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Contemporary Capitalism and Its Crises


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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.

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This volume analyses contemporary capitalism and its crises based on a theory of capitalist evolution known as the SSA theory.

About the Author

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 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 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.


'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

'… an excellently written exposition of the current state of one of the major currents of contemporary radical political economy. Additionally, it offers intuitive analyses of many aspects of contemporary capitalist reality. As such it is necessary reading for all those interested in these crucial issues.' Stavros D. Mavroudeas, Science and Society

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