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Picture of Reinventing Capitalism in New Zealand

Reinventing Capitalism in New Zealand

History, Structure, Practice and Social Class

Author(s): Christopher Wilkes

Book Description

In the nineteenth century, Britain bestrode the world. Its domination depended in part on it exporting its social and economic problems to the farthest reaches of the globe. In Aotearoa/New Zealand, Britain’s élite thought they had found a ready-made country in which to re-establish their way of life. This invasion might ease their problems at home, and extend their influence to the edge of the earth. White settlers began to arrive in New Zealand in numbers during the 1840s, and sought to reinvent capitalism in a new land. This book traces the shape of this reinvention, and the slow emergence of New Zealand’s particular form of class structure.

The book will be of interest to anyone concerned with the history of capitalism, and its colonial ambitions. It sheds light on the enduring nature of inequality in New Zealand, and where it might originate. Students of political science, sociology, history and cultural studies will find its arguments of interest.


ISBN-13: 978-1-5275-3180-2
ISBN-10: 1-5275-3180-5
Date of Publication: 01/06/2019
Pages / Size: 406 / A5
Price: £64.99


Chris Wilkes is Emeritus Professor of Sociology at Pacific University, USA. He is the writer and co-writer of six academic books and four novels, along with over eighty academic articles. Educated at Dulwich College in London, he has degrees from Victoria University of Wellington and the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, as well as Stanford University, USA. He has taught at Massey University, New Zealand, at Stanford, and at Pacific University. At Pacific he was Vice-Provost for Research. His initial foray into science soon transformed itself into an interest in the human sciences, social philosophy and social history. His most recent books have focused on political theory (A Biography of the State) and the sociology of Jane Austen (Social Jane).