Review Essay: Capital and Politics by Leo Panitch


Since its English language publication last year, Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century has taken the world by storm, offering hard evidence to show how class inequalities are endemic to the historical development of capitalism. In the December 2015 issue of Perspectives on Politics, Leo Panitch tackles the insights and limitations of Piketty’s work, along with recently published books by Fred Block and Margaret Somers, Wolfgang Streeck, and Colin Crouch. Taking these arguments together, Panitch makes the case for why political science needs to once again critically assess how state institutions, not just in the developing world but also in the West, have become more dependent on capitalist accumulation, and what implications this will have on democracy and equality in the decades to come. [Read more.]

Capital and Politics by Leo Panitch / Perspectives on Politics / Volume 13 / Issue 04 / December 2015, pp 1075-1083

Capital in the Twenty-First Century. By Thomas Piketty. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2014. 696p. $39.95 cloth.
The Power of Market Fundamentalism: Karl Polanyi’s Critique. By Fred Block and Margaret Somers. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2014. 312p. $49.95 cloth.
Buying Time: The Delayed Crisis of Democratic Capitalism. By Wolfgang Streeck. London: Verso, 2014. 240p. $95.00 cloth, $26.95 paper.
Making Capitalism Fit for Society. By Colin Crouch. Cambridge, UK: Polity 2013. 216p. $64.95 cloth, $19.95 paper.