Manchester Capitalism book series

 

Manchester Capitalism is a series of books, which follow 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.

The series is published by Manchester University Press and edited by Manchester academics. 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 is the collective’s Foundational Economy book and we have two more new titles in production which will be published in 2019.  Stephen Hall, Mathew Noah Smith and Alex Schafran will take an innovative urban systems approach to the foundational economy. While Stuart Hodkinson in Safe as Houses will present a scrupulously researched study of PFI financed public housing regeneration schemes in London which shows that the Grenfell tragedy of 2017 was no accident.

Our academic editors are Julie Froud and Karel Williams, our commissioning editor at MUP is Tom Dark. All are eager to discuss proposals for books which will build the series.  In the first instance, interested authors should contact: tom.dark@manchester.ac.uk .

Recent titles

Our most recent critical commercial success was with Reckless Oppurtunists by Aeron Davies, published by Manchester University Press in 2018. His  argument about self-serving elites has attracted a good deal of media attention, and an  extract from the book was the Guardian newspaper’s Long Read on Tuesday, 27th of February2018.

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”

Our previous success was with The Econocracy by Joe Earle, Cahal Moran and Zach Ward-Perkins published in 2017 by MUP and now republished by Penguin.  As undergraduate students at the University of Manchester, the three authors were founding members of the Post-Crash Economics Society and went on to play a key role in the founding of Rethinking Economics. In their book they argued not just for more pluralism in the education of economists, but also for democratisation to create a new kind of citizen economist.

Earlier titles

The Econocracy  was the fourth book in the Manchester Capitalism 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. Nick Hildyard’s Licensed Larceny provides the definitive critique of private finance of infrastructure in the Global South and has reached a global activist audience through translation for Latin America and republication of an Indian edition.

Taken together the series makes 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.