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Look Inside Capitalist Collective Action

Capitalist Collective Action
Competition, Cooperation and Conflict in the Coal Industry


Part of Studies in Marxism and Social Theory

  • Date Published: November 2006
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521028820

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About the Authors
  • This 1989 volume presents a theory of capitalist collective action and a case study of the pre-World War II American coal industry to which the theory is applied. The author examines the irony of capitalist firms that do not want to compete with each other, but often cannot avoid doing so. He then explains under what conditions businesses would be able to organize their competition and identifies the economic and political factors that facilitate or inhibit this organization. The case study not only illustrates the theory, but demonstrates how the competitive relations of capitalist firms are critically important determinants of their political behavior. The author argues that the traditional Marxist concern with conflict between workers and capitalists should be supplemented with a concern for the competitive conflicts among capitalists.

    Reviews & endorsements

    'John Bowman's Capitalist Collective Action is an extraordinary piece of work that is sure to become the centerpiece in the ongoing discussion of the politics of industrial states. The distinguishing feature of the book is Bowman's hard-nosed and articulate theoretical approach to a major empirical problem.' Russell Hardin, University of Chicago

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2006
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521028820
    • length: 272 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.413kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part 1:
    1. Economic competition and market organization: the logic of capitalist collective action
    2. Forms of capitalist collective action
    Part II:
    3. Price and wage games in the bituminous coal industry
    4. Workers organize capitalists: collective bargaining and market organization, 1880–1914
    5. The coal industry on the defensive, 1916–22
    6. Labor-capital conflict and the disorganization of the coal market, 1921–8
    7. From free competition to state intervention
    Part III:
    8. Capitalists, workers, and the state

  • Author

    John R. Bowman, Queens College, City University of New York

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