• Jack Barbalet


This chapter is concerned not only with Weber’s account of the absence of modern capitalism in imperial China, but also with his ideal-type conception itself of modern capitalism. This relates to questions concerning the continuing usefulness of Weber’s concepts, which are based on capitalism in Europe and the United States early in the twentieth century. Weber’s argument, that capitalism might be introduced to China from outside but that an indigenous modern capitalism could not emerge, is treated not only through examination of his discussion of premodern capitalist elements in China, but also in terms of the character of Chinese capitalism after the Deng Xiaoping reforms from 1978. The question can be posed of how much of Chinese capitalism today is indigenous development and how much is borrowed?


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Authors and Affiliations

  • Jack Barbalet
    • 1
  1. 1.Australian Catholic UniversityMelbourneAustralia

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