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.
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.
07c Globalisation 164-190
Capitalism’s final phase: the case of
the Socialist Workers’ Party
The Socialist Workers’ Party is the largest far-left organisation in Britain. It is
also the dominant member of the International Socialist Tendency (IST), a partnership with similar parties in several Western countries. The SWP is usually
identified as a Trotskyist party. It is probably more accurately described as neoTrotskyist, given its origins in Tony Clift’s ‘state capitalism’ thesis (his
reinterpretation of the Soviet Union) and
Originally released by Basil Blackwell in 1986, and then re-released by Manchester University Press in 1998, Casino capitalism is a cutting-edge discussion of international financial markets, the way they behave and the power they wield. It examines money's power for good as well as its terrible disruptive, destructive power for evil. Money is seen as being far too important to leave to bankers and economists to do with as they think best. The raison d'être of Casino Capitalism is to expose the development of a financial system that has increasingly escaped the calming influences of democratic control. This new edition includes a powerful new introduction provided by Matthew Watson that puts the book it in its proper historical context, as well as identifying its relevance for the modern world. It will have a wide reaching audience, appealing both to academics and students of economics and globalization as well as the general reader with interests in capitalism and economic history.
The term ‘late capitalism’ was used in the works of Mandel, Jameson, and other Marxist theoreticians (Mandel 1972 ; Habermas 1973 ; Jameson 1991 ).
We too use it, but give it an original meaning of our own. Our position is that at the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century a special period in the development of capitalism begins. It is characterised by a partial evolutionary adaptation of capital to new conditions, generated both by the ‘decline’ of the
Politico-economies of Slavery, Indentured Labour and Debt
Coercive Capitalisms: Politico-economies
of Slavery, Indentured Labour and
This chapter develops the short section appearing in MEAB, and asks
the question: why is slavery centrally important for an understanding
of capitalist political economies?1 Much attention has been paid to
the exploitative nature of capitalism, and the consequently systemic
and extreme inequalities of monetary wealth, to which we have added
inequalities in rights to public goods and resources. In the analysis so
far, these inequalities are seen to be inherently gendered
Labour’s industrial policy and the idea of a National Investment Bank during the long 1980s
Responsible capitalism: Labour’s
industrial policy and the idea of
a National Investment Bank during
the long 1980s
This chapter considers two overlapping issues: Labour’s conception of the
economy, and its overall electability. As to the first, it is widely asserted in
both academic and political circles that ‘the absence of economic policy credibility was absolutely central to Labour’s failure to regain office until 1997’.1
This was certainly true of the 1983 general election when, as Colin Hughes
and Patrick Wintour remarked, ‘even 28 per cent
Ethnographies of labour at sea must examine the experience of that labour, rather than contemplate the commodities that are produced, or resort to trite metaphors about watery 'flow' and 'immersion' This book takes up a labour-centred Marxist approach to human-environment relations, place and language, human-machine relations, technique and technology, political economy and violence. It explores how fishers make the sea productive through their labour, using technologies ranging from wooden boats to digital GPS plotters to create familiar places in a seemingly hostile environment. While most analyses of navigation assume that its purpose is orientation, virtually all navigation devices are used in techniques to solve the problem of relative position. Fishers frequently have to make impossible choices between safe seamanship and staying afloat economically, and the book describes the human impact of the high rate of deaths in the fishing industry. The lives of fishermen are affected by capitalist forces in the markets they sell to, forces that shape even the relations between fishers on the same boat. The book also discusses techniques people used to extend their bodies and perceptual abilities, the importance of controlling and delicately manipulating these extensions and the caring relationships of maintenance boats and machines required. A 'new anthropology of labour' and a 'decolonised anthropology dispenses with the disciplinary emphasis on the "outside" of capitalism and encompasses the dynamism and interconnections of global society'.
Ancient markets, modern
capitalism: China and the problem
[N]one of the standard models of economic and political theory can
explain China. … China still does not have well-specified property
rights, town-village enterprises hardly resemble the standard firm
of economics, and it remains to this day a communist dictatorship.
Douglass North (2005)
It is merely in the night of our ignorance that all alien shapes take
on the same hue.
Perry Anderson (1974)
If, as I argue in this book, it is necessary to reconceptualize the
Alberta Andreotti, David Benassi, and Yuri Kazepov
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