Institutions, Evolution, Future
With Conceptualizing Capitalism, Geoffrey M. Hodgson offers readers a more precise conceptual framework. Drawing on a new theoretical approach called legal institutionalism, Hodgson establishes that the most important factor in the emergence of capitalism—but also among the most often overlooked—is the constitutive role of law and the state. While private property and markets are central to capitalism, they depend upon the development of an effective legal framework. Applying this legally grounded approach to the emergence of capitalism in eighteenth-century Europe, Hodgson identifies the key institutional developments that coincided with its rise. That analysis enables him to counter the widespread view that capitalism is a natural and inevitable outcome of human societies, showing instead that it is a relatively recent phenomenon, contingent upon a special form of state that protects private property and enforces contracts. After establishing the nature of capitalism, the book considers what this more precise conceptual framework can tell us about the possible future of capitalism in the twenty-first century, where some of the most important concerns are the effects of globalization, the continuing growth of inequality, and the challenges to America’s hegemony by China and others.
Part I. Discovering Capitalism
Chapter 1. Distilling the Essence
Chapter 2. Social Structure and Individual Motivation
Chapter 3. Law and the State
Chapter 4. Property, Possession, and Contract
Chapter 5. Commodity Exchange and Markets
Chapter 6. Money and Finance
Chapter 7. Meanings of Capital
Chapter 8. Firms and Corporations
Chapter 9. Labor and Employment
Chapter 10. A Definition of Capitalism
Part II. Capitalism and Beyond
Chapter 11. Conceptualizing Production
Chapter 12. Socialism, Capitalism, and the State
Chapter 13. How Does Capitalism Evolve?
Chapter 14. The Future of Global Capitalism
Chapter 15. Addressing Inequality
Chapter 16. After Capitalism?
Internat'l Joseph A. Schumpeter Society: Joseph A. Schumpeter Prize