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Author: Eugen Varga
Editor: André Mommen
Born in 1879, Eugen Varga would become the most prominent Marxist economist in the Soviet Union – ‘Stalin’s economist’. This volume contains a wide and representative selection of his works, dating from his entry into the Hungarian Communist Party in 1919 through to his criticisms of John Maynard Keynes in the 1950s. It includes the entire text of his Economic Problems of the Proletarian Dictatorship, according to Lenin probably the best work on the collapse of the revolutionary government in Hungary. A detailed critical introduction by Varga’s biographer, André Mommen, supplies valuable background detail on the circumstances of Varga’s work, contextualising it in relation to political events and the development of orthodox economic theory in the USSR.
Henryk Grossman is best-known as a Marxist economist but he also wrote valuable political texts as a leader of the revolutionary organisation of Jewish workers in the Polish province of Austria, before the First World War, as a member of the Communist Workers Party of Poland, during the early 1920s, and as a Marxist academic during the early 1930s. These writings dealt with the political situation, tactics and strategy of Jewish Social Democratic Party of Galicia, the initial reception of Marxism in Poland and then substantial entries on left wing movements, organisations and individuals in a multi-volume reference work.
The German Social Democratic Party was the world’s first million-strong political party and was the main force pushing for the democratisation of Imperial Germany before the First World War. This book examines the themes around which the party organized its mainly working-class membership, and analyses the experiences and outlook of rank-and-file party members as well as the party’s press and publications. Key themes include: the Lassalle cult and leadership, nationalism and internationalism, attitudes to work, the politics of subsistence, the effects of military service, reading and the diffusion of Marx’s ideas, cultural organisations, and socialism and republicanism under the Imperial German state. Before 1914, the party successfully simultaneously addressed workers’ everyday concerns while offering the prospect of a better future.
Marine Insurance in Renaissance Florence
Risky Markets explores a crucial moment in the history of insurance, when tools designed to tackle sea risks were in their first making. Renaissance Florence is the setting for one of the first attempts to develop a market specialized in protecting maritime trade. Drawing on a unique collection of sources, the book provides a wide ranging account about the players, institutions, business practices and organizations of the insurance business, shedding light on the forecasting techniques underwriters used. Ceccarelli shows that the market was a small club where trust relations and shared codes of conduct prevail over competition. In a world without probability this was the way by which a business community managed transforming uncertainty into a calculable risk.
On the Hostility to Handicraft, Aesthetic Labour and the Politics of Work in Art
Author: Dave Beech
This book provides a new history of the changing relationship between art, craft and industry focusing on the transition from workshop to studio, apprentice to pupil, guild to gallery and artisan to artist. Responding to the question whether the artist is a relic of the feudal mode of production or is a commodity producer corresponding to the capitalist mode of cultural production, this inquiry reveals, instead, that the history of the formation of art as distinct from handicraft, commerce and industry can be traced back to the dissolution of the dual system of guild and court. This history needs to be revisited in order to rethink the categories of aesthetic labour, attractive labour, alienated labour, nonalienated labour and unwaged labour that shape the modern and contemporary politics of work in art.
Contesting Neo-Liberalism by Occupying Companies, Creating Cooperatives, and Recuperating Autogestión
Author: Marcelo Vieta
In Workers’ Self-Management in Argentina, Marcelo Vieta homes in on the emergence and consolidation of Argentina’s empresas recuperadas por sus trabajadores (ERTs, worker-recuperated enterprises), a workers’ occupy movement that surged at the turn-of-the-millennium in the thick of the country’s neo-liberal crisis. Since then, around 400 companies have been taken over and converted to cooperatives by almost 16,000 workers. Grounded in class-struggle Marxism and a critical sociology of work, the book situates the ERT movement in Argentina’s long tradition of working-class activism and the broader history of workers’ responses to capitalist crisis. Beginning with the voices of the movement’s protagonists, Vieta ultimately develops a compelling social theory of autogestión – a politically prefigurative and ethically infused notion of workers’ self-management that unleashes radical social change for work organisations, surrounding communities, and beyond.
Author: Karl Kautsky
Editor: Ben Lewis
Once deemed ‘the pope of Marxism’, Karl Kautsky (1854–1938) was the leading theoretician of the German Social Democratic Party and one of the most prominent public intellectuals of his time. However, during the twentieth century a constellation of historical factors ensured that his ideas were gradually consigned to near oblivion. Not only has his political thought been dismissed in non-Marxist historical and political discourse, but his ideas are equally discredited in Marxist circles.
This book aims to rekindle interest in Kautsky’s ideas by exploring his democratic-republican understanding of state and society. It demonstrates how Kautsky’s republican thought was positively influenced by Marx and Engels – especially in relation to the lessons they drew from the experience of the Paris Commune.

Listen to Ben Lewis discuss the book on [ this podcast] by LINKSE HOBBY.
This cross-disciplinary collection of essays examines – for the first time and in detail – the variegated notions of democracy put forward in seventeenth-century England. It thus shows that democracy was widely explored and debated at the time; that anti-democratic currents and themes have a long history; that the seventeenth century is the first period in English history where we nonetheless find positive views of democracy; and that whether early-modern writers criticised or advocated it, these discussions were important for the subsequent development of the concept and practice ‘democracy’.
By offering a new historical account of such development, the book provides an innovative exploration of an important but overlooked topic whose relevance is all the more considerable in today’s political debates, civic conversation, academic arguments and media talk.

Contributors include Camilla Boisen, Alan Cromartie, Cesare Cuttica, Hannah Dawson, Martin Dzelzainis, Rachel Foxley, Matthew Growhoski, Rachel Hammersley, Peter Lake, Gaby Mahlberg, Markku Peltonen, Edward Vallance, and John West.
Class Structures, Economic Development, the State and the Formation of the French Working Class, 1750-1914
Author: 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. Xavier 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.
From Gramsci’s Quaderni to the Contemporary World Economy
Author: Lorenzo Fusaro
Crises and Hegemonic Transitions reworks the concept of hegemony at the international level and analyses its relation to world market crises. Returning to the critical edition of Gramsci’s Quaderni and maintaining that the author’s work is permeated by Marx’s Capital and the law of value, Fusaro argues that imperialist states strive to constructing hegemonic relations in order to secure capital accumulation using domination and leadership, coercion and consensus, and that economic crises have only the potential to provoke crises of hegemony. Tracing the vicissitudes of US hegemony from the interwar period to the present and assessing the Great Depression’s and the Great Recession’s impact, Fusaro provides a novel way to interpret past and present developments within the world economy.