SOAS University of London

Department of Development Studies

Capitalism: Competition, Conflict, Crises

Anwar Shaikh

Date: 11 October 2016Time: 5:00 PM

Finishes: 11 October 2016Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: Brunei Gallery Room: Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre

Type of Event: Seminar

This book is an attempt to show that one can explain these and many other observed patterns as results of intrinsic forces that shape and channel outcomes. Social and institutional factors play an important role, but at the same time, the factors are themselves limited by the dominant forces arising from "gain-seeking" behaviour, of which the profit motive is the most important. These dominant elements create an invisible force field that shapes and channels capitalist outcomes. The approach of this book is very different from that of both orthodox economics and the dominant elements inthe heterodox tradition. There is no reference whatsoever to an idealised framework rooted in perfect firms,perfect individuals, perfect knowledge, perfectly selfish behaviour, rational expectations, and so-called optimal outcomes. Nor is there any need to explain particular observed patterns as departures from this Edenic state arising from “imperfections” of various sorts. The book develops microeconomic and macroeconomic theory from real behaviour and real competition, and uses it to explain empirical patterns in microeconomic demand and supply, wages and profits, technological change, relative prices of goods and services, interest rates, bond and equity prices, exchange rates, patterns of international trade, growth,unemployment, inflation, national and personal inequality, and the recurrence of general crises, such as the current one which began in 2007-2008.


Loading the player...

Capitalism: Competition, Conflict, Crises, Anwar Shaikh,


Anwar Shaikh is one of the world’s leading heterodox economists, and the author of three books and six-dozen articles. He is Professor of Economics at the Graduate Faculty of Political and Social Science of theNew School University, where he has taught for the last 30 years, and is an Associate Editor of the Cambridge Journal of Economics. In 2014 Cambridge University Press included him in the second volume of Eminent Economists, a compendium of essays on the personal philosophies and theoretical approaches of influential living economists. In that same year he was awarded the Social Science Prize of the Nord Sud International Prize for Literature and Science of the Fondazione Pescarabruzzo in Italy. His most recent book is Capitalism: Competition, Conflict, Crises (Oxford University Press, 2016), and recent works include Globalization and the Myths of Free Trade (2007, Routledge). He has written on international trade, finance theory, political economy, econophysics, U.S. macroeconomic policy, the welfare state, growth theory,inflation theory, crisis theory, national and global inequality, and past and current global economic crises.

This seminar is part of the SOAS Department of Development Studies & the UCL,Bloomsbury and East London Doctoral Training Partnership seminar series for 2015/2016. Tosee the full event listing click here.

Organiser: Dr Feyzi Ismail, Professor Alfredo Saad Filho

Contact email:,