Call for essays on the geopolitics of capitalism for State of Power 2025 report

The Transnational Institute (TNI)  is issuing an open call for essays, accessible papers, infographics and artistic collaborations for its 13th State of Power report to be launched in January 2025. The focus for our 13th edition is on the geopolitics of capitalism. Deadline for 1-2 page pitches: 5 June.


Open call de

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TNI’s annual State of Power reports have, since their launch in 2012, become a must-read reference point for citizens, activists and academics concerned to understand the nature of power in our globalised world in order to inform struggles for justice. With a mixture of compelling infographics and insightful essays, State of Power has examined different dimensions of power (economic, political, social, cultural), exposed the key actors who exercise power, and highlighted movements of counter-power seeking to transform our world. State of Power reports have also been widely praised for their inspiring essays and brilliant art.

As well as an English edition, TNI also co-produces a Spanish edition of the report in collaboration with Fuhem Ecosocial and the Latin American Council of Social Sciences (CLACSO)

Theme for 2025: Geopolitics of capitalism

We live in an age of empire and resistance - a shifting geography of global power. The military, political and financial support of one country, the US, above all others has allowed a small country - Israel - to commit genocide in Gaza, to the horror of the vast majority of people worldwide. The US military, its corporations, its digital giants, its banks, and its culture continue to dominate globally.

Yet at the same time, US-led imperialism has never felt more fractured and resisted. The heavily-resourced US army has been forced out of Afghanistan and this year was expelled from Niger. Nations such as Nicaragua and South Africa are taking powerful former colonial countries to court. Other international institutions, long seen as vehicles for exporting or enforcing US-led neoliberalism, such as the World Trade Organisation have seemingly run out of steam. The US is also increasingly isolated globally: Brazil, China, India, Russia and other nations are directly challenging its hegemony, and the US’ dysfunctional democracy is less and less cited as a model by other countries. There is a growing popular sense that the post-Cold War neoliberal globalised order is in crisis.

There is a need, though, to properly examine where geopolitical or geoeconomic power lies today – and how it is being exercised and how that might be changing. Is US hegemony really fading? Does any other nation, including China, pose any real challenge to US power, let alone offer a political or economic alternative? Has the heralded hope of a BRICS bloc collapsed amidst its contradictions? Are there any competing imperialist or sub-imperialist nations to the US whose power needs reckoning with? What does the reorganisation of supply chains on arguments of national security mean for the neoliberal idea of a borderless world for capital? How will the unfolding climate crisis affect this? What are transnational movements fighting for in terms of global governance?  What would it take to build a more equitable and just new international political and economic order?

For its 2025 edition, TNI is interested in proposals that explore these geopolitical shifts within capitalism in creative ways that help deepen understanding. We need to understand how power is shifting, what is changing and not, and where the new challenges and opportunities lie for transnational social movements. We welcome reflections from different disciplinary fields in order to create as rounded a picture as possible. We are also interested in producing some infographics or artwork that expose the reality.

In sum, our ultimate goal is not analysis for its own sake but rather to equip and empower international activists and movements with the analysis to sharpen their strategies to challenge, confront and overcome entrenched power.

These are some questions – but not an exclusive list – that we are interested in exploring and understanding better. In every case, we are interested in analysis of power relations – the what, the who, the how:

  • Who really has geopolitical power today? Does the US remain the hegemon in all areas of political, economic and social power? Or are there areas where it is vulnerable?
  • How much global power do China and other potential challengers to US imperialism actually have? How does it mirror or differ from US imperialism? How are they exercising it, what are their plans, and do they have the potential to replace the US?
  • Is a state-centered approach a good way of looking at geopolitics given the rise of corporate wealth power, or do we need another way of understanding global geography of power?
  • How do transnational corporations that control most of the global economy serve – or not- the interests of their host-states? How is the relationship between states and capital changing?
  • Looking to the future, which countries and respective corporations controls the most strategic areas of the global economy and will they be able to leverage that to exercise greater political power too?
  • How is US imperialism changing? How is it exercised today? Does the rise of nationalist populism, such as Trump’s Republicans, change the dynamic or not? What is the future of imperialism?
  • Are we moving to a multipolar world or something else?
  • Are China, Russia, India or other nations imperial or sub-imperial powers too? In what way? Or how are they not? How does this impact on social movements within those countries and in neighbouring countries? How should the international left engage?
  • How and where does colonial power – British, Dutch, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese – show up today in terms of political, economic and social hegemony? What forms does it take? How does it relate to US imperialism? Are there places it has been successfully resisted?
  • What can we learn from power relations in sub-peripheral economic zones such as Eastern Europe and North Africa that must grapple with both US and Russian hegemony?
  • Where is corporate power most concentrated geographically? What changes are we witnessing in supply chains, as well as forces of production and consumption? How are the renewed narratives of national security and techno-nationalism changing global power relations or are they just solidifying them?
  • What is the global geography of class power? Where is it strong and weak and where are their possibilities for transnational global alliances that could challenge corporate and elite power?
  • How is international governance being shaped as post-war norms fall apart? Are institutions like the UN effective places for struggle or not?
  • How will the climate crisis and responses to it impact on geopolitical and geoeconomic power? How will limits to growth shape it?
  • How are social movements responding to shifts in global power relations? How are they resisting both old and new hegemons? What are the best models for advancing transnational working peoples’ power against the concentration of capital?
  • What would it take to build a more equitable and just new international political and economic order?

