Great Issues—Miller Center

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Great Issues: Scholarship in the Public Interest

More from Julia Ott


The Democratization of Corporations and the Methodologies of History of Capitalism - Julia Ott describes the research process that produced her book When Wall Street Met Main Street. She notes that archival sources led her to emphasize popular narratives calling for the democratization of corporations as well as corporate efforts to reshape the public’s ideas about securities  markets - and led her to adopt a methodological mix of techniques from political, intellectual, and cultural history.

The Relationship between Agency and Constraint in the History of Capitalism - Julia Ott discusses the balance between agency and constraint that has shaped the new history of capitalism. She argues that while individuals may have little direct ability to reshape capitalism, policy choices have produced specific forms of capitalism that are subject to policy intervention.

The Potential for Change in Capitalism - Julia Ott explains how an historical analysis of American capitalism demonstrates the potential for change and the role - and nature - of agency, recognizing that capitalism is both malleable and subject to human intervention. She also compares recent reform efforts such as the Dodd-Frank bill to earlier regulatory interventions.

Comparing the Crises of 1929 and 2007 - Julia Ott discusses the similarities and differences between the financial crises of 1929 and 2007-2008. While much of the rhetoric was the same in both periods, financial reform is more difficult to achieve today because the finance industry has become structurally vital for the American economy. 

Future directions for the History of Capitalism - Julia Ott describes how the history of Capitalism field can contribute to emerging challenges in contemporary capitalism. She also suggests that increased interdisciplinary collaboration can help students become both more economically literate but also more critical in their approach to capitalism.