The Moral Economy examines the nexus of poverty, credit, and trust in early modern Europe. It starts with an examination of poverty, the need for credit, and the lending practices of different social groups. It then reconstructs the battles between the Churches and the State around the ban on usury, and analyzes the institutions created to eradicate usury and the informal petty financial economy that developed as a result. Laurence Fontaine unpacks the values that structured these lending practices, namely, the two competing cultures of credit that coexisted, fought, and sometimes merged: the vibrant aristocratic culture and the capitalistic merchant culture. More broadly, Fontaine shows how economic trust between individuals was constructed in the early modern world. By creating a dialogue between past and present, and contrasting their definitions of poverty, the role of the market, and the mechanisms of microcredit, Fontaine draws attention to the necessity of recognizing the different values that coexist in diverse political economies.
Sure to be controversial and spur debate, this book presents a powerful analysis of rural change to marketization and globalization. Using Russia as a case study, it examines the how the rural population responded to reform policies during the transition away from communism. Wegren draws upon extensive field work, survey data, interviews, and wide-ranging Russian language source material to investigate adaptive behaviours by different groups of the rural population. The differentiated and nuanced analysis sheds considerable light on debates over whether actors are motivated mainly by rational or moral considerations.
Why Good Incentives Are No Substitute for Good Citizens
Author: Samuel Bowles
Publisher: Yale University Press
Category: Business & Economics
Should the idea of economic man—the amoral and self-interested Homo economicus—determine how we expect people to respond to monetary rewards, punishments, and other incentives? Samuel Bowles answers with a resounding “no.” Policies that follow from this paradigm, he shows, may “crowd out” ethical and generous motives and thus backfire. But incentives per se are not really the culprit. Bowles shows that crowding out occurs when the message conveyed by fines and rewards is that self-interest is expected, that the employer thinks the workforce is lazy, or that the citizen cannot otherwise be trusted to contribute to the public good. Using historical and recent case studies as well as behavioral experiments, Bowles shows how well-designed incentives can crowd in the civic motives on which good governance depends.
Business Cycles in the Progressive Era and New Deal
Author: D. R. Stabile
Publisher: Edward Elgar Publishing
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Markets, Planning and the Moral Economy examines the rise of the Progressive movement in the United States during the early decades of the 20th century, particularly the trend toward increased government intervention in the market system that culminated in the establishment of President RooseveltÕs New Deal programs. The authors consult writings from politicians, business leaders, and economists of the time, using a variety of historical perspectives to illuminate the conflicting viewpoints that arose as the country struggled to recover from the worst economic downturn in its history. This fascinating historical study explores the conflict between what the authors identify as two competing ideologies: the market economy, whose proponents advocated a hands-off approach and a trust in allowing the markets to adjust themselves, and the moral economy, whose supporters favored a system of government planning and stewardship designed to promote economic fairness. Presenting arguments from each side by public figures and intellectuals, this book offers the most thorough and complete analysis to date of the new economic discourse that arose during the Progressive movement and remains a vital component of our economic and political discussions today. Professors and students of economics, political science, public policy, and history will all find much to admire in this fascinating and accessible volume. Scholars from across the world will also find this book helpful in contemplating the long-term effects that the tension between the market economy and the moral economy can have on an individual countryÕs economic system.
Using the redevelopment of the Yonge-Dundas intersection in downtown Toronto in the mid-1990s as a case study, Ruppert examines the language of planners, urban designers, architects, and marketing analysts to reveal the extent to which moralization legitimizes these professions in the public eye.
Africa’s association with the European Union has long been hailed as a progressive model of North-South relations. European officials, in particular, have represented the Africa-EU ‘partnership’ as a pro-poor enterprise in which trade interests are married to development prerogatives. Applying a moral economy perspective, this book examines the tangible impact of Africa-Europe trade and development co-operation on citizens in developing countries. In so doing, it challenges liberal accounts of Europe’s normative power to enable benevolent change in the Global South and illuminates how EU discourse acts to legitimise unequal trade ties that have regressive consequences for ‘the poor’. Drawing upon the author’s own fieldwork, it assesses the difference between norms and the actual impact of EU concessions in relation to: budget support; aid for trade; private sector development (PSD); decent work. It concludes by considering the value of a moral economy approach in the assessment of free trade structures more widely. This text will be of key interest to scholars and students of Africanist IPE, European studies, and more broadly international political economy, international development, and international relations.
Activation policies which promote and enforce labour market participation continue to proliferate in Europe and constitute the reform blueprint from centre-left to centre-right, as well as for most international organizations. Through an in-depth study of four major reforms in Denmark and France, this book maps how co-existing ideas are mobilised to justify, criticise and reach activation compromises and how their morality sediments into the instruments governing the unemployed. By rethinking the role of ideas and morality in policy changes, this book illustrates how the moral economy of activation leads to a permanent behaviourist testing of the unemployed in public debate as well as in local jobcentres.
James C. Scott places the critical problem of the peasant household—subsistence—at the center of this study. The fear of food shortages, he argues persuasively, explains many otherwise puzzling technical, social, and moral arrangements in peasant society, such as resistance to innovation, the desire to own land even at some cost in terms of income, relationships with other people, and relationships with institutions, including the state. Once the centrality of the subsistence problem is recognized, its effects on notions of economic and political justice can also be seen. Scott draws from the history of agrarian society in lower Burma and Vietnam to show how the transformations of the colonial era systematically violated the peasants’ “moral economy” and created a situation of potential rebellion and revolution. Demonstrating keen insights into the behavior of people in other cultures and a rare ability to generalize soundly from case studies, Scott offers a different perspective on peasant behavior that will be of interest particularly to political scientists, anthropologists, sociologists, and Southeast Asianists. “The book is extraordinarily original and valuable and will have a very broad appeal. I think the central thesis is correct and compelling.”—Clifford Geertz “In this major work, … Scott views peasants as political and moral actors defending their values as well as their individual security, making his book vital to an understanding of peasant politics.”—Library Journal