Martti Muukkonen: KARL POLANYI AND 'THE DOUBLE MOVEMENT'
Martti Muukkonen (martti.muukkonen (at)joensuu.fi)
University of Joensuu, Finland
Presentation to the Social Movements Research Network at the 9th Conference of European Sociological Association, 2nd-5th September, 2009, Lisbon.
Karl Polanyi analysed, in his 'The Great
Transformation', the causes that led to the depression of 1930's. His view of
19th century liberalism, haute finance and their social consequences resembles
surprisingly the modern neo-liberalistic globalisation process.
Polanyi argued that the 19th century liberalistic capitalism was purposefully created and was not 'natural'. In this, old ideas of reciprocity and redistribution were abandoned and land, work and money were made as commodities. This created a counter-movement when people were forced to defend their human rights against exploitation.
Polanyi's theory was influential in economic anthropology of the 1950's and 1960's. Today, it has been utilised in globalisation studies. For social movement studies it can provide a new approach to explain the emergence of movements.