As well as analysis, TNI would also be interested in specific case-studies that draw out general lessons as well as stories and artwork and films that help us understand the energy and power in creative and imaginative ways.

TNI has a small number of grants of 250-500 euros – to be prioritized for activists with low-incomes and/or working in the Global South. Please mention in your submission if you wish to apply for this grant, which will be awarded if your essay is published in the main report.


While TNI is proud of our high standard of scholarship, this call does not require any specific academic qualifications. Contributors to earlier editions of State of Power have included students, professors, well-known authors, journalists, activists and artists - all at different stages of their careers and lives. TNI particularly welcomes submissions by women, young scholars/artists and people based in the Global South.


The final report will be made up of a mixture of essays from this open call, a number of pre-commissioned essays, infographics as well as accompanying podcast(s) and webinar(s). The decision on which papers are featured will be decided by an Editorial Panel made up of editors of the report and a number of TNI’s associates. The selection process will follow five stages:

1. In the first stage, researchers will be asked to send to a:

a) 1-2 page pitch for your long-read essay

b) a short bio

c) 3-5 links to previous work. It will help your application if your previous work is not just limited to academic texts but includes some more accessible journalistic pieces.

Pitches should include:

• the main argument you are trying to make

• how it relates to and helps us understand geopolitical and economic power

• the key points you would include

• stories or examples that illustrate it

The pitch can be based on existing papers or be provisional ideas of what you hope to explore. If you would like to apply for the grant – available to low-income participants –please indicate this at this stage.

2. Those whose pitches are chosen will be asked to submit an essay. The top 4-5 essays will be selected for the report by the Editorial Panel.

3. Authors of the selected essays will be invited to a ‘virtual’ authors conference to both present their work and give constructive feedback on one other essay.

4. The selected essays will go through a final round of revisions based on feedback by the Editorial Panel, and subject to final copyedit.

4. Essays that do not make the top 8-10– and are considered good essays by the Editorial Panel - will be available as downloadable PDFs linked from the main report. Grants unfortunately won’t be available though for the essays that don’t appear in the main report.

Submission requirements

  • Pitches should be written in English although actual essays can be written in English, Spanish or French as they will be translated and we have enough editors who can work in different languages.
  • They should be emailed to
  • Pitches must be a maximum of 2 pages or 800 words. They do not need to be of continuous prose but must capture the main arguments of the essay and can be expanded outlines. Bios should be 200 words or less.
  • The decision of the Editorial Panel is final. If your pitch or essay is chosen, please be ready to respond to peer reviews and copy editing comments based on the timeline below.
  • Final Essay length: 3000-5000 words. The upper word limit is strictly applied.
  • Style: TNI has five basic criteria for its research and publications that will also be used to assess the pitches and essays:
    • Credible: Well researched and evidence-based
    • Accessible: Readable by a broad non-specialist audience (in other words please avoid too much academic jargon) and try to use stories, examples
    • Additional: Adds depth, new insights or detail to existing knowledge/research
    • Radical: Tackles the structural roots of critical issues
    • Propositional: Does not just critique, but also puts forward just alternatives where relevant
  • TNI's styleguide can be found here in English and here in Spanish
  • Do not include references in brackets within the text eg (Abramson, 2011) in the academic style. As we first publish online and then as a printable PDF, please hyperlink the text pointing to the reference AND provide an endnote with the full reference in Harvard style. You may also provide a bibliography at end of essay instead.
  • Please do not overdo it on the endnotes (no more than 40 for each essay) – use it mainly for referring to facts/evidence that may be surprising, questioned or challenged.
  • Please send as .doc file or .docx file or Open/Libre Office equivalent for written texts, pdf for artistic submissions


  • 5 June Submission of pitches
  • 20 June Pitches approved for submission of full essay
  • 23 September Submission of full essay
  • 3 October Decision on whether essay approved for final report or published as PDF
  • 17 October Author conference
  • October/November Review, second draft, final copyedits
  • 16 December Final draft
  • January Preparation of promotion, syndication etc
  • End of January Publication of essays


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