1st Edition

Global Rentier Capitalism Theory and Development

Edited By Balihar Sanghera Copyright 2025
    288 Pages 25 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Recent work on rent and rentierism has offered a distinctive and fresh approach to understanding and explaining contemporary capitalism. Drawing on political economy, economics, geography and sociology, this research has brought together distinct theoretical traditions in original and fertile ways to reshape the study of issues related to class, political-economic change and environmental challenges.

    This book critically engages with these theoretical resources to analyse and evaluate economies in the Global North and South. It offers historical, theoretical and empirical accounts of rentierism, making important cross-disciplinary and global connections. Its four parts address global rentier capitalism under the headings of historical lessons, theoretical developments and empirical studies of rentierism in the Global North and South. It will be the first book of its kind to offer a global account of rentier capitalism.

    It will be of immense interest to readers in economics, political economy, sociology, geography and development studies.



    Balihar Sanghera


    Part I: Historical lessons


    1. Rival benchmarks for measuring rent: a history of incoherence and a solution for discussion                     

    Beth Stratford


    2. Henry George, economic solutionalism and the reappearance of economic rent                            

    Linsey McGoey


    3. Grounding rent in value: considering the price of fungible rents for rentier capitalism studies                    

    Joe Collins


    Part II: Theoretical developments


    4.Rentier regimes and the Régulation Theory: an overview                                   

    Adrien Faudot and Julien Vercueil


    5. Rentierism and speculation in a finance-led capitalism                                      

    Luiz Fernando de Paula and Antonio Alves Jr.


    6. Big Tech: four emerging forms of digital rentiership                                                         

    Kean Birch and D.T. Cochrane


    7. Rentierism and the question of capitalist development         

    Kevin R. Cox


    Part III: Studies of rentierism in the Global North


    8. Urban entrepreneurs as global rentiers: real estate clientelism and hegemony in Belgium and Spain

    Callum Ward and Javier Moreno Zacarés


    9. Labour, labour law and capitalist rent-seeking: rentier capitalism and labour in historical perspective              

    Eric Tucker


    10. The labour economics of rents in the Global North                                           

    Philippe Askenazy


    11. US rentierism, hegemony and militarism: corporate harm and state violence                                             

    Balihar Sanghera


    Part IV: Studies of rentierism in the Global South


    12. Mozambique: turning a poor country into a rentier state

    Joseph Hanlon


    13. Rentier capitalism and global economic imaginaries in Central Asia

    Balihar Sanghera and Elmira Satybaldieva


    14. Rentier income and mass-based financialisation: the limits of redistributive policies during the Pink Tide in Brazil

    Fernando Rugitsky and Pedro Romero Marques


    15. Surplus, rent, and unequal development: raw materials and remittances as the motor of rent societies in the Global South?

    Hannes Warnecke-Berger


    16. The rentier economies in Latin America

    Ilán Bizberg

    17. Conclusion                                                                                             

    Balihar Sanghera






    Balihar Sanghera is Reader in Sociology at the University of Kent. His research has focused on class, morality and rentier capitalism in Central Asia. He has published in leading journals, including Cambridge Journal of Economics, Capital and Class, Theory and Society, International Sociology and The Sociological Review. He is a co-author with Elmira Satybaldieva of Rentier Capitalism and Its Discontents: Power, Morality and Resistance in Central Asia (Palgrave Macmillan, 2021), and co-editor with Gideon Calder of Ethics, Economy and Social Science: Dialogues with Andrew Sayer (Routledge, 2022).

    This is an excellent collection of case studies on how rentier capitalism hampers industrial growth and raises the cost structure of countries, privatizing what a century ago were expected to be public infrastructure, providing basic services at subsidized prices or even freely for basic needs. The book is the first volume of its kind that looks at rentier capitalism from a global perspective, and it is a must-read for everyone interested in political economy and the crisis of today’s capitalism. It will appeal to those who want to know how rentier capitalism differs from the 19th-century ethic of industrial capitalism, which aimed at freeing market from a landlord class and its economic rent, and from monopolies and financial overhead. The optimistic conclusion is that there is an alternative to such rentier overhead. Only by recognizing its detrimental cost can economies be freed from such charges. This book is an excellent start.

    - Professor Michael Hudson, University of Missouri

    A timely and fascinating account of rentier capitalism. From early philosophers such as Aristotle, through religious prohibitions of usury, to popular writers such as Henry George, there has been deep concern about incomes derived simply through ownership. Today, rentier income is a major source of economic inequality. Whether you agree or disagree on the details, there is no doubt about the importance of the topic.

    - Geoffrey M Hodgson, Emeritus Professor, Loughborough University London.

    Entrepreneurs’ capitalism is the past. Global Rentier Capitalism deals with the central issue of rents and their main beneficiaries, rentiers and financiers. I wholeheartedly welcome this critical collection of essays.

    - Luiz Carlos Bresser-Pereira, Emeritus Professor, Getulio Vargas Foundation