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Polanyi, Karl (1886–1964)

James Ronald Stanfield and Jacqueline Bloom Stanfield

Subject Economics
Sociology » Economic Sociology, Sociological and Social Theory

Period 1000 - 1999 » 1900-1999

Key-Topics capitalism

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405124331.2007.x


Karl Polanyi was born in Vienna on October 21, 1886 and spent his childhood in Budapest. His formal university studies were in law, which he practiced for a very brief time after graduating in 1910. Informally he immersed himself in the rising tide of radical and modern liberal dissent and engaged in political activities, notably on behalf of the short-lived National Citizenss' Radical Party, which was formally chartered in June 1914. Polanyi's political and legal career was interrupted by World War I in which he served in the Austro-Hungarian army. Thereafter he began a relationship with the radical activist Ilona Ducyznska, whom he married in 1923. Polanyi worked as an economic journalist in Vienna from 1924 to 1933, when fascism led him to emigrate with his family, first to England, then to the US. From 1940 to 1943 Polanyi lived in the US, giving guest lectures and holding a visiting scholar's appointment at Bennington College in Vermont. He returned to England for a short period, then returned to the US soon after the end of the war, serving as a visiting professor at Columbia University, where he was co-director (with Conrad Arensberg) of the Interdisciplinary Project on the Institutional Aspects of Economic Growth, which resulted in the very influential Trade and Market in the Early Empires (1957). Polanyi's final major project was the founding of Co-Existence , an interdisciplinary ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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