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Contemporary Capitalism and its Crises
Social Structure of Accumulation Theory for the 21st Century


Terrence McDonough, Michael Reich, David M. Kotz, Victor Lippit, Martin H. Wolfson, Michael Wallace, David Brady, William Tabb, Emlyn Nardone, Samuel Rosenberg, Robert Boyer, Susan M. Carlson, Michael D. Gillespie, Raymond J. Michalowski, James Heintz, Carlos Salas, Karen Pfeifer
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  • Date Published: January 2010
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521735803


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About the Authors
  • This volume analyses contemporary capitalism and its crises based on a theory of capitalist evolution known as the social structure of accumulation (SSA) theory. It applies this theory to explain the severe financial and economic crisis that broke out in 2008 and the kind of changes required to resolve it. The editors and contributors make available new work within this school of thought on such issues as the rise and persistence of the “neoliberal,” or “free-market,” form of capitalism since 1980 and the growing globalization and financialization of the world economy. The collection includes analyses of the U.S. economy as well as that of several parts of the developing world.

    • Widely accessible to an audience interested in contemporary capitalism and the current financial and economic crisis
    • Offers an alternative to highly economic theories that idolize the 'free market', and shows how real world capitalist economies move through phases of expansion and crisis
    • Shows the role of long-lasting economic, political and cultural institutions, not just policy errors, in explaining economic successes and failures
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    Reviews & endorsements

    “The ‘Great Recession’ of 2007–2009 caught most social scientists by surprise because they assumed that modern societies had eliminated deep economic crises. Fortunately, some dissenting scholars have continued to probe the regularities of economic cycles of booms and busts. This volume brings together some of the best of that work at a time when both scholars and policy makers urgently need to revise their core beliefs. It deserves a broad audience.” – Fred Block, University of California at Davis

    “At a time when the specter of irrelevance is haunting conventional macroeconomics, a group of economists who ‘got it right’ long before the current economic debacle explain why history, institutions, and politics all matter in understanding capitalism’s booms and busts.” – Samuel Bowles, Santa Fe Institute

    “There are two crucial questions that confront political economy in the wake of the global economic and financial crisis. Can the current globally integrated neoliberal economic and financial regime survive? If it does not survive, what kind of economic regime is likely to replace it? This book is ideally suited to help the reader think productively about these questions because it effectively explains, evaluates, and updates the most useful framework within which to consider them – social structure of accumulation theory – and uses it to explore possible answers.” – James Crotty, University of Massachussetts, Amherst

    “Social structure of accumulation (SSA) theory provides an essential foundation for understanding the long-term ups and downs of the economy and the crisis that emerged in 2007–2008 in particular. This book provides an essential foundation for understanding SSA theory. Read it and understand! Understand how markets are intertwined with and depend on a complex of social and political institutions, how those institutions provide the basis for periods of economic expansion, and how the breakdown of those institutions leads to economic crisis and change. McDonough, Reich, and Kotz have brought together a set of essays that not only provide this understanding but also develop SSA theory. A most useful book!” – Arthur MacEwan, University of Massachusetts, Boston

    “As the leading governments of the world abandon neoliberalism and grope toward a new way of managing markets, it is time for economists to seriously explore the role of institutions in economic growth and income distribution. This volume provides a valuable update and refinement of the social structures of the accumulation approach to understanding market economies. The historical and conjuctural analysis is first rate. The larger contribution of this volume is how it forcefully pushes macroeconomics back in touch with the real world.” – William Milberg, New School for Social Research

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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2010
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521735803
    • length: 374 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 153 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.498kg
    • contains: 27 b/w illus. 17 tables
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction to the volume Terrence McDonough, Michael Reich and David Kotz
    Part I. The Theory of Social Structures of Accumulation:
    1. The state of the art of social structure of accumulation theory Terrence McDonough
    2. Social structure of accumulation theory Victor Lippit
    3. A reconceptualization of social structure of accumulation theory Martin H. Wolfson and David M. Kotz
    Part II. Globalization and the Contemporary Social Structure of Accumulation:
    4. Global neoliberalism and the contemporary social structure of accumulation David M. Kotz and Terrence McDonough
    5. Globalization of spatialization? The worldwide spatial restructuring of the labor process Michael Wallace and David Brady
    6. Financialization in the contemporary social structure of accumulation William K. Tabb
    7. Global neoliberalism and the possibility of transnational state structures Emlyn Nardone and Terrence McDonough
    Part III. The Contemporary Social Structure of Accumulation in the United States:
    8. Labor in the contemporary social structure of accumulation Sam Rosenberg
    9. The rise of CEO pay and the contemporary social structure of accumulation in the U.S. Robert Boyer
    10. Social structures of accumulation and the criminal justice system Susan M. Carlson, Michael D. Gillespie and Raymond J. Michalowski
    Part IV. Social Structure of Accumulation Theory and Transformations of the Capitalist Periphery:
    11. The social structure of accumulation in South Africa James Heintz
    12. Social structures of accumulation and the condition of the working class in Mexico Carlos Salas
    13. Social structures of accumulation for the Arab world: the economies of Egypt, Jordan and Kuwait in the regional system Karen Pfeifer.

  • Editors

    Terrence McDonough, National University of Ireland, Galway

    Michael Reich, University of California, Berkeley

    David M. Kotz, University of Massachusetts, Amherst


    Terrence McDonough, Michael Reich, David M. Kotz, Victor Lippit, Martin H. Wolfson, Michael Wallace, David Brady, William Tabb, Emlyn Nardone, Samuel Rosenberg, Robert Boyer, Susan M. Carlson, Michael D. Gillespie, Raymond J. Michalowski, James Heintz, Carlos Salas, Karen Pfeifer

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