Background close-up of a ruined rollercoaster
Capitalism at the crossroads

Projects

I am currently involved in a number of on-going projects. They are described and linked on these pages.


Social Structures of Accumulation & Stages of Capitalism

SSA theory was developed in the 1970s and early 1980s by David Gordon, Richard Edwards, and Michael Reich as a way of relating apparent long cycles of growth and stagnation in capitalist history to periods of change in the institutional structure of capitalism. Contrary to the sunny picture of conventional equilibrium economics, capitalist history appeared to be punctuated by periodic crises of unusual depth and length. And contrary to conventional Marxian expectations, capitalism had not fallen into a permanent state of depression or stagnation. Subsequent to the crisis periods, capitalist economies experienced prolonged periods of relatively vigorous and stable growth and accumulation. SSA theory sought to explain both the long periods of more rapid expansion and the long periods of stagnation or contraction.

This task was made urgent at the end of the 1970s by the crisis of the postwar social order, manifested in the United States as The Great Stagflation. SSA theory understood the postwar expansion to result from the inauguration of a new stage of capitalism at the end of World War II, analogous to the monopoly capitalist stage initiated at the turn of the twentieth century and identified by Baran and Sweezy, Ernest Mandel, and others. SSA theory analyzed The Great Stagflation as the crisis of this postwar stage of capitalism. More generally, SSA theory explains alternating periods of growth and stagnation in capitalist history in terms of new stages of capitalism and their subsequent crises. Each new stage of capitalism is characterized by a new SSA.

Book Chapter

"Comparative Capitalisms and the Marxian Theory of Capitalist Stages", a chapter to be published in German by Verlag Westfälisches Dampfboot.

Links

View Social Structure of Accumulation Conference >

I am constructing a website which contains a basic introduction to the Social Structure of Accumulation (SSA) framework and a comprehensive bibliography.

Top ⇑