Karl Polanyi

  • Penseur majeur de l´économie de marché et historien du libéralisme, Karl Polanyi reste l´un des rares théoriciens capables de nous aider à comprendre la nature du libéralisme en économie et à reconnaître les limites actuelles de nos démocraties. La Subsistance de l´homme - ouvrage inachevé paru aux États-Unis en 1977, et enfin disponible en français - prolonge et complète son oeuvre magistrale, La Grande Transformation. Polanyi y formulait une critique de l´utopie libérale du XIXe siècle à l´origine du mouvement social d´autoprotection, de l´« État providence », aujourd´hui encore fortement menacé.
    En prenant le parti d´analyser la subsistance de l´homme sur une très longue période historique, Polanyi offre ici une interprétation originale de la nature et des racines de l´économisme contemporain. L´économie des sociétés primitives, de la vieille Babylone, de l´Égypte ancienne et du royaume du Dahomey au XVIIIe siècle permet de repenser l´universalité et la spécificité des relations sociales et des modes d´« encastrement » de l´économie au sein de la société.
    Dans la Grèce antique, le commerce extérieur, les usages de la monnaie et l´émergence de marchés à l´échelle locale ou méditerranéenne sont autant d´exemples où l´échange était subordonné à la réciprocité et à la redistribution et où l´économie était étroitement liée au politique.
    Derrière ce travail de recherche, exigeant et exceptionnel, se déploie l´une des grandes pensées humanistes du XXe siècle, aujourd´hui indispensable pour desserrer l´emprise que la logique libérale exerce sur notre représentation de l´économie et du monde.

  • For a New West

    Karl Polanyi

    • Polity
    • 10 Novembre 2014

    At a recent meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, it was reported that a ghost was haunting the deliberations of the assembled global elite - that of the renowned social scientist and economic historian, Karl Polanyi.
    In his classic work, The Great Transformation, Polanyi documented the impact of the rise of market society on western civilization and captured better than anyone else the destructive effects of the economic, political and social crisis of the 1930s. Today, in the throes of another Great Recession, Polanyi's work has gained a new significance. To understand the profound challenges faced by our democracies today, we need to revisit history and revisit his work.
    In this new collection of unpublished texts - lectures, draft essays and reports written between 1919 and 1958 - Polanyi examines the collapse of the liberal economic order and the demise of democracies in the inter-war years. He takes up again the fundamental question that preoccupied him throughout his work - the place of the economy in society - and aims to show how we might return to an economy anchored in society and its cultural, religious and political institutions.
    For anyone concerned about the danger to democracy and social life posed by the unleashing of capital from regulatory control and the dominance of the neoliberal ideologies of market fundamentalism, this important new volume by one of the great thinkers of the twentieth century is a must-read.

  • Few figures are more crucial to understanding the upheavals of our contemporary era than Karl Polanyi. In a world riven by social and economic crises, from rising inequality to the decay of democratic institutions and profound technological disruption, Polanyi's path-breaking account of the dynamics of market capitalism and his defence of society and nature against the dangerous tendencies of the market capitalist system are more relevant than ever.
    This book brings together Polanyi's most important articles and essays to give a unique selection of his essential shorter writings, mixing classic texts with significant but previously little-known pieces. It highlights the coherence and richness of Polanyi's theoretical and political approach, making it indispensable for understanding his overarching intellectual contribution. The volume includes his interwar writings, which deal with the world economic crisis and the socialist alternative to conservative and fascist developments; his reflection on political theory and the international situation after the war; and his comparative studies of economic institutions. Polanyi's political writings are complemented and supported by the critique of economic determinism and what he termed `our obsolete market mentality'.
    This book is an invaluable companion to Polanyi's masterpiece, The Great Transformation, and an essential resource for students and scholars of political economy, sociology, history and political philosophy.

  • L'importante mobilisation intellectuelle des penseurs radicaux alentour du projet de Marx a produit une floraison d'«interprétations» et de «contributions» dans tous les domaines de la connaissance des faits sociétaux. Sans dénier l'importance historique de ces apports à la connaissance, la question reste encore ouverte : l'oeuvre de Marx et de ses continuateurs constitue-t-elle une rupture épistémologique radicale avec la pensée «dominante» ?

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