UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose


The Capital Order: How Economists Invented Austerity and Paved the Way to Fascism

18 January 2023, 6:30 pm–8:00 pm


Join us to hear Dr Clara E. Mattei, Assistant Professor in Economics at The New School for Social Research, New York City, discuss her new book The Capital Order. This talk will be chaired by IIPP’s Prof Mariana Mazzucato with Dr Alberto Botta as discussant followed by questions from the audience.

This event is free.

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In this talk, Dr Clara E. Mattei will discuss her new book The Capital Order, published in November 2022. For more than a century, governments have resorted to the economic policies of austerity—rise in interest rates, privatisation, cuts to wages and public benefits. While these policies have been successful in appeasing creditors, they’ve had devastating effects on social and economic welfare in countries all over the world. Today, as austerity remains a favoured policy among troubled states, an important question remains: What if solvency was never really the goal? In The Capital Order, Clara E. Mattei explores the origins of austerity to uncover its core function: the protection of capital—and indeed capitalism—in times of social upheaval from below. Drawing on newly uncovered archival material from Britain and Italy, much of it translated for the first time, The Capital Order offers a damning and essential new account of the rise of austerity—and of modern economics—at the levers of contemporary political power.

This in person event will take place at 11 Montague Street, London, WC1B 5BP.

This event is now fully booked. If you would like to join us online please register for Zoom via the link here. 
Read more about the IIPP Research Seminar Series 2022-23

About the Speakers

Dr Clara E. Mattei

Assistant Professor in Economics at The New School for Social Research in New York City

Clara E. Mattei
Clara E. Mattei is Assistant Professor in Economics at The New School for Social Research in New York City.  Her research contributes to the history of capitalism, exploring the critical relation between economic ideas and technocratic policy making. She especially focuses on the logic of austerity and its role in shaping contemporary societies. Her method integrates historical archival sources with macro-economic empirical data.  Her new book, The Capital Order: How Economists invented Austerity and Paved the Way to Fascism has just been published by the University of Chicago Press. More about Dr Clara E. Mattei

Prof Mariana Mazzucato

Founding Director and Professor in the Economics of Innovation and Public Value at UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose

Mariana Mazzucato
Mariana Mazzucato (PhD) is Professor in the Economics of Innovation and Public Value at University College London (UCL), where she is Founding Director of the UCL Institute for Innovation & Public Purpose (IIPP). She is winner of international prizes including the Grande Ufficiale Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana in 2021, Italy's highest civilian honour, the 2020 John von Neumann Award, the 2019 All European Academies Madame de Staël Prize for Cultural Values, and 2018 Leontief Prize for Advancing the Frontiers of Economic Thought. She was named as one of the '3 most important thinkers about innovation' by The New Republic, one of the 50 most creative people in business in 2020 by Fast Company, and one of the 25 leaders shaping the future of capitalism by WIRED.  
She is the author of three highly-acclaimed books: The Entrepreneurial State: Debunking Public vs. Private Sector Myths (2013), The Value of Everything: Making and Taking in the Global Economy (2018) and most recently Mission Economy: A Moonshot Guide to Changing Capitalism (2021). She advises policymakers around the world on innovation-led inclusive and sustainable growth. Her current roles include being Chair of the World Health Organization’s Economic Council on Health for All and a member of the South African President’s Economic Advisory Council, the Scottish Government’s Council of Economic Advisors, and the United Nations High-level Advisory Board (HLAB) on Economic and Social Affairs, among others.  More about Prof Mariana Mazzucato

Dr Alberto Botta

Associate Professor in Economics at University of Greenwich

Dr Alberto Botta
Dr. Alberto Botta is Associate Professor in economics at the University of Greenwich. He is member of the scientific committee of the Master program in Cooperation and Development of the University of Pavia (Italy). He also teaches development economics at the UN-ECLAC Latin American School of Development (Chile) and at the Master program in Cooperation and Development in the Middle East at the University of Bethlehem (Palestinian Territories). His research agenda focuses on the effects of financialization and financial integration in both developed and developing countries, as well as on fiscal policy and debt sustainability in the eurozone. On these topics, he has published in several scientific journals such as Industrial and Corporate Change, Research Policy, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Review of Keynesian Economics and Journal of post-Keynesian Economics, among others. More about Dr Alberto Botta