Tag Archives: Karl Polanyi

Polanyi’s Prescience: Covid-19, Market Utopianism, and the Reality of Society

by Margaret Somers and Fred Block * One of Karl Polanyi’s fundamental concepts is ‘the reality of society’, a term he uses in The Great Transformation (TGT) (Polanyi 1944/2001) to contest the idealised model of the autonomous self-regulating market. Modern … Continue reading

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The Great Transformation — 75 Years Later

Karl Polanyi’s masterpiece The Great Transformation was written during the Second World War and published in 1944, but the relevance and importance of this preeminent book has continued to grow. 75 year later, The Great Transformation — an admirable treatise … 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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Karl Polanyi on the Rise of Fascism and Market Economy

A spectre is haunting the US, parts of Europe and the world — the spectre of Fascism and authoritarian Neoliberalism, veiled as “defensive democracy” and “common-sense patriotism”, disguised as social protectionism, perceived by laymen as innocuous populism. The bothering question … Continue reading

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The early Karl Polanyi: Interpreting “Socialist Accounting”

We are all Polanyians now. Karl Polanyi is probably one of the most famous and influential 20th century scholars in the eyes of social scientists today. It is almost impossible not to come across Polanyi’s citations and references in a very wide … Continue reading

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The Best Book in Economic Sociology and Political Economy for 2014: ‘The Power of Market Fundamentalism’ by Block and Somers

In The Power of Market Fundamentalism: Karl Polanyi’s Critique Fred Block and Margaret R. Somers did a superb scholarly work, sagaciously encountering readers with a powerful intellectual legacy of Karl Polanyi through their insightful analysis of his writings, especially of his … Continue reading

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Removing social support is necessary to compel the ‪‎poor‬ to work — what’s the origin of this erroneous political idea?

According to many neoliberal politicians and economists,  assistance to the unemployed and poor always creates more of the poverty it aims to alleviate; therefore removing welfare benefits and social support is necessary to compel the ‪‎poor‬ and unemployed to work.  What is the origin … Continue reading

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Pope Francis, Thomas Piketty and Karl Polanyi featured the fascinating presidential address by Michael Burawoy at the International Sociological Association congress

Pope Francis, Thomas Piketty and Karl Polanyi featured the fascinating presidential address by Michael Burawoy “Facing the Unequal World: Challenges for Global Sociology” at the opening ceremony of the International Sociological Association congress at Yokohama, Japan (July 13-19, 2014). I … Continue reading

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Karl Polanyi: “The market mechanism moreover created the delusion of economic determinism as a general law for all human society.. “

Karl Polanyi: “The market mechanism moreover created the delusion of economic determinism as a general law for all human society.. To attempt to apply economic determinism to all human societies is little short of fantastic. Nothing is more obvious to … Continue reading

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The Power of ‎Market‬ ‪‎Fundamentalism‬: Karl ‪Polanyi‬’s Critique — a must-read for every economic ‪sociologist‬ and political economist

As the eminent social scientist Karl Polanyi has stultified and debunked the erroneous ideas of economic determinism and market fundamentalism, Fred Block and Margaret Somers greatly contributed to the intellectual endeavor to manifest the ontological embeddedness of State-Economy-Society in their important … Continue reading

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Economic Anthropology: History, Ethnography, Critique

This new book Economic Anthropology lays out the most sophisticated history and practice of economic anthropology. The authors, two important scholars with rich ethnographic experience – Chris Hann and Keith Hart – show how anthropologists have contributed to understanding the … Continue reading

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Great Transformations: Economic Ideas and Institutional Change in the Twentieth Century

In this remarkably rigorous, original, and enlightening book Great Transformations: Economic Ideas and Institutional Change in the Twentieth Century Mark Blyth (Brown University) argues that economic ideas are powerful tools as used by actors and groups to effect change since whoever defines what … Continue reading

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