Karl Polanyi's Political and Economic Thought

A Critical Guide

Edited by Gareth Dale, Christopher Holmes, Maria Markantonatou

£60.00  |  $90.00
ISBN 9781788210898
£19.99  |  $30.00
ISBN 9781788210904
£19.99  |  $30.00
ISBN 9781788210911
256 pages   |  234 x 156mm   |  May 2019


The work of Karl Polanyi has become a central reference point for scholars working in a variety of traditions and disciplines within the social sciences, including international relations, international political economy, economic sociology and economic anthropology. This book offers a comprehensive introduction to Polanyi’s work by examining the key themes that run throughout his work: economy, commodification, money, the gold standard, geopolitical economy, the state, class, fascism, democracy and knowledge.

Each chapter introduces the relevant aspects of Polanyi’s writings, covering important terminology and the position of the topic in relation to his work more broadly. The contributions seek to engage critically with Polanyi's ideas, analysing both the strengths and weaknesses of his work. In addition, each chapter highlights the connections that Polanyi has with contemporary issues and debates.

The contributors seek simultaneously to openly engage with the problems of Polanyi’s work and also to celebrate its diversity, encouraging the reader to see it as a whole and not as a set of fragmented concepts. It is an ideal introduction for students engaging with Polanyi’s work for the first time.


Christopher Holmes

1. Economy
Christopher Holmes

2. Commodification
Hüseyin Özel, Hacettepe University, Turkey

3. Money
Kurtulus Gemici, National University of Singapore

4. The Gold Standard
Samuel Knafo, University of Sussex

5. Geopolitical Economy
Randall Germain, Carleton University, Canada

6. The State
Maria Markantonatou and Gareth Dale

7. Class
Sandra Halperin, Royal Holloway, London

8. Fascism
Mathieu Desan, University of Colorado, Boulder and Gareth Dale

9. Democracy
Paula Valderrama, Freie Universität Berlin

10. Knowledge
Tilman Reitz, Friedrich Schiller Universität, Jena

Michael Burawoy, University of California, Berkeley

Author Information

Gareth Dale teaches politics at Brunel University. He is the author of Reconstructing Karl Polanyi (2016) and Karl Polanyi: A Life on the Left (2016).

Christopher Holmes is Lecturer in Political Economy at King's College London. He is the author of Contradiction and Transcendence: Polanyian Perspectives on Economic Thought Past and Present (forthcoming 2018).

Maria Markantonatou is an Assistant Professor in Political Sociology at the University of the Aegean, Lesvos, Greece.

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