Academic journal article The Journal of Social, Political, and Economic Studies

Markets in Historical Contexts: Ideas and Politics in the Modern World

Academic journal article The Journal of Social, Political, and Economic Studies

Markets in Historical Contexts: Ideas and Politics in the Modern World

Article excerpt

Markets in Historical Contexts: Ideas and Politics in the Modern World

Edited by Mark Revir and Frank Trentmann

Cambridge University Press, 2004

Markets in Historical Contexts is the result of a dialogue between historians and social scientists on possible manipulation of the prevailing economic systems in a post-socialist world. Editor Mark Bevir is an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley, and his co-author Frank Trentmann is Senior Lecturer in Modern History at Birkbeck College, University of London.

The various papers they present are linked in a pattern that is intended to provide insight into the extent to which modern market systems in a post-Marxist world can be manipulated to serve specific social goals. Seeking to explore what alternative ways there might be in thinking about markets other than those suggested by past theorists, the contributors tend to disregard economic forces as something that have a built-in causal system of their own, and search for ways of marrying social goals to market systems. Thus the essays set out to challenge essentialist accounts of the market, and instead suggest that markets are always embedded in cultural traditions that shape the ways in which they are conceived and the manner of their working. …

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