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Critique and Capital in History and in the Twenty-first Century

Organised by the Institute for Futures Studies and Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study.

Recent years have witnessed a renewed interest in the long-run global development of wealth and inequality as well as efforts to grasp the implications and repercussions of the sustained financial and societal crisis in large parts of the world.This interest has also led to a reexamination of the analytical value and use of the categories of capital, capitalism and critique. Some of these efforts have been stimulated by the publication in 2014 of Thomas Piketty's Capital in the Twenty-First Century.

Another, but related, strand of interest has emerged out of the Franco-Swedish programme, on economics, philosophy and politics that has been pursued jointly by the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study (SCAS) in Uppsala and the Maison des sciences de l’homme (MSH) in Paris and its Collège d’études mondiales. This programme, with Gustaf Arrhenius and Marc Fleurbaey as key coordinators, ushered in a large international endeavour, namely the International Panel on Social Progress (IPSP) that has involved some 300 scholars across the world and will submit its final report later this year where several scholars close to SCAS and the Institute for Futures Studies have played an active role both as authors and as members of the steering committee.

In the present academic year there are several Fellows in residence at SCAS as well as other scholars closely connected to the Collegium who have written extensively on the long-term history of capital and capitalism but also on the history of economics as an academic field. The symposium is intended to present some of their research findings but also to explore avenues for further sustained endeavours to achieve an understanding of long-term transformations of patterns of economic and societal contestations and critique.


09.45-10.15: Coffee and mingle

10.15-10.20 Introduction by Gustaf Arrhenius and Björn Wittrock

10.20-11.10 Lars Magnusson: Embedded Capitalism: The Case of the 21st Century
Lars is engaged in research on long-term economic and societal development but also on the history of economics.

11.10-12.00 Daniel Waldenström: Capital, inequality and taxation: Long-run trends and looking ahead
Daniel has written extensively on long-term developments of patterns of income and wealth inequality.

12.00-13.00 Lunch break

13.00-13.50 Elise Dermineur: The Seeds of Financialization: Some Social and Economic Considerations from the Past
Elise writes about women and credit in pre-industrial France but has also recently published the book Gender and Politics in Eighteenth-Century Sweden (Routledge 2017).

13.50-14.40 Jürgen Kocka: Dimensions of inequality: changing patterns in 20th century Europe
Jürgen is extending his book Capitalism: A Short History (Princeton University Press, 2016) into a global history of capitalism.

14.40-15.10 Fika

15.10-16.00 Keith Tribe: Historical Tools for Contemporary Analysis
Keith manifested e.g. in recent volumes on The Economy of the Word (Oxford University Press, 2015) and The Contradictions of Capital in the Twenty-First Century: The Piketty Opportunity (Columbia University Press 2017).

The symposium will be held at the Institute for Futures Studies, Holländargatan 13 in Stockholm.

If you wish to know more about this symposium, get in touch with Orri Stefánsson.

If you wish to participate, register here.