Exciting news! As of this month, I’m the new editor of the Review of Capital as Power. What is this journal? Why am I editing it? Read on to find out.
The Review of Capital as Power (RECASP for short) is a peer-reviewed journal that publishes research that engages with the idea of capital as power. Created by political economist Tim Di Muzio in 2012, the journal has published work on a variety of topics, including the ownership of public debt, the management of risk in Hollywood cinema, and the power trajectory of Walmart.
You can read the entire RECASP catalogue here.
The goal of the Review of Capital as Power is to provide a forum for research and debate about the idea of capital as power. Do we really need this forum? The answer is yes.
Debate is essential for science. When new ideas are proposed or new evidence is unearthed, that should begin a conversation. The evidence should be examined and retested. The ideas should be reviewed and critiqued. The degree to which this debate does not happen signals the degree to which science is failing.
To see science fail, we need only look to the top five journals in economics. A few years ago, political economist Joe Francis set out to measure debate in these journals. He looked at the percentage of articles that contained the words ‘comment’, ‘reply’, and/or ‘rejoinder’ in their titles. His results were shocking.
Economists, Francis found, have largely stopped debating. Figure 1 shows his findings. Debate rose until the 1970s, but then collapsed thereafter. What you’re seeing, after 1970, is economists consolidating neoclassical ideology. Today, economists don’t debate because they’ve arrived at an ideological consensus.
To be fair, there is no shortage of neoclassical critics. It’s just that these critics don’t publish in mainstream economics journals. The reason is simple. Mainstream journals act as neoclassical gatekeepers. If you challenge neoclassical theory, your work is unpublishable in these journals.
That’s where the Review of Capital as Power comes in. The idea of capital as power is a radical challenge to neoclassical ideology. It’s an idea that, unfortunately, is difficult to get past neoclassical gatekeepers. I speak from experience, as can many capital-as-power researchers. We’re used to rejection.
If the idea of capital as power is to be researched and debated, we need an open, scientific space to do so. The Review of Capital as Power is such a space.
RECASP will not, however, be a venue where the idea of capital as power is to be praised without question. The worst thing that can happen in science is for an idea to become sacred. This, in my view, is where many heterodox economics schools go wrong. They enshrine certain texts (say Marx’s Capital) as sacred. From then on, the field comes to increasingly resemble not science, but theology.
I plan nothing of this sort for the Review of Capital as Power. I want it to be an open scientific space in the sense of being a place for hard-nosed science — a place where ideas are judged openly by their scientific merit, not their ideological shade.
Given the ideological nature of political economy, achieving such objectivity is a tall order. Still, it’s something that I’ll strive for.
All articles in the Review of Capital as Power are published open access under the Creative Commons (licence CC BY-NC-ND 4.0). That means you can read all articles for free. And authors can distribute their published work freely.
Importantly, this open-access model has no fees. You can publish in the Review of Capital as Power for free.
Actually, you can possibly get paid to publish in the journal, which brings me to my next point …
The capital as power essay prize
With the aim of fostering new research and debate, the Review of Capital as Power is holding an essay contest. The winner will receive $1000 CAD and have their article published in the journal. You can read the details here.
Essay restrictions are minimal. Basically, you need to write an essay that engages with the idea of capital as power (either positively or critically). And your essay should be previously unpublished in a refereed journal or book. (Posting it as a preprint beforehand is fine … actually encouraged).
We’ll judge the essays using blind review. So make sure you submit a version that masks your identity.
The deadline for this year’s competition is January 31, 2021.
Conflicts of interest
I encourage authors to disclose any conflicts of interest. With that in mind, please notify me in your submission if you are a patron of Economics from the Top Down. I’ll recuse myself from reviewing your paper and give the job to a guest editor.
Comments? Questions? Ideas?
If you have an idea for an article and want to know if the Review of Capital as Power is an appropriate venue, please contact me. (Contact details here.)
Do you have ideas for a special issue? Questions about the journal? Again, please contact me.
I look forward hearing from you.
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Congratulations! The Review sounds like it will be publishing interesting articles. My only hesitation is with the name. It sounds like a review of a book “Capital as Power”. I would suggest “Capital as Power Review” or “Capital as Power – Investigations”, but you must have already considered those or similar options and rejected them?
Yes, that’s a good point. I didn’t pick the name. And googling ‘Review of Capital as Power’ does pick up a lot of reviews of the book. It’s something to think about.
All the people with whom I’ve shared the CasP book and the CasP critique of Marxism have told me to read Ulrich Krause’s ‘Money and Abstract Labour: On the Analytical Foundations of Political Economy’, which apparently is considered by Marxists to be the bible of mathematical approaches to Marx (along with The Laws of Chaos by Emmanuel Farjoun and Moshe Machover which the CasP book deals with briefly).
Is Ulrich Krause’s formalism dealt with in any of the CasP literature that you know of?
Good question. I’ll look into it.