Skip to main content Accessibility help

Book description

The two dominant conceptions of political economy are based on either reducing political decisions to rational-choice reasoning or, conversely, reducing economic structures and phenomena to the realm of politics. In this book, Adrian Pabst and Roberto Scazzieri contend that neither conception is convincing and argue for a fundamental rethinking of political economy. Developing a new approach at the interface of economic theory and political thought, the book shows that political economy covers a plurality of dimensions, which reflect internal hierarchies and multiple relationships within the economic and political sphere. The Constitution of Political Economy presents a new, richer conception of political economy that draws on a range of thinkers from the history of political economy, recognising the complex embedding of the economy and the polity in society. Effective policy-making has to reflect this embedding and rests on the interdependence between local, national, and international actors to address multiple systemic crises.


‘Adrian Pabst and Roberto Scazzieri’s sophisticated analysis combines deep knowledge of intellectual history with critical assessment of the methods of political science and economics. They offer a better way of understanding the complex interdependencies between politics and the economy. Both disciplines - as well as historians - will benefit from their call for a new approach to political economy that understands economics and politics as mutually embedded.’

Martin Daunton - Emeritus Professor of Economic History, University of Cambridge

‘The fascination of this book derives from its blend of scholarship and innovation. Guiding us through an impressive body of economic and political theory, the authors make the case for their ‘constitutionalist’ political economy approach, which reveals the intertwining of structural economic relationships and constellations of interests, explores the issue of political agency, and studies the conditions for systemic stability. Pabst and Scazzieri remind us of the interdependencies that bind societies together and make us reconsider the foundations of the ‘commonweal’. Also noticeable is their analysis of relatively neglected authors, including seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Neapolitan writers.’

Lilia Costabile - University of Naples Federico II and Clare Hall, Cambridge

‘A penetrating analysis of how a toxic mix of Neoclassical assumptions and post-modernism combined to veil most of the real action in politics and economics in mainstream studies of political economy. The book raises fundamental questions that have been ignored far too long and it presents answers everyone needs to grapple with, not just specialists, but citizens and journalists.’

Thomas Ferguson - Research Director, Institute for New Economic Thinking

Refine List

Actions for selected content:

Select all | Deselect all
  • View selected items
  • Export citations
  • Download PDF (zip)
  • Save to Kindle
  • Save to Dropbox
  • Save to Google Drive

Save Search

You can save your searches here and later view and run them again in "My saved searches".

Please provide a title, maximum of 40 characters.



Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Book summary page views

Total views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between #date#. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.