Study of Capitalism

Study of Capitalism

The object of the course is to examine those debates that underlie the understanding of the key changes in the operation and development of capitalism historically that have later been considered to be at the core of its historical meanings and value as an analytical tool for understanding the world economy. Obviously, there is a limit to what topics we can accommodate in a semester, and these are simply five among a multitude of possibilities.  I provide a discussion of the dimensions and relevance of each topic under its headings.

As with many seminars you have had, the readings are drawn from both books and journals. We will be using e-reserve for the readings. I will also activate BlackBoard for posting commentaries on readings.

The commentaries consist of a short statement of the argument, the evidence presented, its significance, and a tentative appraisal of its value.

We will discuss all of the readings together. There will be a resource person armed with a commentary for each reading to assure adequate coverage.

A long paper (25pp) on a topic or five short papers (5pp) on topics related to the work of the seminar is required. Please let me know as soon as possible which avenue you intend to take and how you will structure the writing(s). A short written description would be appreciated.

8/31: Introduction
9/7 & 9/28: World Economies with and without Capitalism

M.I. Finley, “Landlords and Peasants,” The Ancient Economy, (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1974), 95-122.

Michael Mann, “the Roman Territorial Empire,” The Sources of Social Power I, (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1989), 250-300.

Eric Wolf, “Modes of Production,” Europe and the People without History, (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1982), 73-100.

Marc Bloch, “Material Conditions and Economic Characteristics,” Feudal Society, (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1961), 59-71.

Janet Abu-Lughod, Before European Hegemony: The World System A.D. 1250-1350, (New York: Oxford University Press, 1989), excerpts.

Andre Gunder Frank, ReOrient: Global Economy in the Asian Age, (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998), 258-359.

Max Weber, “The Principal Modes of Capitalistic Orientation of Profit-Making,” Economy and Society, (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1978), 164-166.

10/5 & 10/12 Capitalism and the Long Duree

Fernand Braudel, The Mediterranean and the Mediterranean World in the Age of Philip II, translated by Sian Reynolds and abridged by Richard Ollard, (New York: HarperCollins, 1991,650-664.

__________, “History and the Social Sciences: The Long Duree,” On History, translated by Sarah Matthews, (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1980), 25-54.

Robert Fogel, The Fourth Great Awakening and the Future of Egalitarianism, (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000), 74-79,139-163.

David Fischer, “Great Waves in World History,” The Great Wave: Price Revolutions and the Rhythm of History, New York: Oxford University Press, 119996, 3-11.

Immanuel Wallerstein, “The Rise and Future Demise of the World Capitalist System: Concepts for Comparative Analysis,” Comparative Studies in Society and History, 16:4, (1974), 387-415.

Giovanni Arrighi, “Introduction,” The Long Twentieth Century: Money, Power, and the Origins of Our Times, (London: Verso, 1994), 1-26.

Hill Gates, China’s Motor: A Thousand Years of Petty Capitalism, (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1996), 1-41, 84-102, 243-280.

Note: For investigation and critique of Braudel, see Cheng-Chung Lai, “Braudel’s Concepts and Methodology Reconsidered,” The European Legacy, 5:1, (2000), Cheng-Chung Lai presents a thorough explication and critique of Braudel’s theory of structural history and time, while, with sympathy, noting some of the difficulties of applying Braudel’s fuzzy concepts to a method that does not simply rely on Braudel’s genius. Others have directly criticized the absence of a theory of power and a theory of social change. See Lynn Hunt, “French History in the Last Twenty Years: The Rise and Fall of the Annales Paradigm, Journal of Contemporary History, 21:2, (1986(, 209-224; Ulysses Santamaria and Anne Bailey, “A Note on Braudel’s Structure as Duration,” History and Theory, 23:1, (1984), 78-83. Jean Heffer, “Is the Longue Duree Un-American?” Review of the Fernand Braudel Center, 24:1, (2001), 125-137, argues that Braudel’s view of the slow-moving sub-structure of society may have been better suited for describing agricultural societies and works less well after societies become industrialized.

10/19 & 10/26 The Brenner Debate, Or How Did Capitalism Begin in Europe?

T. Aston and C. Philpin, The Brenner Debate, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985), excerpts.

Robert Brenner, New Left Review, 104, (July-August, 1977), 25-92.

