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Book part
Publication date: 3 December 2005

Harry F. Dahms

For sociological perspectives on globalization to do justice to its many facets, they must be informed by an understanding of modern societies as simultaneously complex…

Abstract

For sociological perspectives on globalization to do justice to its many facets, they must be informed by an understanding of modern societies as simultaneously complex, contingent, and contradictory – as modern capitalist societies. As is becoming ever more apparent, such an understanding of modern societies is the necessary precondition for identifying the defining features of globalization. Yet, for the most part, the history of the social sciences did not produce research agendas, theories, and methods designed to grasp complexity, contingency, and contradiction as core dimensions of modern social life that continually reinforce each other. The social sciences did not evolve as ongoing efforts to grasp the gravity each dimension exerts on concrete forms of political, economic and cultural life, and how the force of each depends on the constant exchange of energy with the other two. To the extent that scrutinizing the impact of globalization on the future – and possible futures – of human civilization is the primary challenge for social scientists to confront today, the current condition presents a unique, and perhaps most unusual opportunity to conceive anew the promise of each and all the social sciences, as elucidating how the complex, contingent, and contradictory nature of modern societies, in the name of advancing social justice, has engendered a regime of managing “social problems.”

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Social Theory as Politics in Knowledge
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-363-1

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Book part
Publication date: 20 May 2011

Harry F. Dahms

For perspectives on globalization to do justice to its many facets, they must be informed by an understanding of modern societies as simultaneously complex, contingent…

Abstract

For perspectives on globalization to do justice to its many facets, they must be informed by an understanding of modern societies as simultaneously complex, contingent, and contradictory – as modern capitalist societies. As is becoming ever more apparent, such an understanding of modern societies is the necessary precondition for identifying the defining features of globalization. Yet, for the most part, the history of the social sciences did not produce research agendas, theories, and methods designed to grasp complexity, contingency, and contradiction as core dimensions of modern social life that continually reinforce each other. The social sciences did not evolve as ongoing efforts to grasp the gravity each dimension exerts on concrete forms of political, economic, and cultural life, and how the force of each depends on the constant exchange of energy with the other two. To the extent that scrutinizing the impact of globalization on the future – find possible futures – of human civilization is the primary challenge for social scientists to confront today, the current condition presents a unique, and perhaps most unusual opportunity to conceive anew the promise of each and all the social sciences, as elucidating how the complex, contingent, and contradictory nature of modern societies, in the name of advancing social justice, has engendered a regime of managing “social problems.”

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The Vitality Of Critical Theory
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-798-8

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1985

Tomas Riha

Nobody concerned with political economy can neglect the history of economic doctrines. Structural changes in the economy and society influence economic thinking and…

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1333

Abstract

Nobody concerned with political economy can neglect the history of economic doctrines. Structural changes in the economy and society influence economic thinking and, conversely, innovative thought structures and attitudes have almost always forced economic institutions and modes of behaviour to adjust. We learn from the history of economic doctrines how a particular theory emerged and whether, and in which environment, it could take root. We can see how a school evolves out of a common methodological perception and similar techniques of analysis, and how it has to establish itself. The interaction between unresolved problems on the one hand, and the search for better solutions or explanations on the other, leads to a change in paradigma and to the formation of new lines of reasoning. As long as the real world is subject to progress and change scientific search for explanation must out of necessity continue.

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International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 12 no. 3/4/5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2003

Georgios I. Zekos

Aim of the present monograph is the economic analysis of the role of MNEs regarding globalisation and digital economy and in parallel there is a reference and examination…

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55635

Abstract

Aim of the present monograph is the economic analysis of the role of MNEs regarding globalisation and digital economy and in parallel there is a reference and examination of some legal aspects concerning MNEs, cyberspace and e‐commerce as the means of expression of the digital economy. The whole effort of the author is focused on the examination of various aspects of MNEs and their impact upon globalisation and vice versa and how and if we are moving towards a global digital economy.

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Managerial Law, vol. 45 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0558

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Book part
Publication date: 4 April 2017

Samuel A. Chambers

The labor theory of value (LTV) offers a lucid and forceful example of a “theory” thought to stand outside “history.” Considered as an “objective” form of theorizing, the…

Abstract

The labor theory of value (LTV) offers a lucid and forceful example of a “theory” thought to stand outside “history.” Considered as an “objective” form of theorizing, the LTV seeks transhistorical truths about the relationship between humans and nature – whereby, as everyone knows, value in the world is produced by the fundamental force of human labor power. Marx is typically taken to have subscribed to some form of the LTV, and thus to have signed on to this form of theorizing. This article refuses to treat Marx as an analytic, ahistorical theorist who would either affirm or deny the LTV. Rather, I read Marx as a genealogist who excavates the story of labor and value within the specific historical context of an emerging capitalist social formation. This genealogical approach to Marx, and particularly to his less-often-discussed, Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy, shows plainly that Marx never subscribed to the LTV, but more importantly that he eschewed the form of theory that the LTV presumes. Rather than seeking to make transhistorical theoretical claims about the relation between labor and value, Marx meant to demonstrate to his readers something about the way in which a definite and concrete (historically situated) capitalist social formation establishes value. A capitalist social formation establishes its own specific value relations, by first constituting, and then dissimulating, a link between labor and value.

