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Where's the capital?: a geographical essay

Jones, Gareth A. ORCID: 0000-0001-9844-4547 (2014) Where's the capital?: a geographical essay. British Journal of Sociology, 65 (4). pp. 721-735. ISSN 0007-1315

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Identification Number: 10.1111/1468-4446.12112


This paper is inspired by Thomas Piketty's book Capital in the Twenty-First Century. Piketty does a wonderful job of tracing income and wealth over time, and relating changes to trends of economic and population growth, and drawing out the implications for inequality, inheritance and even democracy. But, he says relatively little about where capital is located, how capital accumulation in one place relies on activities elsewhere, how capital is urbanized with advanced capitalism and what life is like in spaces without capital. This paper asks ‘where is the geography in Capital’ or ‘where is the geography of capital in Capital’? Following Piketty's lead, the paper develops its analysis through a number of important novels. It examines, first, the debate that Jane Austen ignored colonialism and slavery in her treatment of nineteenth century Britain, second, how Balzac and then Zola provide insight to the urban political economy of capital later in the century, and third, how Katherine Boo attends to inequality as the everyday suffering of the poor.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2014 The London School of Economics and Political Science
Divisions: Geography & Environment
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Date Deposited: 22 Dec 2014 14:46
Last Modified: 07 Jan 2024 01:42

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