Talk: ‘Defining Capitalism’ with Elaine Sternberg


  • 03/05/2016
Elaine Sternberg will give a talk on ‘Defining Capitalism’.  It’s an updated, abridged version of `Targeting Capitalism’, a Draft Working Paper commissioned by the Mercatus Center’s Project for the Study of American Capitalism.

RSVP by email or call 0207 799 8900.

About the talk:

‘Defining Capitalism’ aims to incorporate the essential features of capitalism in an operational definition that identifies capitalism per se (pure laissez-faire capitalism), and clearly excludes variations such as welfare capitalism and crony capitalism.  By concisely highlighting the fundamental structures and mechanisms of capitalism, this essential definition facilitates defenses of it that are more robust than those ordinarily offered.  It can help prevent capitalism proper both from suffering guilt by association with perverted forms, and from being held responsible for, e.g., the global financial crisis and the defects of US health care.  The definition can, moreover, clarify the relation between capitalism and other phenomena with which it is frequently associated, including capital, competition, profit-seeking, business, freedom, and democracy.  It also suggests a straightforward way of identifying and measuring the extent of capitalism in mixed economies.

About the event

Elaine will give a talk followed by a question and answer session. The event will be a brown bag lunch, guests are welcome to bring any food they wish to consume. It will begin at 12:45 and conclude at 14:00.

About Elaine:

Elaine Sternberg earned her Ph.D. in philosophy at the London School of Economics, where she was a Fulbright Fellow and a Lecturer. In the US she is a Visiting Scholar in Philosophy at the University of Miami (FL); in the UK, she is a Visiting Research Fellow of the University of Leeds, and a Senior Visiting Fellow at the University of Buckingham. She has been a Bradley Fellow and Visiting Scholar at the Social Philosophy and Policy Center of Bowling Green University, and a Faculty Fellow at the Center for Ethics and Public Affairs of Tulane University’s Murphy Institute.

Formerly also an investment banker in New York, London and Paris, Dr Sternberg founded and profitably ran the first two equity syndicate businesses in London. She remains Principal of Analytical Solutions, a consultancy firm specialising in business ethics and corporate governance, and is on the academic advisory councils of the IEA and of the UK “whistleblowers’ charity”, Public Concern at Work.

Her main publications include Just Business: Business Ethics in Action (2nd edn: OUP, 2000), and Corporate Governance: Accountability in the Marketplace (2nd edn: IEA, 2004).