No. 2016/03: Di Muzio & Dow, ‘Uneven and Combined Confusion: On the Geopolitical Origins of Capitalism and the Rise of the West’

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 or omissions, the omissions in How the West Came to Rule lead to a mistaken view of the emergence of […]

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No. 2015/04: Bichler & Nitzan, ‘The CasP Project: Past, Present, Future

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. This paper provides a bird’s-eye view of the CasP journey. It explores what we have learned so far, reviews ongoing […]

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No. 2015/03: Bichler & Nitzan, ‘Capital Accumulation: Fiction and Reality’

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 recent ‘financial crisis’. The very term already attests to the presumed nature and causes of the crisis, which most observers indeed believe […]

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No. 2014/05: Fix, ‘Putting Power Back Into Growth Theory’

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 argues that a reality-based growth theory must reject neoclassical principles in favour of a power-centered approach. Building on Nitzan and […]

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Bichler & Nitzan, ‘No Way Out: Crime, Punishment and the Capitalization of Power’

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 of the labour force – in jail, in prison, on parole and on probation. Is this an anomaly, or does […]

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Di Muzio, ‘The Capitalist Mode of Power: Critical Engagements with the Power Theory of Value’

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 and only finance. The book also includes a detailed introduction to this novel thesis first put forward by Nitzan and […]

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Bichler & Nitzan, ‘Capital as Power: Toward a New Cosmology of Capitalism’

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 that they count in universal units of utils and abstract labour, respectively. But these units are totally fictitious: they can […]

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Nitzan & Bichler, ‘Capital as Power: A Study of Order and Creorder’

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’ entity that they count in universal units of ‘utils’ or ‘abstract labour’, respectively. But these units are totally fictitious. Nobody […]

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