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Global processes, local challenges

This book is a tribute to Enzo Mingione and his contribution to the fields of sociology and urban studies on the occasion of his retirement. It touches upon the processes of transformation of cities to the informal economy, from the Fordist crisis to the rediscovery of poverty, from the welfare state and welfare policies to migration and the transformation of work. These themes constitute the analytical building blocks of this book on the transitions that Western capitalist societies are undergoing. The book focuses on social foundations of Western capitalism, explaining how socio-economic and institutional complementarities that characterised postwar capitalism created relatively integrated socio-economic regimes, It has five thematic sections reflecting five areas of capitalism, the search interests of Enzo Mingione. The first discusses the transformations of global capitalism, addressing how capitalism works and how it changes. The second provides insights into the mechanisms of re-embedding, in particular how welfare policies are part of a societal reaction to capitalism's disruptive dynamic. The third addresses some main challenges that citizenship systems established in the post-war period have had to face, from the spread of new employment regimes to new migratory flows. The fourth addresses cities and their transformation and the final section addresses poverty and its spatial dimension as a crucial lens through which to understand the differentiated impact of the processes of change in Western capitalist societies, both in socio-economic and spatial terms.

Global processes, local challenges
Alberta Andreotti, David Benassi, and Yuri Kazepov

1  Alberta Andreotti, David Benassi and Yuri Kazepov Western capitalism in transition: global processes, local challenges Capitalism is not merely a way of organising production and consumption based on the private ownership of the means of production, driven by alleged natural human behaviour (selfishness, self-interest) and aimed at maximising profit. The sociological understanding of capitalism defines it as a model for the structure of the whole of society, where economic momentum is ‘only’ one of the aspects of such a structure. In this introduction we

in Western capitalism in transition
Dennis Butts

Lucien Goldmann has called ‘reification’. He argues that the later periods of western capitalism, especially the imperialist period between 1912 and 1945, can be identified by the gradual disappearance of the individual and by the appearance of a world increasingly dominated by objects with their own autonomy. 15 It is certainly true that the new technology of aeronautics plays a

in Imperialism and juvenile literature
Stephen Constantine

enterprises centred on the advanced economies of Western Europe and North America. Domestically, they absorbed the material values and aspirations of western capitalism and accepted, pretty much, the ethics of free economic enterprise, in which capital purchased goods and services as cheaply as possible and endeavoured to sell them as dearly as possible, and in which a supposedly free market in labour determined its price, otherwise known as wages. Consumption patterns were also similar, the goods and services purchased resembling those in other westernised economies

in Community and identity
Enzo Mingione

shall put the contemporary tensions of social change into an interpretative frame freely inspired by the Polanyian concept of the double movement (Polanyi 1944). I shall interpret the double movement as a simultaneous combination of dis-embeddedness which destroys established social bonds and habits in order to accommodate new market opportunities (here the market is intended as a competitive force that destroys social relations), and re-embeddedness creating new social bonds and institutions. I shall also 292 Perspectives on the future of Western capitalism

in Western capitalism in transition
A distinctive politics?
Author: Richard Taylor

English radicalism has been a deep-rooted but minority tradition in the political culture since at least the seventeenth century. The central aim of this book is to examine, in historical and political context, a range of key events and individuals that exemplify English radicalism in the twentieth century. This analysis is preceded by defining precisely what has constituted this tradition; and by the main outline of the development of the tradition from the Civil War to the end of the nineteenth century. Three of the main currents of English radicalism in the twentieth century have been the labour movement, the women’s movement and the peace movement. These are discussed in some detail, as a framework for the detailed consideration of ten key representative figures of the tradition in the twentieth century: Bertrand Russell, Sylvia Pankhurst, Ellen Wilkinson, George Orwell, E.P. Thompson, Michael Foot, Joan Maynard, Stuart Hall, Tony Benn and Nicolas Walter. The question of ‘agency’ – of how to bring about radical change in a predominantly conservative society and culture – has been a fundamental issue for English radicals. It is argued that, in the twentieth century, many of the important achievements in progressive politics have taken place in and through extra-parliamentary movements, as well as through formal political parties and organisations – the Labour Party and other socialist organisations – and on occasion, through libertarian and anarchist politics. The final chapter considers the continuing relevance of this political tradition in the early twenty-first century, and reviews its challenges and prospects.