Robert Bates, “Lessons from History, or the Perfidy of English Exceptionalism and the Significance of Historical France,” World Politics, 40, (July, 1988), 499-516.

Robert A. Denemark and Kenneth P. Thomas, “The Brenner-Wallerstein Debate,” International Studies Quarterly, 32:1, (March, 1988), pp. 47-65.

11/2 & 11/9 Peasantry and Rebellion: From A Sack of Potatoes to Revolutionary Force

Karl Marx, Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte, excerpts.

Max Weber, “Capitalism and Rural Society in Germany,” From Max Weber: Essays in Sociology, edited by Hans Gerth and C. Wright Mills, (New  York: Oxford University Press, 1946), 363-385.

V.I. Lenin, Section 13, Conclusion of “The Differentiation of the Peasantry,” The Development of Capitalism in Russia (1899),

Leon Trotsky, “The Proletariat in Power and the Peasantry,” (1906),

Joseph Stalin, “On the Grain Front,” Pravda, May 28, 1929,

Mao Tse-tung, “Analisys of the Classes in Chinese Society, (March, 1926),

Barrington Moore, “The Peasants and Revolution,” Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy: Lord and Peasant in the Making of the Modern World, (Boston: Beacon Press, 1966) 453-483.

Eric Wolf, “Conclusion,” Peasant Wars of the Twentieth Century, (New York: Harper and Row1969), 276-302.

Jeffrey Paige, “A Theory of Rural Class Conflict,” Agrarian Revolution, (New York: Free Pess, 1975), 1-71.

James Scott, “Revolt, Survival, and Repression,” The Moral Economy of the Peasant: Rebellion and Subsistence in Southeast Asia, (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1976), 193-240.

Theda Skocpol, “Agrarian Structures and Peasant Insurrections,” States and Social Revolutions, (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1979). 112-157.

Marc Edelman, “”Conclusion: Peasant Movements of the late Twentieth Century,” Peasants against Globalization, (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1999), 184-211.

Theda Skocpol, “What Makes Peasants Revolutionary?”  Social Revolutions in the Modern World, (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1994), 213-239. See Comparative Politics, 14:3, (1982).

11/16 & 11/21 Class Analysis from Industrial Capitalism Onwards

Karl Marx, “Critique of the Gotha Program.”

Max Weber, “Class, Status, Party,” From Max Weber, edited by H. Gerth and C.W. Mills, (New York: Oxford University Press, 1946), 180-195.

Edward Thompson, “Preface” and “Class Consciousness,” The Making of the Working Class, (new York: vintage, 1963), 9-16, 711-832.

Raymond Williams, “Golden Ages,” “The Morality of Improvement,” “Three Around Farnham,” “The Country and the City, (New York: Oxford University Press, 1973), 35-45, 60-67, 108-119.

Erik Olin Wright, “Class Structure,” “The Transformation of the American Class Structure, 1960-1990,” “Conceptualizing the Interaction of class and Gender,” Class Counts: Student Edition, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2000), 43-66, 115-124.

Nicos Poulantzas, “Social Classes and Their Extended Reproduction,” Classes in Contemporary Capitalism, translated by David Fernbach, (London: Verso, 1978), 13-35.

Frank Parkin, “Social Closure as Exclusion” and “Social Closure as Usurpation,” Marxism and Class Theory: A Bourgeois Critique, (New York: Columbia University Press, 1979), 44-88.

Adam Przeworski, “Social Democracy as a Historical Phenomenon,” In Capitalism and Social democracy, (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1986), 7-46.

Beverly Silver, Forces of Labor, (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2003), 1-40, 168-180.

Richard Sandbrook, Marc Edelman, Patrick Heller, and Judith Teichman, “Prospects,” Social Democracy in the Global Periphery, (Cambrdige, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2007), 232-254.

Robert Wiebe, “Raising Hierarchies,” Self-Rule: A Cultural History of American Democracy, (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995), 138-161.

Donald Sassoon, “The Revival of Working-Class Militancy, 1960-1973,” One Hundred Years of Socialism: The West European Left in the Twentieth Century, (New York: New Press, 1996), 357-382.

12/7 Summing Up (or Catching Up)

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