The Market (Paperback)Matthew Watson (author)
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We have become accustomed to economists and politicians talking about "market forces" as if they are immutable laws of the universe. But what exactly is "the market"? Originally an abstract idea from economic theory - the locus of supply and demand - it has come to inform the way we speak about our relationship to the economic system as a whole.
Matthew Watson unpacks the concept to ask what does it really mean to allow ourselves to submit to market forces. And does economic theory really provide insights into the market institutions that shape our everyday life? In tackling these questions, the book provides a major contribution to a deeper appreciation of the dominant economic language of our time, challenging the idea that we can simply defer to the "logic of the market".
Publisher: Agenda Publishing
Number of pages: 192
Dimensions: 234 x 156 mm
A masterpiece of erudition and concision, Matthew Watson's new book lifts the lid on a concept whose ubiquity in public discourse is matched only by its slipperiness. With immense skill, Watson explores the ways in which the idea of 'the market' has developed within the field of economics and in so-doing teases out the complex relationships between academic abstraction of the market concept and the prevalence of market ideology in politics. The result is a truly impressive book that should be regarded as a vital supplement to standard economics textbooks and essential reading for anyone interested in understanding whether there are alternatives to the 'iron cage' of the market. -- Ben Rosamond, Professor of Politics, University of Copenhangen
Watson unearths precisely why we feel so comfortable attributing disruptive economic change simply to the will of the market . . . [he] traces the emergence and triumph of the market concept as we know it, deploying critical insights from political economy and undertaking a deeply-textured excavation of the history of economic thought. The Market provides a valuable history of 'the market' as an idea, rendering unfamiliar something we often take as a given. In doing so, the book makes a useful contribution to vibrant debates within political economy and feeds into timely conversations beyond academia about our position as economic subjects. At a time when we are increasingly facing pressure to imagine alternative economic futures in which the economy works for everyone, The Market's call to action will certainly have wide appeal in its abandonment of the present market concept. -- David Dodds, LSE Book Reviews
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