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The Architecture of Markets: An Economic Sociology of Twenty-First-Century Capitalist Societies

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The Architecture of Markets: An Economic Sociology of Twenty-First-Century Capitalist Societies Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Market societies have created more wealth, and more opportunities for more people, than any other system of social organization in history. Yet we still have a rudimentary understanding of how markets themselves are social constructions that require extensive institutional support. This groundbreaking work seeks to fill this gap, to make sense of modern capitalism by developing a sociological theory of market institutions. Addressing the unruly dynamism that capitalism brings with it, leading sociologist Neil Fligstein argues that the basic drift of any one market and its actors, even allowing for competition, is toward stabilization.

The Architecture of Markets represents a major and timely step beyond recent, largely empirical studies that oppose the neoclassical model of perfect competition but provide sparse theory toward a coherent economic sociology. Fligstein offers this theory. With it he interprets not just globalization and the information economy, but developments more specific to American capitalism in the past two decades--among them, the 1980s merger movement. He makes new inroads into the theory of fields, which links the formation of markets and firms to the problems of stability. His political-cultural approach explains why governments remain crucial to markets and why so many national variations of capitalism endure. States help make stable markets possible by, for example, establishing the rule of law and adjudicating the class struggle. State-building and market-building go hand in hand.

Fligstein shows that market actors depend mightily upon governments and the members of society for the social conditions that produce wealth. He demonstrates that systems favoring more social justice and redistribution can yield stable markets and economic growth as readily as less egalitarian systems. This book will surely join the classics on capitalism. Economists, sociologists, policymakers, and all those interested in what makes markets function as they do will read it for many years to come.

Synopsis:

This work seeks to make sense of modern capitalism by developing a sociological theory of market institutions. Addressing the dynamism that capitalism brings with it, the author argues that the basic drift of any one market and its actors, even allowing for competition, is toward stabilization.

Synopsis:

"The Architecture of Markets is superb. It is timely in setting an agenda and a framing for a new and newly coherent economic sociology. The writing is lucid, the assessments are penetrating and judicious, open-minded with respect to other disciplines and perspectives, yet hard-hitting on the major points."--Harrison White, Columbia University

"Neil Fligstein has produced a major and innovative contribution to economic sociology; he has created an exciting theory about how markets will behave, and this theory will no doubt be discussed quite a bit in the coming years. This book represents the first attempt in contemporary economic sociology to produce a full . . . analysis of the economy."--Richard Swedberg, Stockholm University

Synopsis:

Market societies have created more wealth, and more opportunities for more people, than any other system of social organization in history. Yet we still have a rudimentary understanding of how markets themselves are social constructions that require extensive institutional support. This groundbreaking work seeks to fill this gap, to make sense of modern capitalism by developing a sociological theory of market institutions. Addressing the unruly dynamism that capitalism brings with it, leading sociologist Neil Fligstein argues that the basic drift of any one market and its actors, even allowing for competition, is toward stabilization.

The Architecture of Markets represents a major and timely step beyond recent, largely empirical studies that oppose the neoclassical model of perfect competition but provide sparse theory toward a coherent economic sociology. Fligstein offers this theory. With it he interprets not just globalization and the information economy, but developments more specific to American capitalism in the past two decades--among them, the 1980s merger movement. He makes new inroads into the theory of fields, which links the formation of markets and firms to the problems of stability. His political-cultural approach explains why governments remain crucial to markets and why so many national variations of capitalism endure. States help make stable markets possible by, for example, establishing the rule of law and adjudicating the class struggle. State-building and market-building go hand in hand.

Fligstein shows that market actors depend mightily upon governments and the members of society for the social conditions that produce wealth. He demonstrates that systems favoring more social justice and redistribution can yield stable markets and economic growth as readily as less egalitarian systems. This book will surely join the classics on capitalism. Economists, sociologists, policymakers, and all those interested in what makes markets function as they do will read it for many years to come.

Table of Contents

List of Tables xi

Preface xiii

1. Bringing Sociology Back In 3

A Critique of the E isting Literature in the Sociology of Markets 6

Theoretical Questions for a Sociology of Markets 10

A Political-Cultural Approach 15

Structure of the Book 20

Nor ative Implications of the Political-Cultural Approach to the Sociology of Markets 21

