Here is a (non-exhaustive) collection of articles and books that engage with the idea of ‘capital as power’.

To have your work included, please send it to casp.editorial@gmail.com with ‘Publication’ in the subject.


September 16, 2021

Abstract According to neoclassical economics, the most efficient way to organize human activity is to use the free market. By stoking self interest, the theory claims, individuals can benefit society. This idea, however, conflicts with …

August 17, 2021

Abstract Recent years have seen the convergence of industries that focus on higher protein foods, such as meat processing firms expanding into plant-based substitutes and/or cellular meat production, and fisheries firms expanding into aquaculture. A …

March 29, 2021

Abstract Today, human capital theory dominates the study of personal income. But this has not always been so. In this essay, I chart the rise of human capital theory, and compare it to the rise …

March 24, 2021

Abstract The theory of capital as power (CasP) is radically different from conventional political economy. In the conventional view, mainstream as well as heterodox, capital is seen a ‘real’ economic entity engaged in the production …

February 9, 2021

Abstract This two-part paper details the arguments and evidence that have been marshalled by both climate scientists and social scientists to critique the current procedures and methodologies deployed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change …

February 6, 2021

Abstract Commodity trading firms occupy a central position in global supply chains and their activities have been associated with financial instability, social upheaval and manifold forms of ecological devastation. This paper examines these companies in …

January 30, 2021

Abstract From the 1980s to the present, Hollywood’s major distributors have been able to redistribute U.S. theatrical attendance to the advantage of their biggest blockbusters and franchises. At the global scale and during the same …

January 12, 2021

Abstract The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified longstanding concerns about mounting levels of corporate debt in the United States. This article places the current conjuncture in its historical context, analysing corporate indebtedness against the backdrop of …

January 11, 2021

Abstract Anarchists have generally rejected the idea that there is or ought to be a pure or inherently revolutionary strategy or tactic. In this chapter we make use of the capital-as-power theory of value and …

November 23, 2020

Abstract Capitalismo de deuda es un esfuerzo por descifrar cómo la tecnología de la deuda se ha convertido en uno de los mayores obstáculos para las aspiraciones democráticas y racionales de la sociedad moderna. Richard …

September 16, 2020

Abstract This paper investigates a new approach to understanding personal and functional income distribution. I propose that hierarchical power — the command of subordinates in a hierarchy — is what distinguishes the rich from the …

September 3, 2020

Abstract The paper is dedicated to the problem of flat ontology in philosophy and its relation to the practice in economy. The author argues that flat economy is based on a marginal utility theory of …

June 1, 2020

Abstract According to the theory of capital as power, capitalism, like any other mode of power, is born through sabotage and lives in chains – and yet everywhere we look we see it grow and …

February 10, 2020

Abstract Corporate concentration in the United States has been on the rise in recent years, sparking a heated debate about its causes, consequences, and potential remedies. In this study, we examine a facet of public …

December 11, 2019

Abstract Trump has promised to Make America Great Again. As a self-proclaimed expert on everything of import, he knows exactly how to increase domestic investment and consumption, boost exports, reduce the country’s trade deficit, expand …

December 9, 2019

Abstract This paper explores how the evolution of human sociality can help us understand how we distribute resources. Using ideas from sociobiology, I argue that resource distribution is marked by a tension between two levels …

December 9, 2019

Abstract This article examines the relation between personal income and hierarchical power. In the context of a firm hierarchy, I define hierarchical power as the number of subordinates under an individual’s control. Using the available …

August 2, 2019

Abstract The study of economic growth is central to macroeconomics. More than anything else, macroeconomists are concerned with finding policies that encourage growth. And by ‘growth’, they mean the growth of real GDP. This measure …

August 2, 2019

Abstract The relationship between inequality and financial instability has become a thriving topic of research in heterodox political economy. This article offers the first critical engagement with one framework within this wider literature: the Capital …

June 1, 2019

Abstract Winner of the 2018 RECASP Essay Prize According to Jonathan Nitzan and Shimshon Bichler (2009), capital is not an economic quantity, but a mode of power. Their fundamental thesis could be summarized as follows: …

April 25, 2019

Abstract Where should we look to understand the origin of inequality? I propose an unusual window of evidence — modern societies. I hypothesize that evidence for the origin of inequality is encoded in the institutional …

April 14, 2019

Abstract If you look today at the skyline of downtowns throughout the Middle East and beyond, the joint-stock corporation has transformed the urban landscape. The corporation makes itself present through the proliferation of its urban …

March 16, 2019

Abstract Dematerialization through services is a popular proposal for reducing environmental impact. The idea is that by shifting from the production of goods to the provision of services, a society can reduce its material demands. …

January 4, 2019

Abstract This paper discusses the dimension problem in economic aggregation, as it relates to ecological and biophysical economics. The dimension problem consists of a simple dilemma: when we aggregate, the observer must choose the dimension …

January 4, 2019

Abstract Human capital theory is the dominant approach for understanding personal income distribution. According to this theory, individual income is the result of ‘human capital’. The idea is that human capital makes people more productive, …

