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Book part
Publication date: 10 June 2009

Andrea Maneschi

The authors of this book (hereafter BLS) reject the notion that the term “capitalism” denotes a unique type of economic system and distinguish instead among four forms it…

Abstract

The authors of this book (hereafter BLS) reject the notion that the term “capitalism” denotes a unique type of economic system and distinguish instead among four forms it can take: state-guided capitalism, oligarchic capitalism, big-firm capitalism, and entrepreneurial capitalism. As suggested by the terms “good capitalism, bad capitalism” in the title, they examine both the positive and the normative implications of each type of capitalism and how consistent each type has been, in the various economies that adopted it, with the overall objective of promoting growth and prosperity. This book is thus about economic systems, the principles on which they are built, and economic growth. There are occasional references to authors of the classical, neoclassical, and Keynesian eras such as Richard Cantillon, John M. Keynes, T. Robert Malthus, David Ricardo, Jean-Baptiste Say, Joseph Schumpeter, Adam Smith, and Max Weber. Some of these are accompanied by brief quotations, but (as is to be expected from the very different interests of the authors of this book) no textual analysis of them or speculations about their influence on the history of economic thought. Given the authors’ emphasis on the effects of capitalism on economic growth, they also briefly discuss early theorists of economic growth such as Roy Harrod, Evsey Domar, Nicholas Kaldor, Robert Solow, and Trevor Swan and – in much greater detail – the theoretical, empirical, and historical work on growth theory that followed them, up to and including the “new growth theory” of Arrow, Romer, Lucas, and others. Chapters 2 and 3, titled “Why economic growth matters” and “What drives economic growth?,” introduce the general reader to the importance of economic growth to both developed and developing economies and the essentials of modern growth theory. While these are valuable supplements to the book for readers not familiar with them, these chapters are not discussed here since their main features are found in textbooks on economic development, macroeconomics, and growth theory.

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A Research Annual
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84855-656-0

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Article
Publication date: 30 June 2021

Michel Dion

The purpose of this paper is to examine how much the basic tenets of conscious capitalism could favor organizational change and anticorruption strategies.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine how much the basic tenets of conscious capitalism could favor organizational change and anticorruption strategies.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper questions the vagueness of the tenets and principles of conscious capitalism. It unveils the idealized worldview of conscious capitalism, as it is based on a “pseudo-humanistic and pseudo-holistic” philosophy. The paper analyzes various kinds of rationale for justifying anticorruption measures and explains how the conscious capitalism movement should assume the challenge to develop one or the other rationale.

Findings

The conscious capitalism movement does not have basic rationale for any self-justified discourse about anticorruption measures. The principles of conscious capitalism organizations can be coherent with a rationale of individual and organizational compliance. They could be suitable with a rationale of legal, industry and international compliance. We could expect that the principles of conscious capitalism allow radical changes in the organizational culture. However, the main principles of conscious capitalism are not explicitly related to any rationale for a corporate self-justified discourse about anticorruption measures.

Research limitations/implications

The three kinds of rationale for corporate self-justified discourse about anticorruption measures are not exhaustive. There can be other kinds of corporate rationale. Moreover, the conscious capitalism movement appeared in 2000s and is still evolving. So, we should never take for granted that the present ideals and principles of conscious capitalism will never be improved and deepened.

Originality/value

The paper explains how the conscious capitalism movement remains unable to present its rationale for justifying anticorruption measures. In doing so, it provides three kinds of rationale that conscious capitalism organizations could use to develop their corporate self-justified discourse about anticorruption policies, measures and programs.

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Journal of Financial Crime, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-0790

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Book part
Publication date: 20 May 2011

Harry F. Dahms

Despite profound differences, both the German Historical School and the critical theory of the Frankfurt School have in common a theoretical and cultural heritage in…

Abstract

Despite profound differences, both the German Historical School and the critical theory of the Frankfurt School have in common a theoretical and cultural heritage in Central European traditions of social thought and philosophy. Although both schools often are perceived as quintessentially German traditions of economic and social research, their methodological presuppositions and critical intent diverge strongly. Since the objective of the Frankfurt School was to carry the theoretical critique initiated by Marx into the twentieth century, and since its members did so on a highly abstract level of theoretical criticism, the suggestion may be surprising that in terms of their respective research agendas, there was a common denominator between the German Historical School and the Frankfurt School critical theory. To be sure, as will become apparent, the common ground was rather tenuous and indirect. We must ask, then: in what respects did their theoretical and analytical foundations and orientations overlap? How did the German Historical School, as a nineteenth-century tradition of economic thinking, influence the development of the Frankfurt School?

