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Karl Polanyi and twenty-first-century capitalism$
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Radhika Desai and Kari Polanyi Levitt

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781526127884

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.7765/9781526127891

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PRINTED FROM MANCHESTER SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.manchester.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Manchester University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSO for personal use.date: 27 May 2022

Introduction: Karl Polanyi in the twenty-first century1

Introduction: Karl Polanyi in the twenty-first century1

(p.1) 1 Introduction: Karl Polanyi in the twenty-first century1
Karl Polanyi and twenty-first-century capitalism

Radhika Desai

Manchester University Press

This introduction places the contributions that follow in the context of Polanyi’s rising influence, its causes and effects, and of the key twenty-first century developments that make his oeuvre more relevant than ever. It emphasizes how the contributions push the boundaries of received understandings of Polanyi. While some contributions fill gaping holes, such as those on money as a fictitious commodity, others overturn received understandings, whether that of the double movement or fictitious commodities, or the provenance (Central European or American) of his principal ideas and concerns or how he understood socialism. Yet others demonstrate how amenable Polanyi’s ideas are to further development. Last but not least, the introduction outlines Polanyi’s historical diagnosis as it emerges from these innovative contributions and argues that the stark choice he felt faced European societies, socialism or fascism, is once again before us as we face the groundswell of nationalist and far right forces.

Keywords:   Karl Polanyi, The Great Transformation, Socialism, Fascism, Neoliberalism, Right-wing populism

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