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Abstract: This 2013 paper – an updated version of which I would like to present at the conference – examines the ambivalence of capitalist growth and accumulation, that is, the simultaneous combination of dynamic and restrictive tendencies. At the most abstract level, this ambivalence is related to the existence of three different forms or circuits of capital. At a more concrete level, the accumulation regime of financialised capitalism is outlined. In comparison to Fordism, this accumulation regime is characterised by a weak propensity to invest and therefore by lacklustre accumulation. On this basis, I look at financialisation and the crisis in the Eurozone in particular and what it means for those societies that are currently being subjected to a regime of austerity. Finally, this view of capitalism is contrasted with the discourse of growth critique which exaggerates the dynamism of capital and produces a simplistic view of capitalist societies as ‘growth societies’.
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