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There has been increasing interest and debate in recent years on the instituted nature of economic processes in general and the related ideas of the market and the competitive process in particular. This debate lies at the interface between two largely independent disciplines, economics and sociology, and reflects an attempt to bring the two fields of discourse more closely together. This book explores this interface in a number of ways, looking at the competitive process and market relations from a number of different perspectives. It considers the social role of economic institutions in society and examines the various meanings embedded in the word 'markets', as well as developing arguments on the nature of competition as an instituted economic process. The close of the twentieth century saw a virtual canonisation of markets as the best, indeed the only really effective, way to govern an economic system. The market organisation being canonised was simple and pure, along the lines of the standard textbook model in economics. The book discusses the concepts of polysemy , idealism, cognition, materiality and cultural economy. Michael Best provides an account of regional economic adaptation to changed market circumstances. This is the story of the dynamics of capitalism focused on the resurgence of the Route 128 region around Boston following its decline in the mid-1980s in the face of competition from Silicon Valley. The book also addresses the question of how this resurgence was achieved.

Intermediating the Internet Economy in Digital Livelihoods Provision for Refugees
Andreas Hackl

into refugee-serving aid opens a new chapter in the long-standing conception that economic livelihoods are the primary ‘vehicle’ for realising refugee self-reliance ( Easton-Calabria, 2022 : 4). Digital livelihoods accelerate this longer process, in which market dependency and informal work have come to define refugee self-reliance, while refugee-serving agencies become ‘problematic arbiters’ of such market relations ( Easton-Calabria, 2022 : 14). They become intermediaries between

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
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Gender, state formation and commercialisation in urban Sweden, 1650– 1780

Service to others was integral to medieval and early modern European culture. It played a prominent role in the Christian world view. People tend to think of state service as the typical male form of work. However, this notion does not do justice to the early history of states and their servants, and it obscures the role of women and gender entirely. Teasing out these entanglements, this book shows how early modern state formation was subsidized by ordinary people's work and how, the then changing relationship between state authorities and families shaped the understanding of work and gender. It introduces the people, the period, the urban environments and the state administration under consideration. The book then analyses the role of violence and hostility in state servants' working lives and the expectations of servants to behave in certain ways. It demonstrates the vital role of small-scale market relations and of cooperation and mutual help among women. The book also analyses the relationship among lower state servants' families, discussing how social control and contact were parts of daily life and how society was knit together through these many practices. It discusses why early modern state formation created more opportunities for men than for women, when another outcome seems equally possible. The history of state formation throws new light on how different forms of service for others were understood and gendered over time, while people's everyday activities elucidate the mechanisms by which states were formed.

Constituting the cultural economy
Fran Tonkiss

seriously within the study of economic organisation – not simply in terms of seeing culture as a kind of ‘padding’ for economic activity, but as a sector of production, distribution and consumption involving distinctive organisational forms, market relations and competitive logics. Secondly, within the cultural field market actors, market segments and market commodities are constituted in innovative and often unstable ways. Thirdly, contemporary cultural industries are subject to a highly variable mix of markets, firms and networks as means of shaping economic processes

in Market relations and the competitive process
Penny McCall Howard

devices is embedded in and deeply affected by social, class and market relations. Sound, vibration, feeling and sounding Extended perception rested upon techniques for sounding and feeling  –​techniques which drew upon a combination of hearing, whole-​body feeling, ultra-​sonic machines, digital visual representations of sound, and the power and vibration of internal combustion engines and hundreds of metres of steel wire. Fishermen developed their own complex visualisations of what the seafloor and their fishing gear looked like as it worked, but in this process they

in Environment, labour and capitalism at sea
From Polanyi to the new economic archaeology
Michael Hudson

Polanyi spoke of the commodification of money, and this chapter focuses on how interest-bearing debt became the major dynamic, also contributing to the commodification of land and labor. By the late third millennium BC the main way to obtain manual labor was to lend money and make debtors work off their debts as an antichretic interest charge. Personal debt became the lever for creditors to pry land out of the clan-based tenure system, mainly for sale under economic duress. Debtors who pledged their crop or land rights usually ended up forfeiting them. This alienation catalyzed the ‘commodification’ of land. By tracing these debt dynamics, the new economic archaeology is compatible with Polanyi’s intuitions and recognition that market relations are embedded in social relations, and extends his analysis in tracing how administered pricing and monetary valuations created the preconditions for market exchange. The earliest markets, credit and land tenure systems were regulated. Administered pricing was a precondition for creating weights, measures and price equivalencies to enable market exchange to evolve more flexibly.

in Karl Polanyi and twenty-first-century capitalism
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Limits of the market and capital
Aleksander Buzgalin
Andrey Kolganov

number of important theoretical hypotheses with practical significance. We shall dwell below on some of the transformations undergone by the commodity, the original and universal form of what is called the market economy; on an analysis of the reasons for the rise and dominance in modern conditions of the ‘market-centric’ model of economic theory; and on the question of the genesis of post-market relations. The ‘market-centricity’ of modern economic theory and the problems involved in overcoming it In neoclassical economic theory as well as in some

in Twenty-first-century capital

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.

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Activism and design in Italy

Precarious objects is a book about activism and design. The context is the changes in work and employment from permanent to precarious arrangements in the twenty-first century in Italy. The book presents design interventions that address precarity as a defuturing force affecting political, social and material conditions. Precarious objects shows how design objects, called here ‘orientation devices’, recode political communication and reorient how things are imagined, produced and circulated. It also shows how design as a practice can reconfigure material conditions and prefigure ways to repair some of the effects of precarity on everyday life. Three microhistories illustrate activist repertoires that bring into play design, and design practices that are grounded in activism. While the vitality, experimental nature and traffic between theory and praxis of social movements in Italy have consistently attracted the interest of activists, students and researchers in diverse fields, there exists little in the area of design research. This is a study of design activism at the intersection of design theory and cultural research for researchers and students interested in design studies, cultural studies, social movements and Italian studies.

State, market, and the Party in China’s financial reform

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.