State, market, and the Party in China’s financial reform
Author: Julian Gruin

Over more than thirty years of reform and opening, the Chinese Communist Party has pursued the gradual marketization of China’s economy alongside the preservation of a resiliently authoritarian political system, defying long-standing predictions that ‘transition’ to a market economy would catalyse deeper political transformation. In an era of deepening synergy between authoritarian politics and finance capitalism, Communists constructing capitalism offers a novel and important perspective on this central dilemma of contemporary Chinese development. This book challenges existing state–market paradigms of political economy and reveals the Eurocentric assumptions of liberal scepticism towards Chinese authoritarian resilience. It works with an alternative conceptual vocabulary for analysing the political economy of financial development as both the management and exploitation of socio-economic uncertainty. Drawing upon extensive fieldwork and over sixty interviews with policymakers, bankers, and former party and state officials, the book delves into the role of China’s state-owned banking system since 1989. It shows how political control over capital has been central to China’s experience of capitalist development, enabling both rapid economic growth whilst preserving macroeconomic and political stability. Communists constructing capitalism will be of academic interest to scholars and graduate students in the fields of Chinese studies, social studies of finance, and international and comparative political economy. Beyond academia, it will be essential reading for anyone interested in the evolution of Chinese capitalism and its implications for an increasingly central issue in contemporary global politics: the financial foundations of illiberal capitalism.

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Private greed, political negligence and housing policy after Grenfell

As the tragedy of the Grenfell Tower fire of 14 June 2017 has slowly revealed a shadowy background of outsourcing and deregulation, and a council turning a blind eye to health and safety concerns, many questions need answers. Stuart Hodkinson has those answers. Safe as Houses weaves together Stuart’s research over the last decade with residents’ groups in council regeneration projects across London to provide the first comprehensive account of how Grenfell happened and how it could easily have happened in multiple locations across the country. It draws on examples of unsafe housing either refurbished or built by private companies under the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) to show both the terrible human consequences of outsourcing and deregulation and how the PFI has enabled developers, banks and investors to profiteer from highly lucrative, taxpayer-funded contracts. The book also provides shocking testimonies of how councils and other public bodies have continuously sided with their private partners, doing everything in their power to ignore, deflect and even silence those who speak out. The book concludes that the only way to end the era of unsafe regeneration and housing provision is to end the disastrous regime of self-regulation. This means strengthening safety laws, creating new enforcement agencies independent of government and industry, and replacing PFI and similar models of outsourcing with a new model of public housing that treats the provision of shelter as ‘a social service’ democratically accountable to its residents.

Race and nation in twenty-first-century Britain

Nationalism has reasserted itself today as the political force of our times, remaking European politics wherever one looks. Britain is no exception, and in the midst of Brexit, it has even become a vanguard of nationalism's confident return to the mainstream. Brexit, in the course of generating a historically unique standard of sociopolitical uncertainty and constitutional intrigue, tore apart the two-party compact that had defined the parameters of political contestation for much of twentieth-century Britain. This book offers a wide-ranging picture of the different theoretical accounts relevant to addressing nationalism. It briefly repudiates the increasingly common attempts to read contemporary politics through the lens of populism. The book explores the assertion of 'muscular liberalism' and civic nationalism. It examines more traditional, conservative appeals to racialised notions of blood, territory, purity and tradition as a means of reclaiming the nation. The book also examines how neoliberalism, through its recourse to discourses of meritocracy, entrepreneurial self and individual will, alongside its exaltation of a 'points-system' approach to the ills of immigration, engineers its own unique rendition of the nationalist crisis. There are a number of important themes through which the process of liberal nationalism can be documented - what Arun Kundnani captured, simply and concisely, as the entrenchment of 'values racism'. These include the 'faux-feminist' demonisation of Muslims.

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The birth and growth of major religions

What do we really know of the origins and first spread of major monotheistic religions, once we strip away the myths and later traditions that developed? Creating God uses modern critical historical scholarship alongside archaeology to describe the times and places which saw the emergence of Mormonism, Islam, Christianity, Judaism and Zoroastrianism. What was the social, economic and political world in which they began, and the framework of other contemporary religious movements in which they could flourish? What was their historical background and what was their geographical setting? Written from a secular viewpoint, the author reveals where a scholarly approach to the history of religions may diverge from the assumptions of faith, and shows the value of comparing different movements and different histories in one account. Throughout history, many individuals have believed that they were in direct contact with a divine source, receiving direction to spread a religious message. A few persuaded others and developed a following, and a small minority of such movements grew into full religions. In time, these movements developed, augmented, selected and invented their own narratives of foundation: stories about the founders’ lives and the early stages in which their religious group emerged. Modern critical scholarship helps us understand something of how a successful religion could emerge, thrive and begin the journey to become a world faith. This book presents a narrative to interest, challenge and intrigue readers interested in the beginnings of some of the most powerful ideas that have influenced human history.