Transnational Capital and Class Fractions: The Amsterdam School Perspective Reconsidered, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Transnational Capital and Class Fractions

The Amsterdam School Perspective Reconsidered, 1st Edition

Edited by Bob Jessop, Henk Overbeek


300 pages | 3 B/W Illus.

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Emerging in the late 1970s, the Amsterdam School’s (AS) most distinctive contribution to international political economy was the systematic incorporation of the Marxian concept of capital fractions into the study of international politics. Contending that politics in advanced capitalist countries takes place in a fundamentally transnationalized space in which the distinction between ‘domestic’ and ‘international’ has blurred, it shows how in this space, politics is structured by competing comprehensive concepts of control.

Presenting a concise and instructive introduction to the origins, development and significance of this distinct approach, this book provides a unique overview of the School’s contemporary significance for the field. Offering a new generation of critical scholars the opportunity to become acquainted at first hand with some of the contributions that have shaped the work of the AS, the contributions present critical commentaries, discussing the merits and shortcomings of the AS from a variety of perspectives, and undertake a (self-) critical evaluation of the current place and value of the AS framework in the broader landscape of approaches to the study of contemporary capitalism.

Written for scholars and students alike, it will be of interest to those working in international political economy, international relations and political science, political sociology, European studies and branches of academic economics such as regulation theory and institutional economics.

Table of Contents

Introduction - Political economy, capital fractions, transnational class formation: The intellectual pedigree of the Amsterdam School

Henk Overbeek

Part I

The Amsterdam School: Key contributions

1 The Dutch bourgeoisie between the two world wars (1979)

Ries Bode

2 Class formation at the international level (1979)

Kees Van Der Pijl

3 Finance capital and the crisis in Britain (1980)

Henk Overbeek

4 The international corporate elite (1982)

Meindert Fennema

5 Transnational class agency and European governance: The case of the European Round Table of Industrialists (2000)

Bastiaan Van Apeldoorn

6 Asymmetrical regulation and multidimensional governance in the European Union (2004)

Otto Holman

Part II

Critical commentaries

7 Class fractions and hegemonic concepts of control

Andreas Bieler and Adam Morton

8 Losing control? The Amsterdam School travels East

Dorothee Bohle

9 The Amsterdam School and its implications for Chinese scholars

Bai Yunzhen

10 Reconsidering the ‘dangerous liaisons’ between China and neoliberalism and its impact in Latin America and Caribbean countries

Leonardo Ramos and Javier Vadell

11 Saying Goodbye? Tracing my itinerary from Amsterdam to Beijing

Naná De Graaff

12 Reflections on the Amsterdam School and the transnational capitalist class

William K. Carroll

13 Theories of imperialism: Rivalries and unity

Alan Cafruny and Magnus Ryner

14 Nationalist populism within the Lockean heartland

Hans-Jürgen Bieling

15 Out of Amsterdam! Beyond the boundaries of (transnational) capitalist class formation

Laura Horn and Angela Wigger

16 The Amsterdam School: Gender as a blind spot?

Marianne H. Marchand

17 The Amsterdam School, critical realism and the study of ‘deep structures’

Hubert Buch-Hansen and Juan Ignacio Staricco

18 Confronting global governance after the historical turn in IR

Samuel Knafo

19 Network analysis and the Amsterdam School: An unfulfilled promise?

Eelke M. Heemskerk


The Amsterdam School and the Political Economy of Contemporary Capitalism

20 A transnational analysis of the current crisis

Kees Van Der Pijl

21 Putting the Amsterdam School in its place

Bob Jessop

About the Editors

Bob Jessop is Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Co-Director of the Cultural Political Economy Research Centre at Lancaster University.

Henk Overbeek is Emeritus Professor of International Relations. He has taught international relations and international political economy at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam since 1999.

About the Series

RIPE Series in Global Political Economy

For almost two decades now, the RIPE Series published by Routledge has been an essential forum for cutting-edge scholarship in International Political Economy. The series brings together new and established scholars working in critical, cultural and constructivist political economy. Books in the RIPE Series typically combine an innovative contribution to theoretical debates with rigorous empirical analysis.

The RIPE Series seeks to cultivate:

  • Field-defining theoretical advances in International Political Economy
  • Novel treatments of key issue areas, both historical and contemporary, such as global finance, trade, and production
  • Analyses that explore the political economic dimensions of relatively neglected topics, such as the environment, gender relations, and migration
  • Accessible work that will inspire advanced undergraduates and graduate students in International Political Economy.

James Brassett – Warwick

Eleni Tsingou – Copenhagen Business School

Susanne Soederberg – Queen’s

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Ideologies / General