Capitalist Collective Action: Competition, Cooperation and Conflict in the Coal Industry

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Overview

This unique volume presents a theory of capitalist collective action and a case study of the pre-World War II American coal industry to which the theory is applied. The author examines the irony of capitalist firms that do not want to compete with each other, but often cannot avoid doing so. He then explains under what conditions businesses would be able to organize their competition and identifies the economic and political factors that facilitate or inhibit this organization. The case study not only illustrates the theory, but demonstrates how the competitive relations of capitalist firms are critically important determinants of their political behavior.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...an extraordinary piece of work that is sure to become a centerpiece in the ongoing discussion of the politics of industrial states. The distinguishing feature of the book is Bowman's hard-nosed and articulate theoretical approach to a major empirical problem." Professor Russell Hardin, The University of Chicago

"Regardless of one's view of rational choice models,...this volume is praiseworthy.... This book is highly recommended to sociologists with an interest in corporations, labor, and the state." American Journal of Sociology

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Product Details

Table of Contents

Preface; Acknowledgments; Part 1: 1. Economic competition and market organization: the logic of capitalist collective action; 2. Forms of capitalist collective action; Part II: 3. Price and wage games in the bituminous coal industry; 4. Workers organize capitalists: collective bargaining and market organization, 1880–1914; 5. The coal industry on the defensive, 1916–22; 6. Labor-capital conflict and the disorganization of the coal market, 1921–8; 7. From free competition to state intervention; Part III: 8. Capitalists, workers, and the state; Bibliography; Indexes.

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