December 4, 2018

Abstract This essay interweaves two stories—one theoretical and empirical, the other autobiographical. The first story embeds the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the broader political economy of the Middle East and the global accumulation of “capital as …

September 25, 2018

Abstract As these lines are being written (April 2018), the The U.S. stock market is again in turmoil. After a two-year bull run in which share prices soared by nearly 50 per cent, the market …

September 19, 2018

Abstract Elsewhere I argue that the legal concept of property was created in the image of money in the late Roman Republic. Since then, the division of property and contract has been an underlying structure …

September 19, 2018

Abstract This paper seeks to explain why Hollywood’s dominant firms are narrowing the scope of creativity in the contemporary period (1980–2015). The largest distributors have sought to prevent the art of filmmaking and its related …

August 17, 2018

Abstract What is the unit of analysis in economics? The prevailing orthodoxy in mainstream economic theory is that the individual is the ‘ultimate’ unit of analysis. The implicit goal of mainstream economics is to root …

July 20, 2018

Abstract What explains the power-law distribution of top incomes? This paper tests the hypothesis that it is firm hierarchy that creates the power-law income distribution tail. Using the available case-study evidence on firm hierarchy, I …

April 30, 2018

Abstract Las teorías convencionales del capitalismo están sumidas en una profunda crisis: tras siglos de debates todavía son incapaces de decirnos qué es el capital. Tanto liberales como marxistas se refieren al capital como una …

April 13, 2018

Abstract In their paper ‘The CasP Project: Past, Present and Future’, Shimshon Bichler and Jonathan Nitzan invite readers to engage critically with their theoretical framework, known as capital as power (CasP). This call for further …

April 13, 2018

Abstract The study of capital as power (CasP) began when we were students in the 1980s and has since expanded into a broader project involving a growing number of researchers and new areas of inquiry. …

February 9, 2018

Abstract Globalization and Capitalist Geopolitics is concerned with the growth of transnational corporate power against the backdrop of the decline of the West and the struggle by non-Western states to challenge and overcome domination of …

January 10, 2018

Abstract How might an objective observer conceive of what humans have accomplished as a species over its brief history? Benjamin argues that history can be judged as one giant catastrophe. Liberals suggest that this is …

January 4, 2018

Abstract Background: Big brewers, which have experienced declining sales for their beer brands in the last decade, have been accused of “craftwashing” by some craft brewers and their aficionados—they define craftwashing as big brewers (>6 …

November 20, 2017

Abstract This article is a critical investigation and application of the aesthetic theory of Cornelius Castoriadis, one of the most important 20th-century theorists of radical democracy. We outline Castoriadis’s thoughts on autonomy, the social-historical nature …

October 25, 2017

Abstract Winner of the RRPE Annual Best Paper Award for 2016 This paper aims to transcend current debates on Korea’s post-1997 restructuring, which rely on a dichotomy between domestic industrial capital and foreign financial capital, …

May 25, 2017

Abstract La mayoría de las explicaciones de las alzas y bajas del mercado de valores se basan en la comparación de la lógica “fundamental” subyacente de la economía con los factores exógenos que supuestamente la …

May 2, 2017

Abstract This paper considers the domestic and international ramifications of financialization and grain price instability in the US agri-food sector. It finds that during the recent period of high and volatile prices, the average income …

February 17, 2017

Abstract This article offers a critique of Alexander Anievas and Kerem Nişancioğlu’s “How the West came to rule: the geopolitical origins of capitalism”. We argue that while all historiography features a number of silences, shortcomings …

February 10, 2017

Abstract Why do institutions grow? Despite nearly a century of scientific effort, there remains little consensus on this topic. This paper offers a new approach that focuses on energy consumption. A systematic relation exists between …

December 15, 2016

Abstract Most explanations of stock market booms and busts are based on contrasting the underlying ‘fundamental’ logic of the economy with the exogenous, non-economic factors that presumably distort it. Our paper offers a radically different …

October 26, 2016

Abstract The article reviews debates concerning financialization in South Korea, with a focus on ongoing arguments between liberal, post-Keynesian, institutionalist and Marxist economists. It argues that post-Keynesian and institutionalist perspectives in particular neglect important class …

October 20, 2016

Abstract Until late, the subject of energy and its importance for capitalism and the constitution and reconstitution of world order has been sorely overlooked in the international political economy (IPE) literature. Indeed, only two of …

July 28, 2016

Abstract This article offers new theoretical and empirical insights to explain the resilience of U.S. Treasury securities as the world’s premier safe or “risk free” asset. The standard explanation of resilience emphasizes the relative safety …

June 28, 2016

Abstract Building on the definition of critical education residing in the crossroads of cultural politics and political economy, this theoretical article offers an inquiry into the intersection between critical education research and the central ritual …

June 27, 2016

Abstract Who are the dominant owners of US public debt? Is it widely held, or concentrated in the hands of a few? Does ownership of public debt give these bondholders power over our government? What …