PART I 25

2. Markets as Institutions 27

Market Institutions: Basic Definitions 28

State Building and Market Building 36

Power in Policy Domains and Market Institutions 42

3. The Politics of the Creation of Market Institutions 45

Political Structuring of Labor Market Institutions 53

Policy Domains and Market Regulation in Real Societies 56

Stability and Complexity 59

Implications for Research 62

Conclusion 64

4. The Theory of Fields and the Problem of Market Formation 67

Markets as Fields 67

The Goal of Action in Stable Markets 70

The Proble of Change and Stability in Markets 75

Links between Market For ation and States 86

Some Macro Implications of the Theory of Fields 89

Globalization and Market Processes 94

Conclusion 97

PART II 99

5. The Logic of Employment Systems 101

Employment Systems as Institutional Projects 103

Variations and Transfor ations in Employment Systems 107

The Dynamics of Systems of Employment Relations 108

Insights into Comparative Employment Systems 111

Research Agendas 117

Conclusion 120

6. The Dynamics of U.S. Firms and the Issue of Ownership and Control in the 1970s 123

Review of the Literature 124

Manage ent versus Owner Control 125

Bank Control 126

Market Dynamics and Manage ent Control 128

Hypotheses 130

Data and Methods 132

Results 136

Discussion and Conclusions 144

Appendix A 146

7. The Rise of the Shareholder Value Conception of the Firm and the Merger Movement in the 1980s 147

What Is to Be Explained? 150

Finance Economics 151

Manager, Owner, and Bank Control 153

The Crisis of the Finance Conception of Control and the Rise of the Shareholder Value Conception of Control 155

Hypotheses 157

Data and Methods 158

Results 162

Conclusion 166

8. Corporate Control in Capitalist Societies 170

Economic Theories and Mechanisms 172

Sociological Theories of Control 176

Comparative Cases 181

Conclusion 189

9. Globalization 191

Definitions of Globalization 193

Critique of Globalization Arguments 195

The Slow Expansion and Unevenness of Global Trade 196

Change or Continuity in the Organization of Production? 203

Does Globalization Cause Deindustrialization and Inequality? 206

Politics, Govern ents, and Financial Markets 209

Trade, Competition, Industrial Policy, and the Welfare State 213

Globalization and Neoliberalis as an American Project 220

Conclusion 221

0. Conclusions 223

Two Tales of One Industry 223

Stability and Efficiency 228

Efficiency, Stability, and Equity 231

Conclusion 236

Notes 239

Bibliography 247

Index 269

Product Details

ISBN:
9780691102542
Author:
Fligstein, Neil
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Location:
Princeton
Subject:
General
Subject:
Economics
Subject:
Capitalism
Subject:
Economics - General
Subject:
Sociology
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
September 2002
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
College/higher education:
Language:
English
Illustrations:
18 tables
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 14 oz

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Related Subjects

Business » Accounting and Finance
History and Social Science » Economics » General
Humanities » Philosophy » General

The Architecture of Markets: An Economic Sociology of Twenty-First-Century Capitalist Societies New Trade Paper
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$47.50 In Stock
Product details 288 pages Princeton University Press - English 9780691102542 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , This work seeks to make sense of modern capitalism by developing a sociological theory of market institutions. Addressing the dynamism that capitalism brings with it, the author argues that the basic drift of any one market and its actors, even allowing for competition, is toward stabilization.
"Synopsis" by , "The Architecture of Markets is superb. It is timely in setting an agenda and a framing for a new and newly coherent economic sociology. The writing is lucid, the assessments are penetrating and judicious, open-minded with respect to other disciplines and perspectives, yet hard-hitting on the major points."--Harrison White, Columbia University

"Neil Fligstein has produced a major and innovative contribution to economic sociology; he has created an exciting theory about how markets will behave, and this theory will no doubt be discussed quite a bit in the coming years. This book represents the first attempt in contemporary economic sociology to produce a full . . . analysis of the economy."--Richard Swedberg, Stockholm University

"Synopsis" by , Market societies have created more wealth, and more opportunities for more people, than any other system of social organization in history. Yet we still have a rudimentary understanding of how markets themselves are social constructions that require extensive institutional support. This groundbreaking work seeks to fill this gap, to make sense of modern capitalism by developing a sociological theory of market institutions. Addressing the unruly dynamism that capitalism brings with it, leading sociologist Neil Fligstein argues that the basic drift of any one market and its actors, even allowing for competition, is toward stabilization.

The Architecture of Markets represents a major and timely step beyond recent, largely empirical studies that oppose the neoclassical model of perfect competition but provide sparse theory toward a coherent economic sociology. Fligstein offers this theory. With it he interprets not just globalization and the information economy, but developments more specific to American capitalism in the past two decades--among them, the 1980s merger movement. He makes new inroads into the theory of fields, which links the formation of markets and firms to the problems of stability. His political-cultural approach explains why governments remain crucial to markets and why so many national variations of capitalism endure. States help make stable markets possible by, for example, establishing the rule of law and adjudicating the class struggle. State-building and market-building go hand in hand.

Fligstein shows that market actors depend mightily upon governments and the members of society for the social conditions that produce wealth. He demonstrates that systems favoring more social justice and redistribution can yield stable markets and economic growth as readily as less egalitarian systems. This book will surely join the classics on capitalism. Economists, sociologists, policymakers, and all those interested in what makes markets function as they do will read it for many years to come.

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