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Fall 2020 Reading Group

Capitalism in Crisis

Prerequisites: None

Exam Type: No Exam

After the fall of the Soviet Union, capitalism appeared triumphant.  Commentators equated free markets with democracy and lauded the common law as particularly suited to support them both.  But capitalism entered a crisis period with the new millennium.  We will read a series of recent works that identify and seek to diagnose the drivers of that crisis.  Discussion will focus on the relationship between capitalism and its institutions, with particular focus on the state of social well-being.

Tentative reading list includes:  Pistor, Katerina. The Code of Capital:  How the Law Creates Wealth and Inequality.  Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2019; Streeck, Wolfgang Buying Time: The Delayed Crisis of Democratic Capitalism.  New York: Verso, 2017; and Tooze, Adam. Crashed: How a Decade of Financial Crises Changed the World.  New York: Penguin Books, 2018.

Note: This reading group will meet on the following dates: September 15, 29, October 20, 27, and November 10, 24.