Introduction to Periodizing Capitalism

  • Richard Westra
Part of the Palgrave Insights into Apocalypse Economics book series (PIAE)


Periodizing capitalism and theorizing its stages of development is a research field that originates with the writings of Karl Marx. However it is also taken up in the post-WWII era by non-Marxian economists and sociologists. Two major epistemological strategies are deployed in it: the attempt to identify an essence or constant of capitalism from which transmutations of capitalism and its stages are derived; and the stylizing of empirical history to set out salient features of a period of capitalist development. This chapter summarizes the major approaches to periodizing capitalism and the ordering of the material in the book.


Capitalism Stages of capitalist development Epistemology in political economy Karl Marx 


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard Westra
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Macau StudiesUniversity of MacauMacauChina

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