Hamlet without the Prince of Denmark: Bringing Capitalism back into the ‘New’ History of Capitalism

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Abstract

A growing number of historians are self-identifying as historians of capitalism, a new subfield within the discipline, and have produced research on interesting new questions that transcend the subfields of economic, business, social, cultural, and political history. Ironically, what is missing from the “new” history of capitalism is any serious engagement with the new subfield's central character—capitalism, which instead is simply assumed despite being a contested concept. The implications are not trivial and include making unfalsifiable claims, unwittingly implying that capitalism is totalizing, and reproducing rather than exposing ahistorical understandings of the concept.

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Kershaw, P. V. (2020). Hamlet without the Prince of Denmark: Bringing Capitalism back into the ‘New’ History of Capitalism. In Journal of Historical Sociology (Vol. 33, pp. 61–73). Blackwell Publishing Ltd. https://doi.org/10.1111/johs.12263

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