• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

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.

Sword and Purse: Beginnings of Collaboration
Sword and purse: Beginnings of collaboration

The 16th century was one of transition from the era of small city-states mostly ruled by patriciates with business interests or supported by business communities to one of nation-states ruled by monarchs. Geo-political developments started changing the face of Europe. The complex of principalities and territories known as Germany was at the height of prosperity and population. The decline of France in the wars of the previous two centuries and of Italy in the Franco-Spanish wars of the previous 30 years had put Germany at the centre of the European stage (Elton, 1963: 23). The rising power of the Habsburg Empire emerged as the central political sensation of the times.1

As Germany came to occupy ...

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