By J K Galbraith
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Additional info for American Capitalism: The Concept of Countervailing Power
I have since wondered about what it might mean to incorporate insights from postcolonial criticism into the writing of economic history. Unfortunately, I do not consider myself best suited for the task. But reading Kenneth Pomeranz’s widely acclaimed book The Great Divergence: China, Europe, and the Making of the Modern World Economy (2000) afforded me an opportunity to think about the problem and in this short essay I want to share with the reader some of my preliminary thoughts. II At the outset let me acknowledge how much I learnt from Kenneth Pomeranz’s superb and revolutionary book, The Great Divergence (hereafter TGD).
Whether such evidence be archival, textual, literary, ﬁlmic does not matter for my point, we all have ideas about what constitutes the relevant archive for the discipline at issue. We argue in everyday life too and present ‘evidence’ but the rules for such disputation are different. Often the rules are implicit than explicit and may include all kinds of social claims to privilege, ranging from ‘we have the experience, so we know’ to ‘I am old and/or rich, so I must be granted authority’ and so on.
I know, I know: the Other, the Orient, and so forth’ (p. 33). 14 It is not clear how much of Said’s work Bhagwati has read as he only cites this article. indd 48 3/23/11 4:54:28 PM Postcolonial theory and economics 49 this essay is part of a publication by the United Nations World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU 2005) in which a band of inﬂuential economists discuss globalisation, and international inequality, among other issues of ‘development’. The only evidence of awareness of postcolonial critique in the volume is Bhagwati’s oblique reference to Said.
American Capitalism: The Concept of Countervailing Power by J K Galbraith