The Capital Order

How economists invented austerity and paved the way to fascism

Speaker: Clara E. Mattei, New School for Social Research
With a response from Costas Lapavitsas, SOAS
5-6.30pm, 19th January 2023
Goldsmiths, RHB137


In her new book, The Capital Order, political economist Clara E. Mattei explores the intellectual origins of austerity to uncover its originating motives: the protection of capital—and indeed capitalism—in times of social upheaval from below. Mattei traces modern austerity to its origins in interwar Britain and Italy, revealing how the threat of working-class power in the years after World War I animated a set of top-down economic policies that elevated owners, smothered workers, and imposed a rigid economic hierarchy across their societies.

Mattei will present the arguments in her book, and then have a response from and dialogue with Costas Lapavitsas. The event will be chaired by Will Davies, whose review of The Capital Order can be found here.

Clara E. Mattei is an Assistant Professor in the Economics Department of The New School for Social Research, and was a 2018-2019 member of the School of Social Sciences at the Institute for Advanced Studies. Her research contributes to the history of capitalism, exploring the critical relation between economic ideas and technocratic policy making. Costas Lapavistas is Professor of Economics at SOAS. His research interests include the relationship of finance and development, the structure of financial systems, and the evolution and functioning of the Japanese financial system.

A recording of this event is now available here

All welcome and no registration is required. To find Goldsmiths and room RHB137, see this page.