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Markets, Morals, Politics

Markets, Morals, Politics

Jealousy of Trade and the History of Political Thought

Edited by Béla Kapossy, Isaac Nakhimovsky, Sophus A. Reinert, and Richard Whatmore

ISBN 9780674976337

Publication date: 03/19/2018

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When István Hont died in 2013, the world lost a giant of intellectual history. A leader of the Cambridge School of Political Thought, Hont argued passionately for a global-historical approach to political ideas. To better understand the development of liberalism, he looked not only to the works of great thinkers but also to their reception and use amid revolution and interstate competition. His innovative program of study culminated in the landmark 2005 book Jealousy of Trade, which explores the birth of economic nationalism and other social effects of expanding eighteenth-century markets. Markets, Morals, Politics brings together a celebrated cast of Hont’s contemporaries to assess his influence, ideas, and methods.

Richard Tuck, John Pocock, John Dunn, Raymond Geuss, Gareth Stedman Jones, Michael Sonenscher, John Robertson, Keith Tribe, Pasquale Pasquino, and Peter N. Miller contribute original essays on themes Hont treated with penetrating insight: the politics of commerce, debt, and luxury; the morality of markets; and economic limits on state power. The authors delve into questions about the relationship between states and markets, politics and economics, through examinations of key Enlightenment and pre-Enlightenment figures in context—Hobbes, Rousseau, Spinoza, and many others. The contributors also add depth to Hont’s lifelong, if sometimes veiled, engagement with Marx.

The result is a work of interpretation that does justice to Hont’s influence while developing its own provocative and illuminating arguments. Markets, Morals, Politics will be a valuable companion to readers of Hont and anyone concerned with political economy and the history of ideas.


  • Markets, Morals, Politics is a first-rate collection by contributors who are, without exception, among the masters of their craft.

    —Christopher Brooke, University of Cambridge


  • Béla Kapossy is Professor in the Department of History at the University of Lausanne.
  • Isaac Nakhimovsky is Assistant Professor in the Department of History at Yale University.
  • Sophus A. Reinert is Marvin Bower Associate Professor at Harvard Business School.
  • Richard Whatmore is Chair of Modern History in the School of History at the University of St Andrews.

Book Details

  • 336 pages
  • 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
  • Harvard University Press