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The Falling Rate of Profit and the Great Recession of 2007-2009

A New Approach to Applying Marx’s Value Theory and Its Implications for Socialist Strategy

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Peter Jones

In The Falling Rate of Profit and the Great Recession of 2007-2009, Peter Jones develops a new non-equilibrium interpretation of the labour theory of value Karl Marx builds in Capital. Applying this to US national accounting data, Jones shows that when measured correctly the profit rate falls in the lead up to the Great Recession, and for the main reason Marx identifies: the rising organic composition of capital.
Jones also details a new theory of finance, which shows how cycles in the profit rate relate to stock market booms and slumps, and movements in the interest rate. He discusses the implications of the analysis and Marx and Engels’ work generally for a democratic socialist strategy.
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Keiko Kiyotaki

In Ottoman Land Reform in the Province of Baghdad, Keiko Kiyotaki traces the Ottoman reforms of tax farming and land tenure and establishes that their effects were the key ingredients of agricultural progress. These modernizing reforms are shown to be effective because they were compatible with local customs and tribal traditions, which the Ottoman governors worked to preserve.
Ottoman rule in Iraq has previously been considered oppressive and blamed with failure to develop the country. Since the British mandate government’s land and tax policies were little examined, the Ottoman legacy has been left unidentified. This book proves that Ottoman land reforms led to increases in agricultural production and tax revenue, while the hasty reforms enacted by the mandate government ignoring indigenous customs caused new agricultural and land problems.
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Rolf Bauer

The Peasant Production of Opium in Nineteenth-Century India is a pioneering work about the more than one million peasants who produced opium for the colonial state in nineteenth-century India. Based on a profound empirical analysis, Rolf Bauer not only shows that the peasants cultivated poppy against a substantial loss but he also reveals how they were coerced into the production of this drug. By dissecting the economic and social power relations on a local level, this study explains how a triangle of debt, the colonial state’s power and social dependencies in the village formed the coercive mechanisms that transformed the peasants into opium producers. The result is a book that adds to our understanding of peasant economies in a colonial context.
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The Making of Capitalism in France

Class Structures, Economic Development, the State and the Formation of the French Working Class, 1750-1914

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Xavier Lafrance

Very few authors have addressed the origins of capitalism in France as the emergence of a distinct form of historical society, premised on a new configuration of social power, rather than as an extension of commercial activities liberated from feudal obstacles. Lafrance offers the first thorough historical analysis of the origins of capitalist social property relations in France from a 'political Marxist' or ( Capital-centric Marxist) perspective. Putting emphasis on the role of the state, The Making of Capitalism in France shows how the capitalist system was first imported into this country in an industrial form, and considerably later than is usually assumed. This work demonstrates that the French Revolution was not capitalist, and in fact consolidated customary regulations that formed the bedrock of the formation of the working class.
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Michael Schraer

In A Stake in the Ground, Michael Schraer explores the economic functions of real estate amongst the Jews of the medieval crown of Aragon. He challenges the view of medieval Jews as primarily money-lenders and merchants, finding compelling evidence for extensive property trading and investment. Jews are found as landlords to Christian tenants, transferring land in dowries, wills and gifts. Property holdings were often extremely valuable. For some, property was a major part of their asset portfolios. Whilst many property transactions were linked to the credit boom, land also acted as a liquid and tradeable investment asset in its own right. This is a key contribution to the economic history of medieval Iberia and of medieval Jews.
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Jo Stoner

In this study, Jo Stoner investigates the role of domestic material culture in Late Antiquity. Using archaeological, visual and textual evidence from across the Roman Empire, the personal meanings of late antique possessions are revealed through reference to theoretical approaches including object biography. Heirlooms, souvenirs, and gift objects are discussed in terms of sentimental value, before the book culminates in a case study reassessing baskets as an artefact type. This volume succeeds in demonstrating personal scales of value for artefacts, moving away from the focus on economic and social status that dominate studies in this field. It thus represents a new interpretation of domestic material culture from Late Antiquity, revealing how objects transformed houses into homes during this period.
Open Access

Snow in the Tropics

A History of the Independent Reefer Operators

Thomas Taro Lennerfors and Peter Birch

Snow in the Tropics by Thomas Taro Lennerfors and Peter Birch offers the first comprehensive history of the independent reefer operators. These shipping companies, such as Lauritzen, Salén, Seatrade, Star Reefers, and NYK Reefer, developed the dedicated transport of refrigerated products like meat, fish, and fruit by ship, from the early 20th century to the present. Snow in the Tropics describes how the history of the reefer operators has been formed in relation to shippers, such as Dole and Chiquita, in a constant struggle with the liner companies, such as Maersk, and in relation to global economic and political trends. It also covers how the industry is discursively constructed and the psychological drivers of the business decisions in it.
Open Access

Art Crossing Borders

The Internationalisation of the Art Market in the Age of Nation States, 1750-1914

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Edited by Jan Dirk Baetens and Dries Lyna

Art Crossing Borders offers a thought-provoking analysis of the internationalisation of the art market during the long nineteenth century. Twelve experts, dealing with a wide variety of geographical, temporal, and commercial contexts, explore how the gradual integration of art markets structurally depended on the simultaneous rise of nationalist modes of thinking, in unexpected and ambiguous ways. By presenting a radically international research perspective Art Crossing Borders offers a crucial contribution to the field of art market studies.
Open Access

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Edited by Stéphane Martin

In recent years, storage has come to the fore as a central aspect of ancient economies. However studies have hitherto focused on urban and military storage. Although archaeological excavations of rural granaries are numerous, their evidence has yet to be fully taken into account. Such is the ambition of Rural Granaries in Northern Gaul (Sixth Century BCE – Fourth Century CE). Focusing on northern Gaul, this volume starts by discussing at length the possibility of quantifying storage capacities and, through them, agrarian production. Building on this first part, the second half of the book sketches the evolution of rural storage in Gaul from the Iron Age to Late Antiquity, setting firmly archaeological evidence in the historical context of the Roman Empire.
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The Art Market in Rome in the Eighteenth Century

A Study in the Social History of Art

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Edited by Paolo Coen

Recent interest in the economic aspects of the history of art have taken traditional studies into new areas of enquiry. Going well beyond provenances or prices of individual objects, our understanding of the arts has been advanced by research into the demands, intermediaries and clients in the market.
Eighteenth-century Rome offers a privileged view of such activities, given the continuity of remarkable investments by the local ruling class, combined with the decisive impact of external agents, largely linked to the Grand Tour. This book, the result of collaboration between international specialists, brings back into the spotlight protagonists, facts and dynamics that have remained unexplored for many years.