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After Adam Smith: A Century of Transformation in Politics and Political Economy
     

After Adam Smith: A Century of Transformation in Politics and Political Economy

by Murray Milgate, Shannon C. Stimson
 

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ISBN-10: 0691140375

ISBN-13: 9780691140377

Pub. Date: 08/03/2009

Publisher: Princeton University Press

Few issues are more central to our present predicaments than the relationship between economics and politics. In the century after Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations the British economy was transformed. After Adam Smith looks at how politics and political economy were articulated and altered. It considers how grand ideas about the connections between

Overview

Few issues are more central to our present predicaments than the relationship between economics and politics. In the century after Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations the British economy was transformed. After Adam Smith looks at how politics and political economy were articulated and altered. It considers how grand ideas about the connections between individual liberty, free markets, and social and economic justice sometimes attributed to Smith are as much the product of gradual modifications and changes wrought by later writers.

Thomas Robert Malthus, David Ricardo, James Mill, John Stuart Mill, and other liberals, radicals, and reformers had a hand in conceptual transformations that culminated in the advent of neoclassical economics. The population problem, the declining importance of agriculture, the consequences of industrialization, the structural characteristics of civil society, the role of the state in economic affairs, and the possible limits to progress were questions that underwent significant readjustments as the thinkers who confronted them in different times and circumstances reworked the framework of ideas advanced by Smith—transforming the dialogue between politics and political economy. By the end of the nineteenth century an industrialized and globalized market economy had firmly established itself. By exploring how questions Smith had originally grappled with were recast as the economy and the principles of political economy altered during the nineteenth century, this book demonstrates that we are as much the heirs of later images of Smith as we are of Smith himself.

Many writers helped shape different ways of thinking about economics and politics after Adam Smith. By ignoring their interventions we risk misreading our past—and also misusing it—when thinking about the choices at the interface of economics and politics that confront us today.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691140377
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
08/03/2009
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.10(d)

Table of Contents

Contents

Preface....................vii
Chapter One Introduction....................1
Chapter Two Adam Smith's Political Odyssey....................10
Chapter Three The Rise and Fall of Civil Society....................33
Chapter Four Economic Life and Political Life....................60
Chapter Five The Economic Machine and the Invisible Hand....................77
Chapter Six The Figure of Smith....................97
Chapter Seven Population and Political Economy....................121
Chapter Eight Utility, Property, and Political Participation....................139
Chapter Nine Economic Opinion on Parliamentary Reform....................160
Chapter Ten Utopias and Stationary States....................186
Chapter Eleven Labour Defended....................217
Chapter Twelve Individual Liberty and the Liberty of Trade....................237
Chapter Thirteen Two Critiques of Classical Political Economy....................258
References....................269
Index....................299

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