Has politics reached breaking point? Rather than defending liberalism or abandoning it, how can a socially just and ecological alternative be built? Peadar Kirby investigates the causes of our current multifaceted global crisis by drawing on the work of Karl Polanyi. This book explores Polanyi's theory that social disruptions result from the attempt to run society according to the rules of the market. Drawing on these ideas, it outlines pathways towards an alternative future that overcome weaknesses in Marxism. Linking the ecological, political and socio-economic crises, Kirby identifies that an alternative socio-ecological model is emerging, consistent with the insights of Polanyi. Karl Polanyi and the Contemporary Political Crisis is an urgent intervention into key debates on the future of politics, on the low-carbon transition, on automation and on the emerging world order.
Few figures are more crucial to understanding the upheavals of our contemporary era than Karl Polanyi. In a world riven by social and economic crises, from rising inequality to the decay of democratic institutions and profound technological disruption, Polanyi’s path-breaking account of the dynamics of market capitalism and his defence of society and nature against the dangerous tendencies of the market capitalist system are more relevant than ever. This book brings together Polanyi’s most important articles and essays to give a unique selection of his essential shorter writings, mixing classic texts with significant but previously little-known pieces. It highlights the coherence and richness of Polanyi’s theoretical and political approach, making it indispensable for understanding his overarching intellectual contribution. The volume includes his interwar writings, which deal with the world economic crisis and the socialist alternative to conservative and fascist developments; his reflection on political theory and the international situation after the war; and his comparative studies of economic institutions. Polanyi’s political writings are complemented and supported by the critique of economic determinism and what he termed ‘our obsolete market mentality’. This book is an invaluable companion to Polanyi’s masterpiece, The Great Transformation, and an essential resource for students and scholars of political economy, sociology, history and political philosophy.
Presenting a profound and far-reaching analysis of economic, ecological, social, cultural and political developments of contemporary capitalism, this book draws on the work of Karl Polanyi, and re-reads it for our times. The renowned authors offer key insights to current changes in the relations between the economy, politics and society, and their ecological and social effects.
This book offers a critical reconstruction of the double movement, the central thesis of Karl Polanyi’s The Great Transformation, one of the most influential books of the 20th century. The double movement is the establishment of a free market economy and the subsequent effort by society to ameliorate the destructive effects of the market. In Polanyi’s bold vision, the double movement constituted the hidden gear of social change and historical transformation within capitalism. The book is a forensic examination and critique of Polanyi’s argument. It develops an interpretive framework of the double movement as four interrelated social processes: the establishment of the self-regulating market, the rise of a market society that deepens and extends market imperatives, a social protection phase that constrains the market and safeguards society, and the contradictions and crises that result from this clash of social principles. The book will be an indispensable guide for students and scholars across the social sciences which illuminates the relevance of Polanyi’s insights to a critical understanding of the contemporary era –the scourge of insecurity and inequality, the multiple crises of neoliberalism, the rise of right wing populism- as well as those interested in egalitarian and emancipatory alternatives to capitalism.
Karl Polanyi's The Great Transformation is generally acclaimed as being among the most influential works of economic history in the twentieth century, and remains as vital in the current historical conjuncture as it was in his own. In its critique of nineteenth-century "market fundamentalism" it reads as a warning to our own neoliberal age, and is widely touted as a prophetic guidebook for those who aspire to understand the causes and dynamics of global economic turbulence at the end of the 2000s. Karl Polanyi: The Limits of the Market is the first comprehensive introduction to Polanyi's ideas and legacy. It assesses not only the texts for which he is famous – prepared during his spells in American academia – but also his journalistic articles written in his first exile in Vienna, and lectures and pamphlets from his second exile, in Britain. It provides a detailed critical analysis of The Great Transformation, but also surveys Polanyi’s seminal writings in economic anthropology, the economic history of ancient and archaic societies, and political and economic theory. Its primary source base includes interviews with Polanyi's daughter, Kari Polanyi-Levitt, as well as the entire compass of his own published and unpublished writings in English and German. This engaging and accessible introduction to Polanyi's thinking will appeal to students and scholars across the social sciences, providing a refreshing perspective on the roots of our current economic crisis.
The democratic industrial societies face a deeply-rooted institutional crisis. The accepted ways and means of living lead to frustration and anxiety rather than creativity and joy. The roots of this crisis are political and economic. These societies contain economies that pervert and obstruct the human life process and polities that are subordinate to economic vested interests. Karl Polanyi was a Hungarian emigrho witnessed first hand the cataclysms to which this political economic crisis can lead. He created a powerful social economic theory to analyze this institutional impasse and lay the foundation for social reconstruction. This book reviews Polanyi's life and work, his contributions to the methodology of economics, his concepts of social integration, his theory of market capitalism, and his view of freedom in complex industrial societies.
