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  • Edition: 2nd
  • Format: Nonspecific Binding
  • Copyright: 2012-04-05
  • Publisher: Routledge

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Capitalism stands unrivalled as the most enduring economic system of our-times. Since the collapse of the Soviet bloc the world has become a new stage for capitalism, and yet despite this dominance, it is still not widely understood. It remains a subject of enduring interest that is discovered and rediscovered over time by each successive generation of students.

Author Biography

Paul Bowles is Professor of Economics and International Studies at the University of Northern British Columbia. He has published on the history of ideas, on contemporary globalisation, and on China. He draws on all three of these areas in this book to analyses capitalism as an historical process and as a site of contemporary contestation.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgementsp. xi
Chronologyp. xiii
Who's whop. xv
Glossaryp. xviii
Analysis and Assessmentp. 1
How to Think About Capitalismp. 3
Introductionp. 3
Outline of the bookp. 6
The capitalist system: a simple definition and some not-so-simple issues arising from itp. 8
Identifying changes in the capitalist system over timep. 12
Capitalism as a System: 'Natural' and 'Free'p. 17
Introductionp. 17
Adam Smith: markets are natural for humans...but not for dogsp. 18
Milton Friedman on markets, freedom and Alka Seltzerp. 20
More from Adam Smith: markets feed us because of self-interestp. 21
Is private property 'natural' as well?p. 23
The State as impartial rule enforcerp. 24
Some states are better rule enforcers than others - and so sometimes capitalism failsp. 25
Capitalism is also the most economically productive systemp. 25
Capitalism - the most economically productive system and therefore the 'end of history'p. 27
Does capitalism lead to democracy?p. 30
Capitalism as equal and justp. 34
Capitalism as a friend of the environmentp. 35
Capitalism as a System: 'Unjust and 'Unstable'p. 38
Introductionp. 38
Unjust and unstable: Keynes and reformist criticsp. 38
Unjust and unstable: Marx and radical criticsp. 42
The importance of labour - or why workers are alienated but apes aren'tp. 45
Capitalism's contradiction: poverty amidst plentyp. 47
Capitalism and crisesp. 49
Capitalism as anti-Naturep. 49
Capitalism and gender inequalityp. 51
The capitalist state: to be captured or replaced?p. 54
The capitalist state and education: enforcing the rules of American football or those of the treadmill?p. 57
Empire and Crises 1870-1945p. 59
Capitalism unfoldsp. 59
The curse of capitalism: late nineteenth-century crisesp. 60
Overseas expansion as the response to crisesp. 60
The curse of capitalism: The Great Depression of the 1930sp. 65
The human cost: riding the rails, searching for work and the crime of vagrancyp. 66
National responses to the Depression: Swedish social democracy, the 'New Deal' in the US and the spread of fascism in Europep. 67
Post-1945 Capitalism: Variations Across Countriesp. 71
National capitalismsp. 71
How capitalisms differ: state-capital-labour relationsp. 73
The Anglo-American model: decentralized wage bargaining and stock marketsp. 75
The northern European or corporatist model: consensus decision-making and a large welfare statep. 76
Japanese (or East Asian) developmental capitalism: guiding the market and controlling labourp. 77
National varieties of capitalism as rivalsp. 79
Varieties of capitalism: a matter of choice or history?p. 80
Varieties of capitalism: Asia, China, Russia and Latin Americap. 82
Post-1945 Capitalism: Variations Over Timep. 86
Introductionp. 86
1945-70: the 'golden age'... hot economies, warm capital-labour relations, and the Cold Warp. 87
The 'golden age' in the South: postcolonial capitalist states seek modernity and industrializationp. 90
The 1970s: oil shocks the system...and Keynesian policy responsesp. 92
A new international division of labour: the lure of cheap labour in the Southp. 93
The 1980s and 1990s: the rise of neoliberalism...capital strikes backp. 93
Neoliberalism in the South: open those doors, be 'market friendly'!p. 100
Global turbulence: financial crises in the 1990sp. 102
'Crony capitalism' blamed for the Asian crisesp. 103
Lessons not learned: The Global Financial Crisis of 2008p. 104
Global Capitalismp. 106
All the world's a stage...p. 106
Are nation states still important actors?p. 108
The 'globalization weakness the nation state' viewp. 108
The 'globaloney' or 'states are still powerful' viewp. 114
The 'some states are still powerful' or 'new imperialism' viewp. 115
The 'regionalism is more important' viewp. 117
As the curtain falls: what drama is unfolding on the capitalist world stage?p. 119
Documentsp. 121
Adam Smith and the invisible handp. 122
Friedman on economic freedom and political freedomp. 122
Marx and Engels on capitalism and class conflictp. 126
Capitalism and class conflict in China todayp. 128
Keynes on Casino capitalismp. 131
The formation of the Bretton Woods institutionsp. 135
The Washington Concensusp. 137
Wolf's cry for more globalization not lessp. 138
World Social Forum Charter of Principlesp. 139
Guide to Further Readingp. 142
Referencesp. 149
Indexp. 157
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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