2nd Edition

The Political Economy Reader Contending Perspectives and Contemporary Debates

Edited By Naazneen Barma, Steven K. Vogel Copyright 2022
    644 Pages 17 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    644 Pages 17 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The Political Economy Reader advocates a particular approach to the study of political economy – the "market-institutional" perspective – which emphasizes the ways in which markets are embedded in political and social institutions. This perspective offers a compelling alternative to the market-liberal view, which advocates freer markets and less government intervention in the economy, as if states and markets were naturally at odds with each other. The reader embraces a truly interdisciplinary approach to the study of political economy, with extensive coverage from sociology, economics, history and political science. It includes some of the most important classical and contemporary theoretical perspectives on political economy. And it engages some of the most topical debates in political economy today, such as climate change, the global financial crisis, inequality, the digital platform economy, and the COVID-19 pandemic. For political economy courses at a variety of levels and from a range of disciplines, the reader is also of interest to scholars and citizens wanting perspective on the intersection of economics, politics, and society.

    New to the Second Edition

    • More than 20 new readings included by such notables as Elinor Ostrom, E. J. Hobsbawm, Dani Rodrik, Amartya Sen, Thomas Piketty, and Mariana Mazzucato among many others.

    • Fully updated introductions to the book and each thematic chapter of readings.

    • Coverage of key emerging debates including climate change, the financial crisis, inequality,  the digital platform economy, and COVID-19


    Introduction, by Steven K. Vogel

    Part I: Contending Perspectives

    1. The Classics

    Adam Smith, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1776)

    Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, The Communist Manifesto (1848)

    Friedrich List, The National System of Political Economy (1841)

    2. The Liberal Paradigm

    Friedrich Hayek, The Road to Serfdom (1944)

    Milton Friedman, Capitalism and Freedom (1962)

    3. Economic Sociology

    Karl Polanyi, The Great Transformation (1944)

    Neil Fligstein, The Architecture of Markets (2001)

    4. The New Institutional Economics

    Douglass North, Structure and Change in Economic History (1981)

    Elinor Ostrom, Governing the Commons (1990)

    5. Historical Perspectives

    E. J. Hobsbawm, Industry and Empire (1968)

    Alexander Gerschenkron, Economic Backwardness in Historical Perspective (1951)

    6. Political Science and Political Economy

    Charles E. Lindblom, Politics and Markets (1977)

    Peter A. Hall and David Soskice, Varieties of Capitalism (2001)

    Part II: Contemporary Debates

    1. Market Reform

    Deepak Lal, Reviving the Invisible Hand (2006)

    Steven K. Vogel, Marketcraft: How Governments Make Markets Work (2018)

    2. Market Transition

    Anders Aslund, How Capitalism Was Built (2013)

    Yuen Yuen Ang, How China Escaped the Poverty Trap (2017)

    3. Market Development

    Arvind Panagariya, Free Trade & Prosperity (2019)

    Dani Rodrik, One Economics, Many Recipes (2007)

    Naazneen H. Barma, "Economic Development: From Orthodoxy to Heterodoxy" (2021)

    Amartya Sen, Development as Freedom (1999)

    4. Climate Change

    John Asafu–Adjaye et al., "An Ecomodernist Manifesto" (2015)

    Jeremy Caradonna et al., "A Call to Look Past An Ecomodernist Manifesto: A Degrowth Critique" (2015)

    5. The Global Financial Crisis

    Peter Wallison, "The True Story of the Financial Crisis," (2011)

    Joseph E. Stiglitz, Freefall: America, Free Markets, and the Sinking of the World Economy (2010)

    6. Inequality

    Gregory Mankiw, "Defending the One Percent" (2013)

    Thomas Piketty, Capital in the Twenty First Century (2014)

    7. The Digital Platform Economy

    Tyler Cowen, Big Business: A Love-Letter to an American Anti-Hero (2019)

    Mariana Mazzucato, The Entrepreneurial State (2013)

    Lina Khan, "Sources of Tech Platform Power" (2018)

    8. The COVID-19 Pandemic

    Brink Lindsey, "What the Pandemic Revealed" (2020)

    Carolina Alves and Ingrid Harvold Kvangraven "Changing the Narrative: Economics After COVID-19" (2020)


    Naazneen H. Barma is Director of the Doug and Mary Scrivner Institute of Public Policy, Scrivner Chair, and Associate Professor at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver.

