Histories of Capitalism on the Edges of World Economy

Term: Spring 2012

Subject Code: GHIS

Course Number: 5137

This course is about the study of capitalism on the edge of the world economy. We study the questions that historians have asked about capitalism, and the different ways that they have tried to address these questions. Central issues and research questions include: What does capitalism look like on the edges of the world economy? How did it emerge and change-over-time in different areas? What cultural meanings have been attached to capitalism? What groups have participated (willingly or unwillingly) in capitalist development? How have people struggled against capitalist modes of production and accumulation? How do analyses of capitalism on the periphery add to our understandings of the world economy? How have different generations of historians approached the study of capitalism (and economics more broadly)? We also examine the major polemics, from debates over analytical frameworks to disagreements over methodology. Finally, we consider the political and ethical implications of the different interpretations and methods.

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