2022 (19), №1

Advancing Kondratiev Wave Complexity through Bunge’s Emergence, Braudel’s History, Veblen’s Institutions and Polanyi’s Double Movement

For citation: 

O’Hara, P. A. (2022). Advancing Kondratiev Wave Complexity through Bunge’s Emergence, Braudel’s History, Veblen’s Institutions and Polanyi’s Double Movement. AlterEconomics, 19(1), 51-70. https://doi.org/10.31063/AlterEconomics/2022.19-1.4.


Kondratiev has rightly been called the father of long wave analysis for his empirical and theoretical contributions to conjunctural analysis. Although many other economists of the former Russian Empire made contributions to the field, for decades, long wave studies remained in the background of scholarly inquiry until the capitalist crises in the 1970s and 1980s. Since then, long waves re-emerged as an exciting field of inquiry, leading to a better understanding of the dynamics of capitalism. This paper seeks to contribute to long wave research by applying some core principles of scientific realism, complexity and emergence to the analysis. In the first section, temporal, vertical and horizontal dimensions of complexity and emergence are scrutinised, following the realist scientific philosophy of Mario Bunge. The second section deals with the work of Fernand Braudel, who situated conjunctures (Kondratiev waves) and phases of evolution between events and long-term structures (the Longue Durée). The third section discusses Thorstein Veblen’s culture-institutions-habits-individuals (CIHI) nexus and Karl Polanyi’s concept of the double movement within the context of the long waves and Braudel’s work. The study provides an in-depth analysis of the realistic vertical, horizontal and temporal emergence of Kondratiev waves of capitalism from the 1790s to the 2020s. Thus, these findings can be useful for further studies in this field, making waves more historically and institutionally relevant to understanding the world and its development.

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Phillip Anthony O’HARA, PhD (Econ.), Global Political Economy Research Unit, Bentley, WA, 6982, PO Box 383, Australia, e-mail: ohara.gperu@gmail.com.  https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5385-5545

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