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Research Project

Intellectual Histories of Global Capitalism

Project Team:

2021 – 2022
Workers at a tea warehouse in Canton alongside workers in an Amazon distribution center
Tea warehouse in Canton (British Library/Science Photo Library); Amazon distribution center (P. Macdiarmid/Getty). Illustration by Benjamin Ransom.

Key Question

Project Summary

By placing a temporary parenthesis around the economy of the Industrial Revolution and its Fordist offshoots, the project explores how the early modern economy may shed new light on the rise of global capitalism.

Research Team

Paul Cheney

Paul Cheney

Professor of European History, Fundamentals, and the College

University of Chicago

Paul Cheney is a historian who specializes in old regime France and its colonial empire. The unifying element of his work is an interest in early modern capitalism, and in particular the problem of how modern social and political forms gestated within traditional society. Old regime France...

Lucas Pinheiro

Lucas Pinheiro

Political Economy Fellow

Dartmouth College

Lucas Pinheiro's research bridges political theory and social history by focusing on the development of global capitalism, empire, and the legacies of racial slavery in the Atlantic world since the late seventeenth century. His current book project, Factories of Modernity: Political Thought...

Project Narrative

Reading List

Cheney, Paul

“István Hont, the Cosmopolitan Theory of Commercial Globalization, and Twenty-First-Century Capitalism” Modern Intellectual History, 15 March, 2021, 1–29 Read

Pinheiro, Lucas G.

"A Factory Afield: Capitalism and Empire in John Locke’s Political Economy” Modern Intellectual History, 1 Oct, 2020, 1-28 Read

Arrighi, Giovanni

Adam Smith in Beijing: Lineages of the Twenty-First Century (Verso, 2007) Read

Austen, Ralph A.

“Monsters of Protocolonial Economic Enterprise: East India Companies and Slave Plantations” Critical Historical Studies 4, no. 2 (September 1, 2017): 139–77 Read

Berg, Maxine; Hudson, Pat; Sonenscher, Michael, eds.

Manufacture in Town and Country before the Factory (Cambridge, 1983) Read

Blackburn, Robin

The Making of New World Slavery: From the Baroque to the Modern, 1492–1800 (Verso, 1997) Read

Braudel, Fernand

The Wheels of Commerce Translated by Sian Reynolds. Capitalism and Civilization, 15th-18th Century. (Fontana Press, 1985) Read

de Vries, Jan

The Industrious Revolution: Consumer Behavior and the Household Economy, 1650 to the Present (Cambridge, 2008) Read

Dean, Jodi

“Neofeudalism: The End of Capitalism?” Los Angeles Review of Books, 12 May 2020 Read

Deringer, William

Calculated Values: Finance, Politics, and the Quantitative Age (Harvard, 2018) Read

Haraway, Donna

“Anthropocene, Capitalocene, Plantationocene, Chthulucene: Making Kin” Environmental Humanities 6, no. 1 (May 1, 2015): 159–65 Read

Isaac, Joel

“The Intensification of Social Forms: Economy and Culture in the Thought of Clifford Geertz” Critical Historical Studies 5, no. 2 (September 1, 2018): 237–66 Read

Slobodian, Quinn

Globalists: The End of Empire and the Birth of Neoliberalism (Harvard, 2018) Read

Williams, Eric

Capitalism and Slavery (University of North Carolina Press, 1944) Read


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