The doublemovement and the
perspectives of contemporary capitalism
The perspectives of contemporary capitalism
The current financial and economic crisis of industrialised countries, which
started in 2008, has made the interpretation of our societies more difficult.
We are in an uncertain and dynamic phase, characterised by high rates of
growth in some emerging large countries (China, India and Brazil, up to
2015), high levels of economic interdependence and competition on a global
scale, strong de-standardisation trends, increasing social
Fictitious ideas, social facts and the
doublemovement: Polanyi’s framework
in the age of neoliberalism
Since the 1990s Karl Polanyi’s The Great Transformation (hereafter, TGT) has
become an important point of reference not only for activists and critical minds,
but also for social scientists who feel uncomfortable with the current trends of
economic globalization, liberalization, privatization and commodification. The
increasing influence of the neoliberal creed on economic theory and policy since
the 1980s has motivated numerous
and the transformation of the
Oscar Ugarteche Galarza
This chapter aims to use Polanyi’s concept of embeddedness and disembeddedness
in order to understand how the category of ‘Too Big to Fail’ (TBTF) financial
institutions came into being through the doublemovement of market deregulation and social regulation. The concepts of embeddedness in social regulation and
disembeddedness under market regulation permit an understanding of how, as
a few TBTF financial institutions re-embedded themselves, becoming risk
Karl Polanyi (1886–1964) returned to public discourse in the 1990s, when the Soviet Union imploded and globalization erupted. Best known for The Great Transformation, Polanyi’s wide-ranging thought anticipated twenty-first-century civilizational challenges of ecological collapse, social disintegration and international conflict, and warned that the unbridled domination of market capitalism would engender nationalist protective counter-movements. In Karl Polanyi and Twenty-First-Century Capitalism, Radhika Desai and Kari Polanyi Levitt bring together prominent and new thinkers in the field to extend the boundaries of our understanding of Polanyi's life and work. Kari Polanyi Levitt's opening essay situates Polanyi in the past century shaped by Keynes and Hayek, and explores how and why his ideas may shape the twenty-first century. Her analysis of his Bennington Lectures, which pre-dated and anticipated The Great Transformation, demonstrates how Central European his thought and chief concerns were. The next several contributions clarify, for the first time in Polanyi scholarship, the meaning of money as a fictitious commodity. Other contributions resolve difficulties in understanding the building blocks of Polanyi's thought: fictitious commodities, the double movement, the United States' exceptional development, the reality of society and socialism as freedom in a complex society. The volume culminates in explorations of how Polanyi has influenced, and can be used to develop, ideas in a number of fields, whether income inequality, world-systems theory or comparative political economy. Contributors: Fred Block, Michael Brie, Radhika Desai, Michael Hudson, Hannes Lacher, Kari Polanyi Levitt, Chikako Nakayama, Jamie Peck, Abraham Rotstein, Margaret Somers, Claus Thomasberger, Oscar Ugarteche Galarza.
from want and freedom from fear.
The Dumbarton Oaks Conference took place in Washington, D.C., from August to October 1944.
Delegations from the US, the UK, the Soviet Union and China gathered to discuss plans for a
post-war international organisation. The United Nations then came into existence in October
1945, when 51 countries ratified its charter in San Francisco.
In The Great Transformation , Karl Polanyi refers to a doublemovement that
occurs in the development of the ‘Market
Europe underwent in his time is so original in its components and their configuration that even those versed in history and interdisciplinary studies approach its full
meaning only gradually. And it is so suggestive that it has kept generations trying.
This collection contains many contributions, by established and new Polanyi scholars, that push back the bounds of our understanding on many fronts, whether
the ideas of fictitious commodities, particularly money, and the doublemovement, of socialism or of the different historical evolution of continental, British and
Alberta Andreotti, David Benassi, and Yuri Kazepov
process, however, is neither homogeneous nor linear, and is very much influenced by the role the different institutions play, their complementarities and
their synergistic effects. Indeed, this mix affects the direction and speed of
change; the winners and losers and the overall patterns of inequality that
stratify different societies (Milanovic 2016).
Following Polanyi, and the use that Enzo Mingione has made of Polanyi’s
work in recent decades (1991, 1997 and in this volume), we argue that
changes in capitalist societies are characterised by a dynamic doublemovement
Where anthropology and sociology share metaphors as analytical tools
disruption of the economic system. This process was called
‘the doublemovement’ by Polanyi. He strongly believed that the market
of fictitious commodities lies at the root of these tensions, and that the
doublemovement is the most effective way to theorise the continuity of
capitalism (and its inner transformation) through the temporary overcoming of such tensions. It is another powerful metaphor that has since been
taken up by social scientists to explain the emergence of institutions and
socially diversified counter-movements towards deregulating markets and
We begin below with appreciating how and why this theme is ignored in Polanyi
scholarship. We then clear some interpretational difficulties before going on to
discuss fictitious commodities, money as a fictitious commodity and the role of
central banks in its doublemovement. This culminates in showing how this doublemovement gave rise to crustacean nations and how this development became the
‘proximate cause’ of the ‘catastrophe’. The conclusion stresses the originality of
TGT’s account of the geopolitical economy of capitalism and urgency of
This study analyses concepts and representations of the soul in the poetry of William Shakespeare and John Donne. During the early modern period, the soul is often presented as an actor on the stage of the poem, and the soul often becomes a stage by itself when conflicts within it are being enacted, in the tradition of psychomachia. The soul thus becomes a linking element between the genres of poetry and drama; at the same time, poetry becomes dramatic whenever the soul is at its focus. This double movement can be observed in the poems by Shakespeare and Donne that are concerned with the fate of the soul and represent inner states and processes: in The Rape of Lucrece the inner drama of the soul is being enacted; the Holy Sonnets are soliloquies by and about the soul. Here, the connection between interiority and performance, psychology and religious self-care can be found which is central to the understanding of early modern drama and its characteristic development of the soliloquy. The study thus offers a new reading of the poems by Shakespeare and Donne by analysing them, in different ways, as staged dialogues within the soul. It furthermore contributes to research on the soliloquy as much as on concepts of inwardness during the early modern period; it shows how the reflection on the soul and religious care for salvation develops in interaction with inwardness and theatrical exposure. It is aimed at readers interested in early modern literature and culture.