New Publication: Imperialism and the Geopolitics of COVID-19 in Venezuela

Rowan Lubbock has written a new essay for Textos & Debates on the geopolitics of COVID-19 in Venezuela.

Abstract: The impact of COVID-19 in Venezuela has merely compounded an already existing health crisis within the country. Like the rest of the Venezuelan economy and society, the breakdown of the healthcare system is largely due to the legacy of class conflict and the contradictions of Bolivarian oil-dependent development policy, which finally came to breaking point with the end of the commodity super-cycle. And yet, despite the domestic sources of the crisis, the current unfolding of the COVID-19 pandemic in Venezuela is inherently geopolitical in nature. Central to this story is the manner in which Venezuela’s domestic and electoral dynamics have become inextricably embedded within the ‘imperialist chain’ centred on Washington. The conflict between chavista and opposition forces, the constitutional crisis of 2017, the unilateral declaration of Juan Guaidó as ‘interim president’ in 2019, and an intensified sanctions regime are all differentially conditioned by US imperial strategy. This paper will unpack the interconnections between the domestic and international dynamics of Venezuela’s socio-political crisis, explore the ways in which COVID-19 has been weaponised by the Trump administration, and attempt to understand the prospects for radical political renewal under conditions of increasing geopolitical conflict.

The article can be found at

New Publication: The radical Right, realism, and the politics of conservatism in postwar international thought

Jean-Francoise Drolet and Michael Williams have published a new article, “The radical Right, realism, and the politics of conservatism in postwar international thought” in The Review of International Studies.


The rise of the radical Right over the last decade has created a situation that demands engagement with the intellectual origins, achievements, and changing worldviews of radical conservative forces. Yet, conservative thought seems to have no distinct place in the theoretical field that has structured debates within the discipline of IR since 1945. This article seeks to explain some of the reasons for this absence. In the first part, we argue that there was in fact a clear strand of radical conservative thought in the early years of the field’s development and recover some of these forgotten positions. In the second part, we argue that the near disappearance of those ideas can be traced in part to a process of ‘conceptual innovation’ through which postwar realist thinkers sought to craft a ‘conservative liberalism’ that defined the emerging field’s theoretical alternatives in ways that excluded radical right-wing positions. Recovering this history challenges some of IR’s most enduring narratives about its development, identity, and commitments – particularly the continuing tendency to find its origins in a defining battle between realism and liberalism. It also draws attention to overlooked resources to reflect upon the challenge of the radical Right in contemporary world politics.

The article can be read at