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

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Book part
Publication date: 23 August 2012

Fred Block

This article argues that social scientists should reconsider the analytic value of the term “capitalism.” The paper argues that the two most coherent definitions of…

Abstract

This article argues that social scientists should reconsider the analytic value of the term “capitalism.” The paper argues that the two most coherent definitions of capitalism are those derived from classical Marxism and from the World System theory of Immanuel Wallerstein. Marx and Engels’ formulation was basically a genetic theory in which the structure of a mode of production is determined by the mode of surplus extraction. During the course of the 20th century, however, Marxist theorists had to modify this framework and the result has been an uncomfortable hybrid. Wallerstein resolved these tensions by redefining capitalism in terms of the logic of a world system. However, his argument has difficulty in explaining the consequential variations over time in the specific rules and institutional structures that operate at the global level. The article goes on to argue in favor of Karl Polanyi's concept of market society because it focuses attention on the political governance of market societies at both the national and the global levels.

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Political Power and Social Theory
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-867-0

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Book part
Publication date: 7 November 2011

Seongjin Jeong

This chapter attempts an evaluation of Lenin's economic thought from a Marxian standpoint. This chapter argues that Lenin's reading of Marx's Capital in Development of…

Abstract

This chapter attempts an evaluation of Lenin's economic thought from a Marxian standpoint. This chapter argues that Lenin's reading of Marx's Capital in Development of Capitalism in Russia (1899) was biased toward Ricardian or logic-historical interpretation of value, disproportionality theory of crisis as well as economic determinism, characteristic of the Second International Marxism. While admitting that Lenin overcame economic determinism and reformist politics of the Second International Marxism in his Imperialism (1917), this chapter shows that some essential elements, such as thesis of progressiveness of capitalism, stagiest or typologist conceptions of capitalism, still persisted within and after Imperialism. Moreover, this chapter argues that Lenin's Imperialism cannot be considered as a successful concretization of three latter parts of Marx's plan of critique of political economy in Grundrisse (1857), that is, State (Part 4), Foreign Trade (Part 5), and World Market Crisis (Part 6). This chapter also argues that the ambivalence of Lenin's economic thoughts and incomplete break with the Second International Marxism unexpectedly led to Stalinist thesis of state monopoly capitalism, market socialist ideas, and reformist conception of “varieties of capitalisms.”

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Revitalizing Marxist Theory for Today's Capitalism
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-255-5

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Book part
Publication date: 6 November 2015

Moishe Postone

To demonstrate that, at its core, Marx’s critical theory is not a critique of a mode of class exploitation that distorts modernity, undertaken from a standpoint that…

Abstract

Purpose

To demonstrate that, at its core, Marx’s critical theory is not a critique of a mode of class exploitation that distorts modernity, undertaken from a standpoint that affirms labor, but rather one that uncovers and analyzes a unique form of social mediation and domination that structures modernity itself as a historically specific form of social life.

Methodology/approach

Critical reconstruction, interpretation, and application of Marx’s critique of political economy as developed in the Grundrisse and Capital, to the massive global transformations of the past four decades.

Findings

Marx’s critical analysis is well-suited to function as the foundation for a theory that systematically illuminates modern society in the 21st century. It is more conducive to grasping the contemporary world than traditional Marxism or most versions of post-Marxism.

Originality/value

The historical transformations of the past century suggest the central significance of a critique of capitalism for an adequate critical theory today. Such a critique must be capable of grasping the core of a social formation that is generative of a peculiar dynamic of identity and non-identity, of pointing beyond itself while reasserting itself. It indicates that the realization of the possibility of the abolition of proletarian labor is a necessary response to a deep structural crisis of capitalism.

