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Great Transformations: Economic Ideas and Institutional Change in the Twentieth Century / Edition 1

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Overview

Mark Blyth argues that economic ideas are powerful political tools as used by domestic groups in order to effect change since whoever defines what the economy is, what is wrong with it, and what would improve it, has a profound political resource in their possession. Blyth analyzes the 1930s and 1970s, two periods of deep-seated institutional change that characterized the twentieth century. Viewing both periods of change as part of the same dynamic, Blyth argues that the 1930s labor reacted against the exigencies of the market and demanded state action to mitigate the market's effects by "embedding liberalism" and the 1970s, those who benefited least from such "embedding" institutions, namely business, reacted against these constraints and sought to overturn that institutional order. In Great Transformations, Blyth demonstrates the critical role economic ideas played in making institutional change possible and he rethinks the relationship between uncertainty, ideas, and interests on how, and under what conditions, institutional change takes place. Mark Blyth is an assistant professor of political science at the Johns Hopkins University specializing in comparative political economy. He has taught at Columbia University, and at the University of Birmingham, UK. Blyth is a member of the editorial board of the Review of International Political Economy.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"[R]emarkably rigorous, original, and interesting work.... Blyth breaks new ground by using Frank Knight's concept of uncertainty as a linchpin for this theory of institutional change.... Highly recommended." Choice

"Economic historians frequently fail to connect their findings to broader political and sociological questions. Mark Blyth, a professor of political science at Johns Hopkins University, avoids that pitfall in Great Transformations. In a well-researched comparative study of the United States and Sweden, Blyth analyzes the impact of economic ideas on institutional change." History: Reviews of New Books

"Blyth's analysis is sweeping, thorough, and powerfully demonstrates the path-shaping power of ideas to frame and give substance to institutional reconfiguration." Governance

"Blyth's analysis is sweeping, thorough, and powerfully demonstrates the path-shaping power of ideas to frame and give substance to institutional reconfiguration." Governance

"[An] important new book." EH.NET

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521010528
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/2002
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 296
  • Sales rank: 1,386,375
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.67 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
Pt. I Theory
1 Karl Polanyi and Institutional Change 3
2 A Theory of Institutional Change 17
Pt. II Cases
3 Building American Embedded Liberalism 49
4 Building Swedish Embedded Liberalism 96
5 Disembedding Liberalism: Ideas to Break a Bargain 126
6 Disembedding Liberalism in the United States 152
7 Disembedding Liberalism in Sweden 202
Pt. III Conclusions
8 Conclusions 251
Index 277
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