Business and Polity explores, through a variety of economic and political formations over the past two and a half millennia, right from the Greco-Roman civilization to present day globalization, the behavior of two power networks: those who control the levers of political power and those who engage themselves in wealth-generating activities. It traces the dynamics of interdependence between these two powerful networks and what happens when one or the other becomes more powerful.
The rational and logical approach taken by the author reveals the links that our modern state of affairs has with the experience of past civilizations—knowledge that can potentially enhance our ability to make informed decisions to shape the global future. Though the content is academic and interdisciplinary in scope and nature, its lucid presentation will appeal to a wide range of readers who are interested in geopolitical issues and economic, political and business history.
Playing with Power: Merchant Republics
By the 14th century, several groups of merchant communities had established themselves as financial powers with substantive control over the administration of many cities along the trade routes in Europe. The political system that came to be formed was based on the city-state: autonomous, relatively large and internally compact, each bordering the next without serious discontinuity. It was the political creation of a commercial metropolis which, through war, diplomacy or purchase, succeeded in enlarging the territorial framework of the original urban commune and in dominating its hinterland of small and middling towns and villages (Hocquet, 1999). In many significant ways, we see in the behaviour of these merchant groups the beginnings of what we have come ...