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Globalization, Critique and Social Theory: Diagnoses and Challenges
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-247-4

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Book part
Publication date: 1 October 2008

J. Kenneth Benson and Byung-Soo Kim

New institutionalisms in economic and organizational sociology need grounding in theories of capitalism. Comparative studies show that multiple, viable forms of capitalism

Abstract

New institutionalisms in economic and organizational sociology need grounding in theories of capitalism. Comparative studies show that multiple, viable forms of capitalism have been constructed through the interplay of institutions, mobilizations of political power, and state policies. Further theoretical development requires attention to the contradictions of capitalism. Promising theoretical sources for this task are examined. The political process produces new forms of capitalist institutions, but contradictions built into those institutions cannot be fully resolved and provide the basis for new acts of social construction and power mobilization. The power and cultural arguments of the comparative institutionalists are joined, at least in aspiration, to theories of capitalist contradictions.

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Politics and Public Policy
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84855-178-7

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Book part
Publication date: 11 May 2007

Christopher A. McNally

There is little doubt that in terms of speed and scale, China's economic transformation is without parallel in the past. Never has the world seen a major economic power…

Abstract

There is little doubt that in terms of speed and scale, China's economic transformation is without parallel in the past. Never has the world seen a major economic power emerge in such a short time span and attain such a weight in the total world economy. Intriguingly, few social scientific analyses have explicitly interpreted the massive socio-economic changes taking place within China as associated with the emergence of a capitalist political economy.

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Capitalisms Compared
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-414-0

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Book part
Publication date: 2 December 2013

Milan Zafirovski

To reexamine the Weber Thesis pertaining to the relationship between ascetic Protestantism – especially Calvinism – and modern capitalism, as between an economic “spirit”…

Abstract

Purpose

To reexamine the Weber Thesis pertaining to the relationship between ascetic Protestantism – especially Calvinism – and modern capitalism, as between an economic “spirit” and an economic “structure,” in which the first is assumed to be the explanatory factor and the second the dependent variable.

Design/methodology/approach

The chapter provides an attempt to combine theoretical-empirical and comparative-historical approaches to integrate theory with evidence supplied by societal comparisons and historically specific cases.

Findings

The chapter identifies the general sociological core of the Weber Thesis as a classic endeavor in economic sociology (and thus substantive sociological theory) and separates it from its particular historical dimension in the form of an empirical generalization from history. I argue that such a distinction helps to better understand the puzzling double “fate” of the Weber Thesis in social science, its status of a model in economic sociology and substantive sociological theory, on the one hand, and its frequent rejection in history and historical economics, on the other. The sociological core of the Thesis, postulating that religion, ideology, and culture generally deeply impact economy, has proved to be more valid, enduring, and even paradigmatic, as in economic sociology, than its historical component establishing a special causal linkage between Calvinism and other types of ascetic Protestantism and the “spirit” and “structure” of modern capitalism in Western society at a specific point in history.

Research limitations/implications

In addition to the two cases deviating from the Weber Thesis considered here, it is necessary to investigate and identify the validity of the Thesis with regard to concrete historical and empirical instances.

Originality/value

The chapter provides the first effort to systematically analyze and distinguish between the sociological core and the historical components of the Weber Thesis as distinct yet intertwined components.

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Social Theories of History and Histories of Social Theory
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-219-6

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Book part
Publication date: 1 June 2011

D.W. MacKenzie

In the original history of the socialist calculation debate (e.g., Bergson, 1948), Oscar Lange proved that bureaucrats can find the equivalent of equilibrium prices…

Abstract

In the original history of the socialist calculation debate (e.g., Bergson, 1948), Oscar Lange proved that bureaucrats can find the equivalent of equilibrium prices through trial and error. In the revised history of this debate (e.g., Caldwell, 1997; Lavoie, 1985), Lange proposed an erroneous solution to the calculation problem. Dynamic entrepreneurial rivalry moves prices toward equilibrium. Lange and other “Market Socialists” allies thought only in terms of a static competitive market equilibrium that excludes the role entrepreneurs play in adjusting prices.

Details

Research in the History of Economic Thought and Methodology
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-006-3

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