February 26, 2016

Abstract This book seeks to illuminate which firms have become the most dominant, and more importantly, how they shape and reshape society in their efforts to increase their control. These dynamics have received insufficient attention …

January 6, 2016

Abstract ¿Qué quieren decir los economistas cuando hablan de “acumulación de capital’? La respuesta es todo, menos clara. La opinión convencional es que hay dos tipos de capital: real y financiero, que deben guardar correspondencia …

October 3, 2015

Abstract What do economists mean when they talk about “capital accumulation”? Surprisingly, the answer to this question is anything but clear, and it seems the most unclear in times of turmoil. Consider the “financial crisis” …

October 3, 2015

Abstract Modern civilization and the social reproduction of capitalism are bound inextricably with fossil fuel consumption. But as carbon energy resources become scarcer, what implications will this have for energy-intensive modes of life? Can renewable …

July 11, 2015

Abstract In various writings Karl Marx made references to an ‘aristocracy of finance’ in Western Europe and the United States that dominated ownership of the public debt. Drawing on original research, this article offers the …

June 29, 2015

Abstract Neoclassical growth theory assumes that economic growth is an atomistic process in which changes in distribution play no role. Unfortunately, when this assumption is tested against real-world evidence, it is systematically violated. This paper …

June 24, 2015

Abstract In what promises to be a significant contribution to political economy, Malik seeks to combine the philosophical understanding of the nature and logic of the derivatives market with an analysis of the entirely novel, …

May 28, 2015

Abstract The Scientist and the Church is a wide-ranging biography of research, showcasing Bichler and Nitzan’s attempts to break through the stifling dogmas of the academic church and chart a new scientific cosmology of capitalism. …

February 19, 2015

Abstract The agrofuel boom has brought about some of the most significant transformations in the world food system in recent decades. A rich and diverse body of agrarian political economy research has emerged that elucidates …

February 12, 2015

Abstract There is growing awareness in Canada of how unequal society is becoming. It is probably most obvious in the gap between the compensation of Canada’s highest paid corporate executives and the average worker. The …

February 12, 2015

Abstract This article offers a study on the plutonomy of dominant owners and what their consumptive practices might tell us from the lens of the capital as power framework in IPE. I argue that the …

January 24, 2015

Abstract While the Occupy movement faces many strategic and organizational challenges, one of its major accomplishments has been to draw global attention to the massive disparity of income, wealth and privilege held by 1% of …

December 29, 2014

Abstract Neoclassical growth theory is the dominant perspective for explaining economic growth. At its core are four implicit assumptions: 1) economic output can become decoupled from energy consumption; 2) economic distribution is unrelated to growth; …

December 3, 2014

Abstract This chapter draws on, and develops, some aspects of the capital as power framework so as to provide the first clear quantitative explication of the company’s power trajectory to date. After rapid growth in …

October 3, 2014

Abstract The first part of the exchange is a short article by Joe Francis. The article provides new long-term estimates and an assessment of the buy-to-build indicator for the United States and Britain, going back …

June 8, 2014

Abstract Do capitalists really want a recovery? Can they afford it? On the face of it, the question sounds silly: of course capitalists want a recovery; how else can they prosper? According to the textbooks, …

March 16, 2014

Abstract This article offers a power theory of value analysis of Wal-Mart’s contested expansion in the retail business. More specifically, it draws on, and develops, some aspects of the capital as power framework so as …

January 14, 2014

Abstract The United States is often hailed as the world’s largest ‘free market’. But this ‘free market’ is also the world’s largest penal colony. It holds over seven million adults – roughly five per cent …

August 26, 2013

Abstract This edited volume offers the first critical engagement with one of the most provocative and controversial theories in political economy: the thesis that capital can be theorized as power and that capital is finance …

April 1, 2013

Abstract This paper outlines the contours of a new research agenda for the analysis of food price crises. By weaving together a detailed quantitative examination of changes in corporate profit shares with a qualitative appraisal …

April 1, 2013

Abstract In 1887 Henry Carter Adams produced a study demonstrating that the ownership of government bonds was heavily concentrated in the hands of a ‘bondholding class’ that lent to and, in Adams’s view, controlled the …

March 1, 2013

Abstract This paper investigates the historical development of risk in the Hollywood film business. Using opening theatres as a proxy for future expectations, the paper demonstrates how, from 1981 to 2011, Hollywood has improved its …

December 1, 2012

Abstract Criticism of trade and investment liberalisation (TAIL) in North America has drawn attention to weak economic performance, wage-profit redistribution, social dumping and fiscal pressure on government programmes as evidence that the TAIL regime has …

September 10, 2012

Abstract Conventional theories of capitalism are mired in a deep crisis: after centuries of debate, they are still unable to tell us what capital is. Liberals and Marxists think of capital as an economic entity …

September 29, 2009

Abstract Conventional theories of capitalism are mired in a deep crisis: after centuries of debate, they are still unable to tell us what capital is. Liberals and Marxists both think of capital as an ‘economic’ …