The Business Cycle and Capitalist Social Regulation: The Origins of Economic Government

  • Matthew F. Hayes


This chapter explores the constitution of the economy as an object of government in the United States and Great Britain in the early twentieth century. Drawing on the work of Timothy Mitchell, Michel Callon, and Donald MacKenzie, it explores the interaction of economic ideas with economic structures. I contend that one of the keys to the governability of the economy was the elaboration of an intellectual architecture that focused on what have come to be known as “business cycles”. Of particular importance are the technocratic patterns of economic government consequent of the manner in which state intervention in the economy and its potential moral consequences on society were conceived in the early twentieth century. A return to this terrain can help critical sociologists better understand how economic government can be opened to alternative social and political projects.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthew F. Hayes
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SociologySt. Thomas UniversityFrederictonCanada

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