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Capitalism in Transformation

Movements and Countermovements in the 21st Century Edited by Roland Atzmüller, Brigitte Aulenbacher, Johannes Kepler University, Ulrich Brand, University of Vienna, Fabienne Décieux, Karin Fischer, Johannes Kepler University and Birgit Sauer, University of Vienna, Austria
Presenting a profound and far-reaching analysis of economic, ecological, social, cultural and political developments of contemporary capitalism, this book draws on the work of Karl Polanyi, and re-reads it for our times. The renowned authors offer key insights to current changes in the relations between the economy, politics and society, and their ecological and social effects.
Extent: c 352 pp
Hardback Price: $155.00 Web: $139.50
Publication Date: November 2019
ISBN: 978 1 78897 423 3
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  • Economics and Finance
  • Political Economy
  • Politics and Public Policy
  • Political Economy
  • Social Policy and Sociology
  • Sociology and Sociological Theory
Presenting a profound and far-reaching analysis of economic, ecological, social, cultural and political developments of contemporary capitalism, this book draws on the work of Karl Polanyi, and re-reads it for our times. The renowned authors offer key insights to current changes in the relations between the economy, politics and society, and their ecological and social effects. They explore the commodification of land, labour, money, care and knowledge, and analyse labour and social movements, right-wing populism and religious fundamentalism. Bringing together insights from different parts of the world and from historical, theoretical and empirical research, the book sheds light on important facets of the crisis-driven transformation of contemporary capitalism.

Social and political science scholars will greatly benefit from this timely analysis of contemporary capitalism. Those researching economic history and the impact of Polanyi’s work on the analysis of the modern society will also find this a useful read.
‘The book provides new historical and theoretical reflections on the work of Karl Polanyi and its relevance to today’s movements and countermovements, including new fictitious commodities, such as knowledge and care, the rise of the populist right throughout the world and the transformation of labour markets.’
– Marguerite Mendell, Concordia University, Canada

‘What connects climate ecocide, soy expansion in Latin America, digital Taylorism, the commodification of care, and the rise of “völkisch populism”? They’re among the morbid symptoms of contemporary capitalism that are diagnosed in this important book.’
– Gareth Dale, author of Karl Polanyi, A Life on the Left and Reconstructing Karl Polanyi: Excavation and Critique

‘Capitalism in Transformation is a work of cutting edge political economy that addresses, through the lens of Karl Polanyi, the fundamental issues of our times – the financial crises, austerity, climate catastrophe, social and gender inequality, and the pressing crisis of democracy. In a single provocative and essential volume, this collection reveals the analytic exhaustion of mainstream economics, and demonstrates why Karl Polanyi has become the indispensable theorist of our times.’
– Margaret R. Somers and Fred Block, authors of The Power of Market Fundamentalism: Karl Polanyi's Critique
Contributors include: R. Atzmüller, B. Aulenbacher, R. Bärnthaler, K. Becker, D. Bohle, U. Brand, M. Brie, A. Buğra, M. Cangiani, F. Décieux, C. Deutschmann, K. Dörre, K. Fischer, C. Görg, B. Greskovits, B. Jessop, E. Langthaler, M. Leiblfinger, M. Markantonatou, A. Novy, A. Palumbo, K. Polanyi-Levitt, V. Satgar, B. Sauer, A. Scott, B.Silver, B. Stadelmann, C. Thomasberger, H.-J. Urban, B. Weicht, M. Williams, M. Wissen


Contents:

Polanyian perspectives on the movements and countermovements of “our time”: an introduction
Roland Atzmüller, Brigitte Aulenbacher, Ulrich Brand, Fabienne Décieux, Karin Fischer, Birgit Sauer

PART I: Historical and theoretical reflections: Karl Polanyi, capitalism and society
1. A life-long search for freedom. From Budapest to America: a journey through Karl Polanyi’s life
Kari Polanyi-Levitt interviewed by Michael Brie and Claus Thomasberger

2. “Plunges into utter destruction” and the limits of historical capitalism
Beverly J. Silver

3. Crises and transformations: suggestions from Karl Polanyi’s works
Michele Cangiani

4. Karl Polanyi as a theorist of disembedded markets
Christoph Deutschmann

5. A Polanyian paradox: money and credit as fictitious commodities, financialization, finance-dominated accumulation, and financial crises
Bob Jessop

PART II: Contemporary developments of society and capitalism in Europe and beyond
6. Polanyian perspectives on capitalisms after socialism
Dorothee Bohle and Béla Greskovits

7. Economy-society tensions in the Eurozone: the “anti-democratic virus” revived
Maria Markantonatou

8. Political Islam as reactionary countermovement
Ayşe Buğra

9. “Freedom’s utter frustration ...”
Neoliberal social-policy reforms and the shift to the far-right through Polanyi’s theory of fascism
Roland Atzmüller, Fabienne Décieux

10. Völkisch populism: a Polanyian-type movement?
Karina Becker, Klaus Dörre

11. Cultural war 2.0? The relevance of gender in the radical populist-nationalist right
Birgit Sauer

PART III: “Fictitious commodities” and the challenges of ‘our time’
12. Contested social-ecological transformation: shortcomings of current debates and Polanyian perspectives
Ulrich Brand, Christoph Görg, Markus Wissen

13. Polanyi, nature and the international: the missing dimension of imperial ecocide
Vishwas Satgar, Michelle Williams

14. Soy expansion and countermovements in the Global South: a Polanyian perspective
Karin Fischer, Ernst Langthaler

15. Navigating between improvement and habitation: countermovements in housing and urban infrastructure in Vienna
Andreas Novy, Richard Bärnthaler, Basil Stadelmann

16. The “fictitious commodity” care and the reciprocity of caring: a Polanyian and neo-institutionalist perspective on the brokering of 24-hour care
Brigitte Aulenbacher, Michael Leiblfinger

17. The commodification of informal care: joining and resisting marketization processes
Bernhard Weicht

18. Polanyi’s double movement and the making of the “knowledge economy”
Antonino Palumbo, Alan Scott

19. Polanyi and the digital transformation of labour: on fictitious commodities and real conflicts
Hans-Jürgen Urban

Index