The central paradox of the contemporary world is the simultaneous presence of wealth on an unprecedented scale, and mass poverty. Liberal theory explains the relationship between capitalism and poverty as one based around the dichotomy of inclusion (into capitalism) vs exclusion (from capitalism). Within this discourse, the global capitalist system is portrayed as a sphere of economic dynamism and as a source of developmental opportunities for less developed countries and their populations. Development policy should, therefore, seek to integrate the poor into the global capitalist system. The Global Development Crisis challenges this way of thinking. Through an interrogation of some of the most important political economists of the last two centuries Friedrich List, Karl Marx, Leon Trotsky, Joseph Schumpeter, Alexander Gerschenkron, Karl Polanyi and Amarta Sen, Selwyn argues that class relations are the central cause of poverty and inequality, within and between countries. In contrast to much development thinking, which portrays ‘the poor’ as reliant upon benign assistance, this book advocates the concept of labour-centred development. Here ‘the poor’ are the global labouring classes, and their own collective actions and struggles constitute the basis of an alternative form of non-elitist, bottom-up human development.
Karl Polanyi's belief that the greatest threat to freedom was a poorly administered economy led him to an economics that was more existential and human-centered. Part I of this book develops Polanyi's thinking for its significance today through a selection of papers on re-reading his major work entitled The Great Transformation. Part II looks at the life and work of Ilona Duczynska (Polanyi's wife), political activist, writer and translator and important influence over Karl and his work. Kenneth McRobbie, a poet and historian who teaches at the University of British Columbia, is the editor of Humanity, Society and Commitment. Kari Polanyi Levitt, emeritus professor at McGill University, is the editor of The Life and Work of Karl Polanyi.
Through a critique of the theories of Karl Polanyi, this study examines the actual and potential of economics and social thought to explain the causes and significance of the contemporary economic crisis and to inform future actions to avoid another such crisis.
Capitalism and its Critics offers an accessible account of major theories of capitalism from the industrial revolution to the present day. The book provides a comprehensive account of the economic and social thought of key theorists from Adam Smith and Karl Marx to David Harvey and Thomas Piketty. Capitalism has long been the subject of passionate debate, and today such contestations are perhaps more timely than ever. For its advocates, capitalism brings democracy and freedom and is the cornerstone of modernity and of progress. For its critics, capitalism is based on the exploitation of labour and is responsible for the destruction of the environment as well as colonialism. Whether capitalism survives the century, or whether an alternative social system emerges, may very well determine the fate of humanity. Capitalism and its Critics gives a comprehensive critical analysis of the most important theorists of capitalism, including Adam Smith, Karl Marx, Max Weber, Joseph Schumpeter, Karl Polanyi, F.A. Hayek, J.M. Keynes, David Harvey, and Thomas Piketty. The book discusses some of the main debates about capitalism and considers alternatives in the twenty-first century. The 12 chapters are loosely chronologically organised around the main approaches and historical phases in the history of capitalism. Central themes of the book are the ideas of capitalist crisis and of tensions between democracy and capitalism in the making of modernity. A highly readable, informative and engaging text, Capitalism and its Critics is essential reading for anyone interested in understanding capitalism and its alternatives.
Leading socio-legal scholars explore whether and how the idea of harnessing the regulatory capacity of a social sphere provides a new analytical lens that can provide fresh insights into transnational risk regulation.
Heidegger scholars consider the philosopher's recently published notebooks, including the issues of Heidegger's Nazism and anti-Semitism. For more than forty years, the philosopher Martin Heidegger logged ideas and opinions in a series of notebooks, known as the “Black Notebooks” after the black oilcloth booklets into which he first transcribed his thoughts. In 2014, the notebooks from 1931 to 1941 were published, sparking immediate controversy. It has long been acknowledged that Heidegger was an enthusiastic supporter of the Nazi Party in the early 1930s. But the notebooks contain a number of anti-Semitic passages—often referring to the stereotype of “World-Jewry”—written even after Heidegger became disenchanted with the Nazis themselves. Reactions from the scholarly community have ranged from dismissal of the significance of these passages to claims that the anti-Semitism in them contaminates all of Heidegger's work. This volume offers the first collection of responses by Heidegger scholars to the publication of the notebooks. In essays commissioned especially for the book, the contributors offer a wide range of views, addressing not only the issues of anti-Semitism and Nazism but also the broader questions that the notebooks raise. Contributors Babette Babich, Andrew Bowie, Steven Crowell, Fred Dallmayr, Donatella Di Cesare, Michael Fagenblat, Ingo Farin, Gregory Fried, Jean Grondin, Karsten Harries, Laurence Paul Hemming, Jeff Malpas, Thomas Rohkrämer, Tracy B. Strong, Peter Trawny, Daniela Vallega-Neu, Friedrich-Wilhelm von Herrmann, Nancy A. Weston, Holger Zaborowski