January 12, 2023


Announcing Phenomenal World Books

Phenomenal World Books is a new publishing collaboration from Phenomenal World and The University of Chicago Press. The series seeks to elevate the political-economic investigations necessary to understanding the social world. Aimed at cohering a resurgent disciplinary alliance of economics and history, and oriented broadly at the categories of political economy and critical social science, the series features single- and multi-author works from scholars all over the world, curated and commissioned by an editorial board of today’s leading voices in the field.

The decade since the 2008 financial crisis has seen a revival in critical economic literacy extending beyond the academy, and the growth of an international audience for works on political economy. However, the translation of this “mass intellect” into political and institutional form has lagged behind. 

Phenomenal World Books builds on current political economy discourses by focusing on the scholar-practitioner interface, and on historical analysis alongside contemporary practice.

Ours is a moment characterized by tectonic shifts within the global political economy—climate change and catastrophe, varieties of right-wing populism, increasing state intervention in markets, geopolitical transformations, private- and public-led decarbonization—whose urgency demands both careful analytic work and strategic action.

The series will bring together new and established generations of scholars in order to tackle the big questions of political economy: Why is the US dollar “hegemonic”? Why has global economic growth slowed? What is the role of planning in the green transition? How will South-South cooperation shape the political economy of decarbonization? The goal is to clarify and analyze the antecedents of this moment, and the dispensation to come.

We are thrilled and privileged to be working with an incredible group of scholars who will be guiding the series as its editorial board:

Mehrsa Baradaran is professor of law at the University of California, Irvine. She is the author of How the Other Half Banks and The Color of Money.

Melinda Cooper is professor of social sciences at Australian National University. Her books include The Asset Economy and Family Values: Between Neoliberalism and the New Social Conservatism.

Daniela Gabor is professor of economics and microfinance at the University of Western England Bristol. She is an expert in international financial systems, with particular focus on shadow banking, regulatory agencies, and nongovernmental institutions.

Destin Jenkins is assistant professor of history at Stanford University. He is the author of The Bonds of Inequality: Debt and the Making of the American City. 

Ndongo Samba Sylla is senior research and program manager at the West Africa office of the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation in Dakar. He is author of Africa’s Last Colonial Currency and The Fair Trade Scandal

Adam Tooze is the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis professor and chair of history at Columbia University. His recent books include Shutdown and Crashed.

We are seeking proposals for single- and multi-author books. Please write to Phenomenal World at editorial@jfiresearch.org with ideas and questions.

The Phenomenal World Series Editor is Jack Gross.

The University of Chicago Press Series Editor is Chad Zimmerman.

View this announcement as a PDF here.