Category Archives: Books

Manufacturing Personal Happiness

by Edgar Cabanas‏* Happiness is one of the most pervasive, fast-spreading, and controvertible phenomena of the twentieth century. Grown into an obsessive pursuit, a lucrative industry, and a flawed albeit very popular science, the pursuit of happiness has woven itself … Continue reading

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RIP Immanuel Wallerstein — “This is the end; this is the beginning”

A towering intellectual, pathbreaking thinker, and preeminent sociologist Immanuel Wallerstein passed away. He lived a deep commitment to scholarship, justice and change. Wallerstein has written dozens of remarkable and outstanding books, and hundreds of influential papers and shrewd commentaries. He was … Continue reading

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B&B: Best books in political economy // Raising elite // Missing from economics: women // Philanthropy’s interests // Living now in the pre-industrial age // Black businesses and the Civil Rights Movement

This time, especially worth reading and sharing articles: > Mark Blyth chooses and discusses the best 5 books on how Political Economy works >> The Passions and the Interests by Albert Hirschman, Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy by Barrington Moore, The Great … Continue reading

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The Virtues of the Market: Wilhelm Röpke as a Cultural Economist

by Erwin Dekker* Neoliberalism is often associated with an excessive focus on the market at the expense of both the state and society. A new book Wilhelm Röpke (1899–1966): A Liberal Political Economist and Conservative Social Philosopher, edited by Patricia Commun … Continue reading

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The Growth of Shadow Banking and State-Finance Relations

by Matthias Thiemann* How can we understand the growth of a system of credit provisioning outside of the realm of bank regulation since the 1970s which linked non-banks and banks in a convoluted system of market-based banking, securitization and wholesale … Continue reading

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Probably the best “Acknowledgments” ever (5)

“Contrary to the fashion in most prefaces, I will not add that “all mistakes and shortcomings are entirely my responsibility.” That is sheer bourgeois subjectivism. Responsibility in matters of these sorts is always collective, especially with regard to the remedying … Continue reading

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The 2019 Zelizer Award for Best Book in Economic Sociology goes to ‘Starving the Beast’ by Monica Prasad

Northwestern University scholar Monica Prasad is the winner of the 2019 Zelizer Book Award given by the American Sociological Association’s Economic Sociology section for an outstanding book in the field. Prasad will receive the Award for her superb book Starving … Continue reading

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Neither Market Nor State?

“And what if the choice had never been between Market and State organizations, between liberals and socialists, but instead between those who believe in the miracles of a pre-established harmony and those who refuse to ‘believe in miracles’? Could we … Continue reading

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B&B: Neoliberalism as creative destruction // Surveillance business // History of capitalism and counter-genealogy of race // Workplace is the hub of political power // GDP is irrelevant

This time, especially worth reading  and sharing articles: > Neoliberal capitalism is a “form of creative destruction. For everyone whose life was being regenerated or rejuvenated… there was someone, as well, whose life was being destroyed”, asserts Akash Kapur in … Continue reading

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Are Entrepreneurs Dangerous to the Market Economy more than Marxists?

Yes — asserts regarding the odd question in the title one of the founders of Ordoliberalism Professor Franz Böhm: “The entrepreneurs […] in contrast with their emphatic declarations in favour of the market economy, are more inclined, at least, to … Continue reading

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The Sociology of Quantification: Seeing like Numbers

Elizabeth Popp Berman and Dan Hirschman have recently published in Contemporary Sociology a worth reading review essay called “The Sociology of Quantification: Where Are We Now?” In this article, which is definitely more than a ‘regular’ review, they do not … Continue reading

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Economic Sociology, Homo Economicus, and Performativity of Economics

It is never too late, nor too early, to reread and contemplate a good theory. For example, to mull over Michel Callon’s programmatic statement about the performativity of economics, presented two decades ago in the introduction to The Laws of the Markets: … Continue reading

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The IMF’s Reconstruction of Economic Orthodoxy since the Crash

by Ben Clift* Analysing how the International Monetary Fund (IMF) contributes to prevailing understandings of sound economic policy reveals how economic orthodoxy is historically contingent, and throws into relief the malleability of economic policy credibility. These indirect IMF attempts to … Continue reading

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Was Karl Polanyi wrong? Land, labor, and private authority in the global economy

by Tim Bartley* Karl Polanyi famously argued that land, labor, and money are “fictitious commodities.” They cannot be fully subjected to the dictates of the market without spurring backlashes that seek to re-embed them in society.  It is easy to … Continue reading

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Who is in Control of Markets: Humans or Financial Models?

by Ekaterina Svetlova* The recent stock market correction raised again the question of who is in control of markets: humans or technology. Nasdaq CEO Adena Friedman said on CNBC that „humans are definitely in charge of the decisions in the market” … Continue reading

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