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. The aim is to go beyond critique and re-frame our problems so as to offer solutions about what is to be done.
The series is published by Manchester University Press and was established by Manchester academics. This is appropriate when Manchester was the shock city of the industrial revolution, home to Engels and Free Trade where competing 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 Spatial Contract by Alex Schafran, Mathew Noah Smith and Stephen Hall. which takes an innovative urban systems approach to the foundational economy and introduces the important new concept of “reliance system”.
In autumn 2021 we will be publishing Jack Mosse’s new book The Pound and the Fury. This is about popular and expert understandings of the economy based on extensive interviewing with ordinary citizens, civil service economists, city traders and financial journalists. Jack argues that all in different ways subscribe to the myth of the economy as a pot of money which is drawn down and allocated according to elite preferences or abstract rules. Against this much modern monetary theory argues that the state can spend much more freely on social purposes which would liberate us from real constraints as well as the myth
This follows on from Stuart Hodkinson’s Safe as Houses which presented a scrupulously researched study of PFI financed public housing regeneration schemes in London and showed 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: firstname.lastname@example.org .
Our most recent critical commercial success was with Reckless Opportunists by Aeron Davies, published by Manchester University Press in 2018. His argument about self-serving elites attracted a good deal of media attention, and an extract from the book was the Guardian newspaper’s Long Read on Tuesday, 27th of February 2018.
The Econocracy was the fourth book in the Manchester Capitalism series. It explains the perils of leaving economics to the experts.
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.
All books are available from Manchester University Press.