In her new book, Kari Polanyi Levitt considers the insights of her father Karl Polanyi’s classic The Great Transformation to propose a challenging discussion on the contemporary global financial crisis in the perspective of the financialization of Western capitalism.
In Part I, Karl Polanyi’s ideas are explained and discussed in relationship to the contributions of his contemporaries, mainly Friederich von Hayek and John Maynard Keynes. Her essay on Culture and Economy, that includes the ‘three fallacies of economics’, should be required reading. Her critique of contemporary Economics is linked to the objection to the methodological individualism of the neoclassical approach. Indeed, in her view, the representation of the so called rational economic man does not apprehend the multiple set of issues related to human nature and human needs.
In Part II, the origins, causes and future of contemporary underdevelopment and development, mainly in the Global South, are explored. Indeed, the author addresses for the revalidation of development economics. She emphasizes the importance of history, of history of economic thought and of a multidisciplinary approach to development studies. To Kari Polanyi Levitt, the process of development is overwhelmed by the role of culture, by creativity and diversity. Considering the international order, she reclaims the space for policies of sustainable development that could be nationally determined.