Manchester Capitalism is a series of books which follows the trail of money and power across the systems of our failing capitalism. The books make powerful interventions about who gets what and why in a research based and solidly argued way that is accessible for the concerned citizen. They go beyond critique of neo liberalism and its satellite knowledges to re-frame our problems and offer solutions about what is to be done.
Manchester was the city of Engels and Free Trade where the twin philosophies of collectivism and free market liberalism were elaborated. It is now the home of this venture in radical thinking that challenges self-serving elites. We see the provincial radicalism rooted here as the ideal place from which to cast a cold light on the big issues of economic renewal, financial reform and political mobilisation.
The most recent book in the series, Reckless oppurtunists by Aeron Davies, was published by Manchester University Press in March 2018. Jis argument about self serving elites has attracted a good deal of media attention, even before publication. An extract from the book was the Guardian newspaper’s Long Read on Tuesday, 27th of February. Here is Aeron’s summary of his argument.
“ The ways elites are selected, constrained and incentivised everywhere, has meant we are producing a generation of self-serving, insecure and less competent leaders. They have the abilities and skill sets needed to become leaders but not those required to be good leaders. They are always on the move and can’t afford to invest meaningfully in personal relations or in gaining expert knowledge. Once in power, they are inward-looking, creating their own cultures and cut off from their publics. They stay there, insulated from criticism and protected through institutional impenetrability. They are rewarded for creating and gaming their own evaluation systems. They succeed by making short-term gains and pushing larger, long-term problems into the future. And, when things fall apart they run to the safety of the pack, or up-sticks and move on. For the cunning leader, there is always another business, institution or country to relocate to and screw up”
The previous major success was with The Econocracy by Joe Earle, Cahal Moran and Zach Ward-Perkins. After graduating from the University of Manchester, these students went on to play a key role in the founding of Rethinking Economics. In their book they argued not just for pluralism in economics, but also for a new kind of citizen economist.
This was the foruth book in the Manchester capialism series. Earlier books had covered: the policy bias towards competition and markets, the British state’s persistence with outsourcing and the development of public private partnership in the global south.
Taken together these books make the argument that post 1979 structural reform promised the market and delivered an extractive, financialised capitalism which benefits elites As for ordinary citizens, they are confused by an econocracy which monopolises expert knowledge as they suffer growing problems about the supply of foundational goods and services necessary to everyday welfare.
Our academic editors are Julie Froud and Mick Moran, our commissioning editors at MUP are Tom Dark and Tony Mason. All are eager to discuss proposals for books which will build the series. In the first instance, interested authors should contact: firstname.lastname@example.org .