POLANYI’S ECONOMIC EMBEDDEDNESS, COUNTERMOVEMENT, AND REPUBLICAN POLITICAL ECONOMY

  • Bru Lain Associated professor of Sociology at the University of Barcelona and of Economy at Elisava University.
Keywords: Polanyi, Republicanism, Property, Freedom, Material Independence, Political Economy

Abstract

The aim of this article is to contend that Karl Polanyi’s work bears significant coincidences with the republican tradition of thought. The first of them is one of a methodological or epistemological kind, and it consists of the use of a very similar “social ontology”. The second one is of a substantive sort, and it is related to the “material conditions for freedom” which derive from a very similar conception of freedom and property. In the third section, we propose a republican reading of Polanyi’s work based on three of the author’s primary notions, those of “economic embeddedness”, “double movement”, and “political economy”. The article concludes by arguing that such concepts may prove useful both for understanding the democratic-republican program and for underlining its present validity in contemporary market societies.

Published
2018-05-15