    Steven K. Vogel is Chair of the Political Economy Program, the Il Han New Professor of Asian Studies, and a Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley. 

     Praise for The Political Economy Reader, Second Edition

    "Political economy readers tend to come in two flavors: excerpts of the classics or surveys of the present. The difficulty lies in combining the two, showing the reader how the reach of political economy has expanded over time. Barma and Vogel have managed just that and, in doing so, have set the benchmark for what students of political economy need to know."

    --Mark Blyth, Brown University

    "From climate change to COVID-19, understanding the challenges policymakers confront in governing markets has never been more important. This valuable collection presents a wide variety of thoughtfully-curated approaches to political economy, providing scholars and students alike with essential insights into persistent puzzles regarding how political institutions shape markets in ways that promote—or fail to promote—societies that thrive."

    --Greta R. Krippner, University of Michigan

    "Barma and Vogel have produced an outstanding collection of core texts on political economy, including both classic texts and some of the most important recent contributions. This reader strikes a perfect balance between theory and applied topics and highlights the interdisciplinary nature of the field. The volume familiarizes the reader with the most influential theoretical approaches to political economy. It also includes important empirical studies that illustrate the relevance of the field to understanding a wide range of contemporary and historical developments. Thanks to the editors’ carefully crafted introductions it is accessible to students encountering this material for the first time, but the volume is equally useful as a sophisticated guide to the field for advanced graduate students and anyone else who wants to learn more about political economy. This book is an indispensable and up-to-date guide to political economy, and it will be essential reading for students taking a wide range of classes in political science, sociology, economics, history, and management."

    -- Magnus Feldmann, University of Bristol

    "Vogel and Barma do a masterful job of selecting key yet divergent theoretical perspectives on political economy. The Reader then turns to substantive contemporary debates, where these competing theories can be applied and evaluated against real-world examples. This text is an excellent choice for a graduate or advanced undergraduate course. The reading selections encourage a rigorous comparative analysis on some of the major political and economic challenges of our time."

    --Elizabeth Carter, University of New Hampshire

    "The Political Economy Reader by Barma and Vogel brings together landmark texts and cutting-edge research on emerging questions in political economy. It allows readers to trace the major lineages of economic thought from Smith, Polanyi and Marx to contemporary theorists grappling with how to make sense of global financial crises, climate change and pandemic politics. The selections do justice to a broad range of perspectives and together with the authors’ introductions to themes, they inspire debate about foundational assumptions of historical and contemporary political economy. The volume is an invaluable teaching tool."

    --Susanne Wengle, University of Notre Dame

    Praise for the First Edition

    "This is a superb collection of foundational works in political economy. Rather than obeying disciplinary boundaries, Barma and Vogel accomplish what we should all aspire to: bringing together key ideas and contributions from a range of scholars interested in important theoretical and substantive questions relevant to the field of political economy. I know of no other collection that spans the theoretical and empirical range of this volume."

    --David Leblang, University of Colorado, Boulder

    "'It’s very difficult to select ‘critical’ readings in political economy because there is so much terrain to cover. But Barma and Vogel have made excellent selections that can be the foundation for a graduate-level course, or a scholarly immersion into foundational perspectives. I think their organization of the writing into alternative perspectives in tension with each other will make for great discussions."

    --Nicole Woolsey Biggart, University of California, Davis

    "This is an outstanding anthology of classic and modern writings on political economy. Indeed, other than being asked to select the readings personally to suit your own exact tastes, it is hard to envision a better collection than The Political Economy Reader... Particularly given its inclusion of a number of classic theoretical readings, the book would sit well when paired with the more recent focus of many books used to teach globalization. The interdisciplinary nature of this volume with contributions from economics, history, political science, and sociology should also appeal to anyone teaching an Introduction to International Studies course. While everyone using this book might want to change an individual reading here or there, this reader is about as good as you could ever get for comprehensive coverage of political economy in one easy volume. It is likely to become highly popular and widely adopted over the coming years."

    --Scott Pegg, Indiana University-Purdue University, in The Journal of Political Science Education