Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

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

$41.95 (P)

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
View all contributors
  • Date Published: January 2010
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521735803

$ 41.95 (P)

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Hardback, eBook

Looking for an examination copy?

If you are interested in the title for your course we can consider offering an examination copy. To register your interest please contact providing details of the course you are teaching.

Product filter button
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
    Read more

    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

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2010
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521735803
    • length: 376 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 21 mm
    • weight: 0.55kg
    • contains: 27 b/w illus. 17 tables
    • availability: Available
  • 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.

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Class, Status, and Power
    • Comparative Global Economic Models
    • Economics & Everyday LIfe: Introduction to POlitical Economy
    • Governments and Economics
    • Industrial and Post-Industrial Society
    • Intermediate Political Economy
    • The U.S. Economy: A Critical analysis
  • Editors

    Terrence McDonough, National University of Ireland, Galway
    Terrence McDonough is Professor of Economics at the School of Business and Economics, the National University of Ireland, Galway. He has also held teaching positions at Cornell University, Canisius College, Buffalo, and Dublin City University. Professor McDonough has authored articles in the areas of globalization, political economy, American and Irish economic history, public policy, the history of economic thought, and the philosophy of economics. He is the author, co-author, or co-editor of Was Ireland a Colony? Economics, Politics, Ideology and Culture in the Irish Nineteenth Century (2005), Mind Your Own Business: Economics at Work (with David Jacobson and Keith Warnock, 2001), Uninhabited Ireland: Tara, the M3, and Public Spaces in Galway (with Lionel Pilkington and Aine Ni Leime, 2009), and Social Structures of Accumulation: The Political Economy of Growth and Crisis (with Michael Reich and David M. Kotz, Cambridge University Press, 1994). His current research interests include globalization, American and Irish economic history, and political economy.

    Michael Reich, University of California, Berkeley
    Michael Reich is Professor of Economics and Director of the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment at the University of California, Berkeley. He also co-chairs the Miguel Contreras Program in Labor Studies in the Office of the President of the University of California. Professor Reich has published numerous articles on labor market segmentation, racial inequality, the political economy of institutions in economic booms and crises, high-performance workplaces, living wages, and minimum wages. He is the author, co-author, editor, or co-editor of thirteen titles in labor, industrial relations, and economic studies, including Racial Inequality: A Political-Economic Analysis (1981), Segmented Work, Divided Workers: The Historical Transformation of Labor in the United States (1982), The Capitalist System (1986), the aforementioned Social Structures of Accumulation (1994), Work and Pay in the United States and Japan (1997), the two-volume Labor Market Segmentation and Labor Mobility (2008), and Labor in the Era of Globalization (Cambridge University Press, 2009).

    David M. Kotz, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
    David M. Kotz is Professor of Economics at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where he has been on the faculty since 1978. He previously taught at the American University in Washington, DC. Professor Kotz's previous books include Russia's Path from Gorbachev to Putin (with Fred Weir, 2007), Revolution from Above: The Demise of the Soviet System (with Fred Weir, 1997), Bank Control of Large Corporations in the USA (1978), and the aforementioned title Social Structures of Accumulation: The Political Economy of Growth and Crisis (with Terrence McDonough and Michael Reich, 1994). He has also published in journals such as the Review of Radical Political Economics, the Monthly Review, and Science and Society. Professor Kotz is Vice President of the World Association for Political Economy, and his research interests include macroeconomics, institutional change in capitalist economies, and the economies of Russia and China.


    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

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account


Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.