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Fred Block
Setting the Habit of Capitalization


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Over the last thirty years, there has been a dramatic change in the organization of innovation in the US economy. The shift has been from innovation occurring inside large firms to widespread use of public-private collaborations. This shift has accelerated in important ways during the Obama presidency. But this transformation is deeply at odds with the free market ideas and tax-cutting policies that have had such powerful resonance in US politics. How might these tensions be resolved?
Fred Block is Research Professor of Sociology at the University of California at Davis. He is co-author with Margaret R. Somers of The Power of Market Fundamentalism: Karl Polanyi’s Critique. He has also edited, with Matthew R. Keller, State of Innovation: The US Government’s Role in Technology Development. His current project is a book entitled Capitalism: The Future of an Illusion.
Selected publications
  • The Power of Market Fundamentalism: Karl Polanyi's Critique (with Margaret R. Somers). Harvard University Press, 2014.
  • Democratizing Finance. In: Politics and Society 41, 1, 3-28 (2014).
  • Explaining the Transformation in the US Innovation System: The Impact of a Small Government Program (with Matthew R. Keller). In: Socio-Economic Review 11, 4, 629-656 (2013).
  • Varieties of What? Should We Still be Using the Concept of Capitalism? In: Julian Go (ed.), Political Power and Social Theory. Emerald Group Publishing, 269 – 291, 2012.
  • State of Innovation: The US Government’s Role in Technology Development (edited with Matthew R. Keller). Paradigm Publishers, 2011.
  • Reinventing Social Democracy for the 21st Century. In: Journal of Australian Political Economy 67, 5-21 (2011).
  • Crisis and Renewal: The Outlines of a 21st Century New Deal. In: Socio-Economic Review 9, 1, 31-57 (2011).
  • Swimming Against the Current: The Rise of a Hidden Developmental State in the United States. In: Politics and Society 36, 2, 169-206 (2008).
  • Postindustrial Possibilities: A Critique of Economic Discourse. University of California Press, 1990.
  • The Origins of International Economic Disorder. University of California Press, 1977.

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