Do we need a new 'Great Transformation'? Is one likely?

Date: Feb, 2006
ODID Working Paper No. 136
Author(s): Frances Stewart (ODID)

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.

ODID Author(s)