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1 - The State of the Art of Social Structure of Accumulation Theory

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 June 2012

Terrence McDonough
Affiliation:
National University of Ireland, Galway
Terrence McDonough
Affiliation:
National University of Ireland, Galway
Michael Reich
Affiliation:
University of California, Berkeley
David M. Kotz
Affiliation:
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
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Summary

This chapter provides an overview of the state of the art of the social structure of accumulation (SSA) literature produced since 1994. Any such project must start with David Gordon's last contributions before his untimely death in 1996. In addition, there have been a number of contributions from the academic discipline of sociology, including the founding of a “spatialization” school extending the work of Gordon, Edwards, and Reich's original Segmented Work, Divided Workers. There have been a number of works extending the geographic reach of the SSA framework to new areas, most prominently to developing countries. Several authors have applied the SSA framework to the history and analysis of specific institutions. Such an overview is supplied in the first section below. Following that section we will assess the theoretical contributions made by these works in the last ten years or so. Finally, we will discuss the debate over whether a new SSA was consolidated after the stagflation crisis of the 1970s and early 1980s. If an SSA was consolidated, the current economic crisis results from the disintegration of that SSA. If an SSA was not consolidated, what we are witnessing today is the continuation of the unresolved collapse of the postwar SSA.

An Overview of the Last Decade

David Gordon's Last Works

David Gordon's continuing contributions were primarily in the area of building econometric models that drew on the insights of SSA analysis to provide an alternative representation of the dynamics of the U.S. economy in the postwar period.

Type
Chapter
Information
Contemporary Capitalism and its Crises
Social Structure of Accumulation Theory for the 21st Century
, pp. 23 - 44
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2010

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