Commodity: The Global Commodity System in the 21st Century, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover


The Global Commodity System in the 21st Century, 1st Edition

By Photis Lysandrou


102 pages | 17 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781138338609
pub: 2018-11-06
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780429441592
pub: 2018-11-02
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The 21st century marks a watershed in the history of the human economic condition. Income and wealth inequalities are now greater than ever before – and their role in the global financial crisis is one of the burning issues of today.

Commodity looks at the great financial crisis from an entirely original perspective – that of the global commodity system as a newly operational totality. In the 19th century, the commodity system as defined by Karl Marx was limited to a few regions and embraced only the labour and capital capacities and their outputs. By the end of the 20th century, it encompassed the entire planet and embraced government capacity as well as private capacities, financial securities and material goods and services. This book shows how the financial crisis and its causes can only properly be understood as a result of this vast, unprecedented extension of the commodity system – a system which benefits the rich. The author makes the watertight case that it is only through the creation of a global tax authority – to coordinate national tax regimes and to implement a tax on global wealth – that we can avoid another crisis and create a fairer and more equitable world.

Addressing a broad range of themes, Commodity offers a new perspective which will be of interest to political economists as well as researchers specialising in other related fields of social enquiry. Written in a clear and engaging way, the book’s concise nature also makes it accessible for the non-specialist reader, and it will especially appeal to all those who want a more just society.


"The 2008 crisis came close to toppling the global financial system. We continue to live with its iniquitous consequences today. Commodity takes a step back from the day-to-day oscillations in financial markets to ask how a financialised logic came to dominate and shape the contemporary world economy. This book is essential reading for academics, students and the general reader who wish to better understand how financial capitalism rose to ascendance - and how it might be challenged through an ambitious programme of transnational tax reform.", Scott Lavery, University of Sheffield, UK

Table of Contents

Preface, 1. Structure. 2. Genesis. 3. Operation. 4. Crisis. 5. Control. Appendix. Bibliography. Index

About the Author

Photis Lysandrou is a research professor in the Department of International Politics at City University Political Economy Research Centre (CITYPERC), UK. Previously he has taught economics at City University, Greenwich University and at London Metropolitan University, where he was Lead Professor in Economics.

About the Series

Routledge Frontiers of Political Economy

In recent years, there has been widespread criticism of mainstream economics. This has taken many forms, from methodological critiques of its excessive formalism, to concern about its failure to connect with many of the most pressing social issues. This series provides a forum for research which is developing alternative forms of economic analysis. Reclaiming the traditional 'political economy' title, it refrains from emphasising any single school of thought, but instead attempts to foster greater diversity within economics.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Economic History
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Economics / Theory