New Spirits of Capitalism?: Crises, Justifications, and Dynamics

ISBN : 9780198708834

Paul Du Gay; Glenn Morgan
352 Pages
174 x 234 mm
Pub date
Jul 2014
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After many years in which it appeared to be losing the pre-eminent position it had occupied in the lexicon of the social and human sciences, the term 'capitalism' has once again become a matter of critical concern, both theoretically and substantively, in a range of disciplinary fields. The global financial and environmental crises, and the shifting of economic power associated with the rise of the BRICs and the sovereign debt contagion in the Eurozone, for example, have all put the norms, practices, and devices of capitalist conduct back under the spotlight. Luc Boltanski and Eve Chiapello's The New Spirit of Capitalism has become a seminal text since its publication, sparking debate about the meaning, significance, and effects of contemporary changes in economic and organizational life, and becoming a reference point in political discussions about the welfare state, collective action in a 'networked' world, and reconciliation of the interests of social justice with the 'laws of the markets'. This edited book offers the first comprehensive attempt to examine the power and reach of Boltanski and Chiapello's argument, the text's theoretical and methodological perspectives, tools, and techniques, and to do so in relation to the development of neo-liberal capitalism in the period since its original publication and in particular the culmination of these developments in the ongoing crisis since the financial collapse of 2007-8. The volume provides both a balanced critique and overview of New Spirit, but also shows how it can be used in a variety of empirical studies to develop new insights into the functioning and regulation of capitalism in the contemporary era. The volume brings together leading scholars from a range of disciplinary fields such as Sociology, Management and Organization Studies, and Geography. Luc Boltanksi and Eve Chiapello also offer their thoughts on the continuing relevance of New Spirit over a decade after its publication, and in the context of contemporary global economic and political developments.


1. Understanding Capitalism: Crises, Legitimacy and Change through the Prism of The New Spirit of Capitalism
2. A Journey through French-style Critique
3. Capitalism and its Criticisms
4. Notes on Aspects of the Conceptual Architecture of the New Spirit : Weber and Hirschman
5. Spirited Away: When Political Economy becomes Culturalized
6. Beyond Justification: Dietrologic and the Sociology of Critique
7. The Insubstantial Pageant: Producing an Untoward Land
8. The Connexionist Nature of Modern Financial Markets: From a Domination to a Justice Order?
9. The Distinctiveness of Nordic Welfare States in the Transformation to the Projective City and the New Spirits of Capitalism
10. From New Spirit to New Steel-Hard Housing? Civil Society Actors, Capitalism and Crisis: The Case of Attac in Europe
11. Benchmarking for the Greater Good? The New Investment Paradigm in European Higher Education
12. New Spirits of Public Management Post Bureaucracy
13. Authenticity at Work: Questioning the New Spirit of Capitalism from a Micro-Sociological Perspective

About the author: 

Paul du Gay is Professor of Organization Studies in the Department of Organization (IOA) at Copenhagen Business School (CBS). His work is located in the sociology of organizational life and cultural studies. His publications include Consumption and Identity at Work, In Praise of Bureaucracy, and Organizing Identity. He is currently writing a monograph for Routledge entitled For State Service: Office as a Vocation, and editing The Oxford Handbook of Sociology, Social Theory, and Organization Studies: Contemporary Currents (with Paul Adler, Glenn Morgan, and Mike Reed). At CBS, he directs the Velux research programme, What Makes Organization?, and co-directs the Business in Society Public-Private Platform. ; Glenn Morgan is Professor of International Management at Cardiff Business School, Cardiff University. His research focuses on different forms of capitalism, the impact of globalization and neo-liberalism, and the changing nature of firms and organizations. From 2005-2008, he was Editor in Chief of the journal Organization: The Critical Journal of Theory, Organization and Society. Recent edited books include Capitalism and Capitalisms in the Twenty-First Century (OUP 2012; edited with R. Whitley) and The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Institutional Analysis (OUP 2010; edited with J.L. Campbell, C. Crouch, O.K. Pedersen and R. Whitley).

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