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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, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSO for personal use.date: 12 April 2021

Multilinear trajectories: Polanyi, The Great Transformation and the American exception

Multilinear trajectories: Polanyi, The Great Transformation and the American exception

Chapter:
(p.164) 8 Multilinear trajectories: Polanyi, The Great Transformation and the American exception
Source:
Karl Polanyi and twenty-first-century capitalism
Author(s):

Hannes Lacher

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7765/9781526127891.00016

Karl Polanyi’s call, in The Great Transformation, for a re-embedding of markets, is widely understood to have come to fruition in the American New Deal and in the post-war order of ‘embedded liberalism’. Based on archival sources, this chapter shows that Polanyi’s political project was far more radical. Polanyi initially considered the New Deal a vital response to the problems of American capitalism, but one that would have little relevance to the problems and dynamics of European societies. There, he considered a socialist transformation both possible and necessary. But eventually, Polanyi realised that the US, far from remaining an exceptional outlier of ‘nineteenth-century civilisation’, was imposing its model on Britain and Europe. The internationalisation of the American New Deal in the Bretton Woods order marked the defeat of Polanyi’s political project.

Keywords:   Karl Polanyi, USA, fascism, capitalism, New Deal, socialism, social democracy, American hegemony

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