been at New School for Social Research (New York), King's College, Cambridge (1998-9), FLACSO (Latin American Social Science Faculty), Quito, Ecuador (1994-5) and the Woodrow Wilson Centre, Washington D.C., US (1993-4). Member of the editorial committee of New Left Review since 1962 and Editor (1981-99); consulting editor, Verso since 1970.
Current Graduate Supervision:
Yally Avrahampo, 'UK defined benefits of pension funds'
Yu-Bin Chiu, 'Comparative Democratisation'