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The Architecture of Markets : An Economic Sociology of Twenty-First-Century Capitalist Societies - Neil Fligstein

The Architecture of Markets

An Economic Sociology of Twenty-First-Century Capitalist Societies

Paperback Published: 6th October 2002
ISBN: 9780691102542
Number Of Pages: 288

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Market societies have created more wealth, and more opportunities for more people, than any other system of social organization in history. Yet we still have a rudimentary understanding of how markets themselves are social constructions that require extensive institutional support. This groundbreaking work seeks to fill this gap, to make sense of modern capitalism by developing a sociological theory of market institutions. Addressing the unruly dynamism that capitalism brings with it, leading sociologist Neil Fligstein argues that the basic drift of any one market and its actors, even allowing for competition, is toward stabilization.

"The Architecture of Markets" represents a major and timely step beyond recent, largely empirical studies that oppose the neoclassical model of perfect competition but provide sparse theory toward a coherent economic sociology. Fligstein offers this theory. With it he interprets not just globalization and the information economy, but developments more specific to American capitalism in the past two decades--among them, the 1980s merger movement. He makes new inroads into the ''theory of fields, '' which links the formation of markets and firms to the problems of stability. His political-cultural approach explains why governments remain crucial to markets and why so many national variations of capitalism endure. States help make stable markets possible by, for example, establishing the rule of law and adjudicating the class struggle. State-building and market-building go hand in hand.

Fligstein shows that market actors depend mightily upon governments and the members of society for the social conditions that produce wealth. He demonstrates that systems favoring more social justice and redistribution can yield stable markets and economic growth as readily as less egalitarian systems. This book will surely join the classics on capitalism. Economists, sociologists, policymakers, and all those interested in what makes markets function as they do will read it for many years to come.

Winner of the 2003 Distinguished Book Award "Until the appearance of Fligstein's new book ... no one has attempted to integrate economic sociology into a coherent, consistent, and comprehensive approach for the study of market capitalism. This book, therefore, sets a standard for other books that will follow in the coming decades. By all measures, it is an impressive book that deserves careful reading by everyone interested in the analysis of capitalist economies."--Gary G. Hamilton, American Journal of Sociology "This is an important book. It ... will undoubtedly redirect research attention and encourage new work on the rules and politics that structure market relations. This book pushes us forward and suggests a rich vein waiting to be mined."--Mitchel Y. Abolafia, Administrative Science Quarterly

List of Tablesp. xi
Prefacep. xiii
Bringing Sociology Back Inp. 3
A Critique of the Existing Literature in the Sociology of Marketsp. 6
Theoretical Questions for a Sociology of Marketsp. 10
A Political-Cultural Approachp. 15
Structure of the Bookp. 20
Normative Implications of the Political-Cultural Approach to the Sociology of Marketsp. 21
p. 25
Markets as Institutionsp. 27
Market Institutions: Basic Definitionsp. 28
State Building and Market Buildingp. 36
Power in Policy Domains and Market Institutionsp. 42
The Politics of the Creation of Market Institutionsp. 45
Political Structuring of Labor Market Institutionsp. 53
Policy Domains and Market Regulation in Real Societiesp. 56
Stability and Complexityp. 59
Implications for Researchp. 62
Conclusionp. 64
The Theory of Fields and the Problem of Market Formationp. 67
Markets as Fieldsp. 67
The Goal of Action in Stable Marketsp. 70
The Problem of Change and Stability in Marketsp. 75
Links between Market Formation and Statesp. 86
Some Macro Implications of the Theory of Fieldsp. 89
Globalization and Market Processesp. 94
Conclusionp. 97
p. 99
The Logic of Employment Systemsp. 101
Employment Systems as Institutional Projectsp. 103
Variations and Transformations in Employment Systemsp. 107
The Dynamics of Systems of Employment Relationsp. 108
Insights into Comparative Employment Systemsp. 111
Research Agendasp. 117
Conclusionp. 120
The Dynamics of U.S. Firms and the Issue of Ownership and Control in the 1970sp. 123
Review of the Literaturep. 124
Management versus Owner Controlp. 125
Bank Controlp. 126
Market Dynamics and Management Controlp. 128
Hypothesesp. 130
Data and Methodsp. 132
Resultsp. 136
Discussion and Conclusionsp. 144
Appendix Ap. 146
The Rise of the Shareholder Value Conception of the Firm and the Merger Movement in the 1980sp. 147
What Is to Be Explained?p. 150
Finance Economicsp. 151
Manager, Owner, and Bank Controlp. 153
The Crisis of the Finance Conception of Control and the Rise of the Shareholder Value Conception of Controlp. 155
Hypothesesp. 157
Data and Methodsp. 158
Resultsp. 162
Conclusionp. 166
Corporate Control in Capitalist Societiesp. 170
Economic Theories and Mechanismsp. 172
Sociological Theories of Controlp. 176
Comparative Casesp. 181
Conclusionp. 189
Globalizationp. 191
Definitions of Globalizationp. 193
Critique of Globalization Argumentsp. 195
The Slow Expansion and Unevenness of Global Tradep. 196
Change or Continuity in the Organization of Production?p. 203
Does Globalization Cause Deindustrialization and Inequality?p. 206
Politics, Governments, and Financial Marketsp. 209
Trade, Competition, Industrial Policy, and the Welfare Statep. 213
Globalization and Neoliberalism as an American Projectp. 220
Conclusionp. 221
Conclusionsp. 223
Two Tales of One Industryp. 223
Stability and Efficiencyp. 228
Efficiency, Stability, and Equityp. 231
Conclusionp. 236
Notesp. 239
Bibliographyp. 247
Indexp. 269
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780691102542
ISBN-10: 0691102546
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 288
Published: 6th October 2002
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.2  x 2.54
Weight (kg): 0.41