Jeppe Nevers is Professor of Modern History and Director of the Center for Maritime and Business History at the University of Southern Denmark and a Senior Fellow at the Danish Institute for Advanced Study.
For decades a staple of Marxist theory, the concept of capitalism has in recent years re-emerged in different strands of historical scholarship and social science, as well as in public debate. In this lecture, I will situate these developments in the wider history of the concept and try to identify some of the promising aspects in studying the history of capitalism. I will pay special attention to contributions and theory that emphasize the historicity of capitalist ideas and institutions. Finally, I will offer some hypotheses on what the application of this perspective does to our understanding of modern Danish history. What is gained with this framework, and what are the pitfalls?
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