The story of capitalism is one of the most eurocentric stories we still tell, and one that is still deeply compromised by the ideological struggles of the Cold War. My project aims to globalize the 600 years of capitalism’s history, and to look at it from an actor-centric perspective that re-charts the social and spacial expansion of capitalism during the past 600 years, and will put particular emphasis on the importance of the state and the countryside to the capitalist revolution.
Capitalism: A History will be a narrative analysis of 600 years of capitalism’s history. It is global in scope, and will tell this world-spanning history from a multitude of locations, exploring, for example, 16th century merchant communities from the perspective of Ahmadabad, emerging proto-industry from the small town of Hirschberg, and the reconstruction of labor regimes after slavery from the perspective of La Reunion. These local histories are deeply embedded in a global perspective that aims to illuminate how global economic hierarchies emerged, what the importance of the global was to capitalism’s trajectory, how the state came to play a crucial role in capitalism’s history and how an assortment of actors—from entrepreneurs to peasants, from industrial workers to bureaucrats–shaped this constantly shifting capitalism. The book is based on research on all continents and will be published, as of now, in 21 countries.
Tags: Capitalism, Global History, Great Divergence