Despite the reversal of America’s fortune from the triumphalism of the Roaring Nineties to the gloom of the lost decade and the Great Depression, theoretical conceptions of US capitalism have remained surprisingly unchanged. In fact, if the crisis questioned the sustainability of the US capitalist paradigm, it did not fundamentally challenge academic theorization of American political economy.

This book departs from the American political economy literature to identify three common myths that have shaped our conceptualization of US capitalism: its reduction to a state-market dyad dis-embedded from societal factors; the illusion of a weak state and the synchronic conception of the US variety of capitalism. To remedy these pitfalls, the authors propose a civilizational approach to American political economy at the crossroads between cultural studies, history, sociology and political science.

Drawing together contributions from a rich variety of fields (from geography to cultural studies, political science and sociology) this work sheds a new light on America’s "cultural political economy" combining theoretical reflection with empirical data and offering innovative perspectives on the crisis and renewal of American capitalism. 

chapter |17 pages


The crisis and renewal of American capitalism: a civilizational approach to modern American political economy

part I|97 pages

Re-embedding the financial crisis in its cultural milieu

chapter 1|23 pages

The “Wild West” on Wall Street

An analysis of and prognosis for the American model of postmodern finance capital in the global economy

part II|81 pages

Shifting paradigms, shifting scopes

chapter 5|27 pages

A US national model of capitalism?

Lessons from the Great Recession

chapter 6|26 pages

Who's left to sink or swim? *

Practices and policies of the “submerged state” at the subnational level in the wake of the economic recession

chapter 7|10 pages

The subprime crisis

A multiscalar issue challenging the American Dream

chapter 8|16 pages

Transcending boundaries *

America's hybrid and multiscalar response to the competitive challenge of globalization

part III|88 pages

Disruptive and creative agency

chapter 9|24 pages

The evolutions of the US innovation system as a political economy paradigm

From systemic governance to innovation policy-making?

chapter 10|26 pages

US labor market institutions and employment dynamics

A turning point?

chapter 11|12 pages

Occupy Wall Street

Anything more than a fly in the ointment?

chapter 12|24 pages

The Giving Pledge

Philanthropy and the reinvention of American capitalism