Do we need a new 'Great Transformation'? Is one likely?
Karl Polanyi wrote 'The Great Transformation' in 1944 which analysed the double movement Europe experienced, from a situation where the market was heavily regulated and controlled in the 18th century to a virtually unregulated market in the 19th century; and the great Transformation in which the market was once more brought under control as a reaction to the poverty, unemployment and insecurity brought about by the unregulated market. Yet in both developed and developing countries there has since been a reaction with a new move towards the market. This paper analyses such processes in contemporary developing countries, and considers whether, in the light of the consequences of the unregulated market, a new 'Great Transformation' is needed. It also considers whether such a transformation is likely, reviewing moves towards increased regulation of the market, and also the constraints faced by any contemporary great transformation arising from globalisation and the nature of politics.
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