Political Economy in the Modern State

Political Economy in the Modern State

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Political Economy in the Modern State is Harold Innis’s transitional and, in some respects, his most transformative book. Completed in 1946, it is a collection of fifteen chapters plus a remarkable Preface selected and crafted to address four main themes: the problem of power and peace in the post-War era; the ascent of specialized and mechanized forms of knowledge involving, most particularly, the media, the state, and the academy; the crisis facing civilization and, more generally, the modern penchant for unreflexive short-term thinking in the face of mounting contradictions; and Innis’s growing focus on what would be called media bias.

In this new edition, editors Robert E. Babe and Edward A. Comor provide not only a general introduction to Innis’s largely forgotten book but also dedicated introductions to each of its fifteen chapters and a comprehensive index. Together, Babe and Comor demonstrate how Innis’s volume reflects a shift in Innis’s focus, away from analytical relativism towards, instead, a reflexive search for objective truths.