Emily EriksonSep 15, 2021
Trade and Nation
How Companies and Politics Reshaped Economic Thought
Columbia University Press 2021
How can ideas from sociology help us understand history and economics? In Trade and Nation: How Companies and Politics Reshaped Economic Thought (Columbia UP, 2021), Emily Erikson, Associate Professor of Sociology at Yale and Academic Director of the Fox International Fellowship, explores the major shift, which occurred during the seventeenth century, in the history and philosophy of economics. The book combines computational methods from sociology with a detailed and close engagement with historical sources and the philosophy of economics. It demonstrates how a key set of merchants proved highly influential in setting the terms of economics, in the context of the specific conditions and institutional settings in England during the period. The book also offers comparative analysis, adding depth to the numerous methods of testing its core hypothesis about what really drove the changes in economics. Clearly written, and deeply engaging, the book is essential reading for scholars in economics and the social sciences, as well as in history and the humanities.
Dave O'Brien is Chancellor's Fellow, Cultural and Creative Industries, at the University of Edinburgh's College of Art.