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International Origins of Social and Political Theory
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-267-1

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 1987

John E. Elliott and Joanna V. Scott

This article examines relationships between capitalism and democracy as perceived by contending perspectives within the liberal capitalist‐liberal democratic tradition(s)…

Abstract

This article examines relationships between capitalism and democracy as perceived by contending perspectives within the liberal capitalist‐liberal democratic tradition(s). Bentham and the Mills are taken as initiating both this tradition and the core elements of the debate within it. Pre‐Benthamite theories are first reviewed. Then, after discussion of Bentham and James Mill and of John Stuart Mill, Mill's late nineteenth and early twentieth century successors are examined. We then go on to consider hypotheses concerning the “exceptional” quality of relationships between capitalism and democracy in the United States. The penultimate section of the article adumbrates the main contours of mid‐twentieth century pluralist‐elitist theories. We conclude with a summary.

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International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 14 no. 7/8/9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1986

Cedric Pugh

It was not until the late 1960s that housing attracted much attention from academic social scientists. Since that time the literature has expanded widely and diversified…

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1534

Abstract

It was not until the late 1960s that housing attracted much attention from academic social scientists. Since that time the literature has expanded widely and diversified, establishing housing with a specialised status in economics, sociology, politics, and in related subjects. As we would expect, the new literature covers a technical, statistical, theoretical, ideological, and historical range. Housing studies have not been conceived and interpreted in a monolithic way, with generally accepted concepts and principles, or with uniformly fixed and precise methodological approaches. Instead, some studies have been derived selectively from diverse bases in conventional theories in economics or sociology, or politics. Others have their origins in less conventional social theory, including neo‐Marxist theory which has had a wider intellectual following in the modern democracies since the mid‐1970s. With all this diversity, and in a context where ideological positions compete, housing studies have consequently left in their wake some significant controversies and some gaps in evaluative perspective. In short, the new housing intellectuals have written from personal commitments to particular cognitive, theoretical, ideological, and national positions and experiences. This present piece of writing takes up the two main themes which have emerged in the recent literature. These themes are first, questions relating to building and developing housing theory, and, second, the issue of how we are to conceptualise housing and relate it to policy studies. We shall be arguing that the two themes are closely related: in order to create a useful housing theory we must have awareness and understanding of housing practice and the nature of housing.

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International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 13 no. 4/5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

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Article
Publication date: 13 December 2019

Fuqian Fang

Western economics came into being with the rise of the capitalist market economy. It had a nature of duality beginning from its birth: the justificativeness of providing…

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1595

Abstract

Purpose

Western economics came into being with the rise of the capitalist market economy. It had a nature of duality beginning from its birth: the justificativeness of providing theoretical pillars for the capitalist market economy system and the scientificity of revealing the internal relations and operating rules of the capitalist market economy. The paper aims to discuss this issue.

Design/methodology/approach

However, after the 1830s, this justificativeness gradually evolved into vulgarity. Since the 1930s, modern western mainstream economics has mainly explored the general market economy on the assumption that the capitalist system remains unchanged, and many outcomes of such research are positive and beneficial.

Findings

Political economy of socialism with Chinese characteristics, at the present stage, is mainly a Chinese socialist market economics. It is guided by the Marxist political economy and rooted in the great practice of China’s reform and opening up and socialist modernization.

Originality/value

According to political complexion, western economic theories can be divided into political economic theory, mainstream economic theory and basic economic theory. By subjecting these theories to what we term “elimination,” “transformation” and “transplantation” surgeries, respectively, we can absorb and accommodate their beneficial elements in building a political economy of socialism with Chinese characteristics, which in turn is conducive to the development and prosperity of such an economy.

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China Political Economy, vol. 2 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2516-1652

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Book part
Publication date: 27 September 2014

John P. Anderson

Post-Enlightenment liberalism faces a paradox: The liberal principle of legitimacy demands states justify their constitutional order in terms citizens can accept, but…

Abstract

Post-Enlightenment liberalism faces a paradox: The liberal principle of legitimacy demands states justify their constitutional order in terms citizens can accept, but there is no uncontroversial comprehensive conception of justice on which to form the requisite consensus. Rawls resolves the paradox by embracing a pragmatism that abandons the concept of truth in the political forum to secure consensus and legitimacy. Philosophers have challenged the idea of justice without truth as incoherent, and social critics have attacked it as naïve. This chapter defends Rawls’s pragmatism against such critics and argues that the future of liberal constitutionalism may depend on its success.

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Special Issue: Law and the Liberal State
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-238-8

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Book part
Publication date: 20 May 2011

Harry F. Dahms

In recent years, the concept of “reification” has virtually disappeared from debates in social theory, including critical social theory. The concept was at the center of…

Abstract

In recent years, the concept of “reification” has virtually disappeared from debates in social theory, including critical social theory. The concept was at the center of the revitalization of Marxist theory in the early twentieth century generally known as Western Marxism. Georg Lukács in particular introduced the concept to express how the process described in Marx's critique of alienation and commodification could be grasped more effectively by combining it with Max Weber's theory of rationalization (see Agger, 1979; Stedman Jones et al., 1977).1 In Lukács's use, the concept of reification captured the process by which advanced capitalist production, as opposed to earlier stages of capitalist development, assimilated processes of social, cultural, and political production and reproduction to the dynamic imperatives and logic of capitalist accumulation. It is not just interpersonal relations and forms of organization constituting the capitalist production process that are being refashioned along the lines of one specific definition of economic necessity. In addition, and more consequentially, the capitalist mode of production also assimilates to its specific requirements the ways in which human beings think the world. As a result, the continuous expansion and perfection of capitalist production and its control over the work environment impoverishes concrete social, political, and cultural forms of coexistence and cooperation, and it brings about an impoverishment of our ability to conceive of reality from a variety of social, political, and philosophical viewpoints.

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The Vitality Of Critical Theory
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-798-8

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