On Capitalism

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2007-07-12
  • Publisher: Stanford Univ Pr
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Capitalism dominates economies all over the world and is a key force in the process of globalization. What makes it such a uniquely dynamic social and economic force, however, is open to debate. The essays in this book take up this issue, offering theories on both what encourages and what blocks capitalism. InOn Capitalismleading economists, sociologists, and political scientists develop ideas and insights into the dynamic of capitalism as a global economic order. Unlike studies that focus only on localized descriptions of what has made capitalism function in a specific place, these essays examine the general mechanisms that account for dynamic or rational capitalism. As each chapter shows, the mechanisms motivating and facilitating today's global capitalism are not rooted in the materialist domain of incremental capital accumulation, but in the realm of ideas and institutional structures. Taken as a whole, these essays offer a rich account of the interconnectedness of the economic, political, and religious institutions of modern capitalism.

Author Biography

Victor Nee is Goldwin Smith Professor of Sociology and Director of the Center for the Study of Economy and Society at Cornell University. Richard Swedberg is Professor of Sociology at Cornell University.

Table of Contents

List of Tablesp. vii
List of Figuresp. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Contributorsp. xiii
Introductionp. 1
The Dynamics and Contradictions of Capitalism
The Systemic Anticulture of Capitalismp. 21
Tocqueville and the Spirit of American Capitalismp. 42
Income Inequality and the Protestant Ethicp. 71
Politics, Legal-Rational Institutions, and Corruption
On Politicized Capitalismp. 93
Law, Economy, and Globalization: Max Weber and How International Financial Institutions Understand Lawp. 128
The Social Construction of Corruptionp. 152
The Role of Spiritual Capital in Economic Behaviorp. 175
Political Economy and Religion in the Spirit of Max Weberp. 190
Beyond Weberp. 220
Methodological and Conceptual Issues
The Collective Dynamics of Beliefp. 241
Analytical Individualism and the Explanation of Macrosocial Changep. 273
Bootstrapping Development: Rethinking the Role of Public Intervention in Promoting Growthp. 305
Indexp. 343
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