Economy and SocietySelected Writings
Economy and Society
Selected Writings

Few figures are more crucial to understanding the upheavals of our contemporary era than Karl Polanyi. In a world riven by social and economic crises, from rising inequality to the decay of democratic institutions and profound technological disruption, Polanyi's path-breaking account of the dynamics of market capitalism and his defence of society and nature against the dangerous tendencies of the market capitalist system are more relevant than ever.

This book brings together Polanyi's most important articles and essays to give a unique selection of his essential shorter writings, mixing classic texts with significant but previously little-known pieces. It highlights the coherence and richness of Polanyi's theoretical and political approach, making it indispensable for understanding his overarching intellectual contribution. The volume includes his interwar writings, which deal with the world economic crisis and the socialist alternative to conservative and fascist developments; his reflection on political theory and the international situation after the war; and his comparative studies of economic institutions. Polanyi's political writings are complemented and supported by the critique of economic determinism and what he termed 'our obsolete market mentality'.

This book is an invaluable companion to Polanyi's masterpiece, <i>The Great Transformation</i>, and an essential resource for students and scholars of political economy, sociology, history and political philosophy.

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  • May 2018 (hb)
    July 2018 (pb)
  • 280 pages
  • 152 x 229 mm / 6 x 9 in
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  • 9781509523306
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Table of Contents

Introduction by Michele Cangiani and Claus Thomasberger

I Red Vienna

1. On Freedom

2. Some Reflections Concerning Our Theory and Practice

3. The Functionalist Theory of Society and the Problem of Socialist Economic Calculability

II The World Economic Crisis and the Rise of Fascism

4. Economy and Democracy

5. The Mechanism of the World Economic Crisis

6. The Essence of Fascism

7. The Fascist Virus

III On Marx and the Christian Roots of Western Civilization

8. Fascism and Marxism

8.1 Fascism and Marxian Terminology

8.2 Marxism Re-Stated

9. Marx on Corporativism

10. Community and Society. The Christian Criticism of our Social Order

11. Christianity and Economic Life

IV The Great Transformation, Political Philosophy and Democracy

12. Jean-Jacques Rousseau, or Is a Free Society Possible?

13. Common Man’s Masterplan

14. The Meaning of Parliamentary Democracy

15. Our Obsolete Market Mentality

V Alignments on the International Stage

16. Why Make Russia Run Amok?

17. British Labour and American New Dealers

18. Universal Capitalism or Regional Planning?

VI Toward a Comparative Study of Economic Institutions

19. On Belief in Economic Determinism

20. The Livelihood of Man, Introduction

21. The Economistic Fallacy

22. The Two Meanings of Economic

23. The Economy Embedded in Society


24. Hamlet

About the Author
Karl Polanyi (1886-1964) was one of the most influential political economists of recent times. His book The Great Transformation is generally acclaimed as being among the most important works of economic history in the twentieth century.

Claus Thomasberger is Professor at the University of Applied Science Berlin.

Michele Cangiani is Professor at the Ca' Foscari University of Venice.
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'Karl Polanyi is a titan among modern social theorists. He is always worth rereading. He forces us to think.'
Immanuel Wallerstein, Yale University

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