The Japan Society of Political Economy (JSPE) is pleased to announce the winner of the 2016 JSPE-Routledge Book Prize. The JSPE is an interdisciplinary association devoted to the study, development, and application of political economy to social problems. It has been the largest organization of heterodox economists in Japan since its foundation in 1959, providing important occasions for developing and debating ideas about capitalism and its dynamics. The book prize is financially supported by Routledge, which is the world's leading academic publisher in the Humanities and Social Sciences. The prize promotes the study of heterodox economics throughout the world with the aim of challenging the dominant position of orthodox neo-liberal economics among economists and policy-makers. The prize is awarded annually to a living political economist based on his or her "lifetime achievement," as embodied in a distinguished book (or books) which reflects the analytical perspectives represented by the Japan Society of Political Economy.
The 2016 prize winner is Professor David Harvey (New York City University) based on his book
The Enigma of Capital: And the Crises of Capitalism, Oxford University Press, 2010.
Professor David Harvey’s main research area is economic geography, urban sociology, and Marxian economics. He has published more than 20 books, which have been translated into more than fifteen languages. Professor Harvey is one of the most influential Marxian political economists in the world.
In his earlier works Professor Harvey analyzed contemporary capitalism and developed the theoretical basis for a social movement that could establish an alternative system to capitalism (A Brief History of Neo-liberalism, OUP, 2005). He also rejuvenated global interest in Marx’s theory by publishing books such as A Companion to Marx’s Capital, Verso, 2013, and by giving lectures on Marx’s Capital on YouTube which attracted many audiences around the world.
The awarded book was published in 2010, and was awarded the Deutscher Prize. In 2011, a paperback version was selected as one of the Best 5 Books in Economics by the Guardian.
In the first half of the awarded book, Professor Harvey adopts the “multiple-causes theory” of crisis. He argues that “The profit-squeeze theory (the rising wage theory)”, “the theory of falling rate of profit”, and “the under-consumption theory” are not mutually exclusive theories; rather, they complement one another in explaining different causes of crisis. In the second half, he develops a co-evolutionary theory of capitalist development as well as a theory of geographical uneven development. The basic principle of capitalism is composed of two social DNA: “never-ending accumulation” and “compound growth”. Seven activity spheres - namely, production process, technology, the reproduction of daily life, social relations, relations to nature, mental conceptions of the world, and institutional and administrative arrangements – are relatively autonomous, but interact and co-evolve on the basis of the basic principle of capitalism. When the continuous flows of capital is impeded or stopped, a crisis and devaluation occurs. Even if some causes of crisis are avoided temporarily, crisis will never disappear, because of the emergence of other limits. He concludes that from the perspective of a “co-evolutionary” process, alternative social thoughts and anti-capitalism social movements can start anywhere in the world.
In sum, the book is the synthetic monograph of all his studies of Marxian economics. His intellectual achievement richly merits the 2016 JSPE Routledge Book Prize; it is our pleasure to award the 2016 Prize to Professor David Harvey.
Contact: Hiroyasu Uemura (The JSPE International Committee)
E-mail:Jspecice2014(at)jspe.gr.jp * Please replace (at) with @.
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