1st Edition

The Economic Thought of Sir James Steuart First Economist of the Scottish Enlightenment

Edited By José M. Menudo Copyright 2020
    284 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    282 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    James Steuart published An Inquiry into the Principles of Political Œconomy in 1767, the first systematic treatise on economics, nine years before Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations. Traditional historiography has tended to disregard and even deny Steuart’s oeuvre, categorizing him as the last, outdated advocate of mercantilist policies in Britain.

    A clear portrait of a modernizing and enlightened Steuart emerges from this book, opening up an alternative approach to many key developments in economic theory. This book brings together a diverse international team of experts to overturn the "advocate of mercantilism" myth and explore different interpretations of Steuart’s work within the context of the writings of other contemporary authors. A diverse range of specialists – historians, economists, political scientist, and sociologists – reflecting the diversity of James Steuart’s work explore various aspects of the life, works, and influence of James Steuart, including his links to other authors who conceive – as Steuart did – the economic system of "natural liberty" as an artificial creation. The portrait of a demarginalized, modernizing, and enlightened Steuart emerges clearly in this book.

    This book is not reduced to old authors whose ideas would be at the Museum of Dead Ideas, it has a very contemporary resonance. The subjects and the way Steuart tackles them could have a big influence on future authors who recognized some advantages of an alternative approach to many key developments in economic theory. This will also be of interest to scholars of history of economic thought, intellectual history, and 18th century history.

    Foreword Ramón Tortajada

    Part I: A Society Without Invisible Hands

    1. James Steuart on the Public Good Christopher J. Berry

    2. The Sociogenesis of the Modern State in Sir James Steuart’s Principles of Political Economy Matari Pierre Manigat

    3. James Steuart: Slavery and Commercial Society in his Principles of Political Economy Simona Pisanelli

    4. Beyond Montesquieu: Scottish Institutional Legal Thought and Steuart’s Spirit of the People Aida Ramos  

    5. The Notion of Political Economy in Steuart's and Smith's Main Works Francis Clavé  

    Part II: Money, Prices, and Production

    6. James Steuart on John Law’s System: The Beginnings of a Rational Monetary Analysis? Jean Cartelier

    7. ‘Writings on Money Full of Instruction’: Steuart and Ricardo as two squabbling bedfellows Ghislain Deleplace

    8. James Steuart: A Modern Approach to the Liquidity and Solvency of Public Debt Nesrine Bentemessek and Rebeca Gomez Betancourt 

    9. Steuart’s Naïve Theory of Money and Credit: A Macroeconomic Perspective Shigeki Tomo 

    10. Determination of Prices in the Economic Theory of James Steuart From a Modern Classical Perspective Alexander Tobon

    Part III: Readers and Readings of James Steuart

    11. James Steuart Versus Adam Smith: Tempest in a Teapot? Eyüp Özveren  

    12. Steuart and Davenant on Financing Wars Yutaka Furuya

    13. Steuart, A Late Mercantilist? Mauricio C. Coutinho

    14. Steuart, Hegel, Chamley: A Case Upon the Nature of ‘Influence’ Gilles Campagnolo

     15. Giovanni Tamassia and the Early Italian Reception of Steuart’s Principles of Political Economy Cecilia Carnino


    José M. Menudo is Professor of History of Economic Analysis at Pablo de Olavide University, Spain.