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Business and Polity

Business and Polity
Dynamics of a Changing Relationship

First Edition
Critical Acclaim

March 2011 | 468 pages | SAGE India

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.

Sagacity in Governance: The Greek Exemplar

Governance Culture: Roman Mirror

Tolerant Ambience: India

Resource Raising: Uniqueness of China

An intimidating Colossus: The Arab Miracle

Trade and Politics in the Indian Ocean

Business on Leash: Japan

Emerging out of the Shadows: Europe

In the Limelight: Knights of Commerce

Playing with Power: Merchant Republics

Sword and Purse: Beginnings of Collaboration

Fiscal Revolution: Grip of Financiers

Economic nationalism: Fusion of the Sword and Purse

Setting the Tone : The Portuguese

Weaving a Pattern: The Spanish Imperial Machine

Showing the Way: The Dutch Interlude

Not in a Fit of absentmindedness: Britain's Forays

Chinks in the Armour: Empires in the Eurasian Landmass

Pax Britannica: Rise and Fall of British Hegemony

Pillars of US Hegemony

Reference List and Select Bibliography

This is an in-depth and comprehensive study of the nature and evolution of the close relationship between business and polity over the last two millenniums and a half. Ghosh`s lucid and fascinating account…provides an important perspective in understanding the on-going interaction of business operations and government policies at both the national and the global level.

Mihir Rakshit
Director, Monetary Researh Project at ICRA, Kolkata, and Editor-in-Chief, Money and Finance

This book is a tour de force. In a lucid engaging treatise, Dhruba Ghosh explores the nexus between business and politics, intertwined in history over a period that spans millenniums…to …highlight how the evolution of business-politics dynamics exercised an enormous influence on outcomes in economy and society… If anything, the essential hypothesis is even more relevant in our lives and times…

Deepak Nayyar
Distinguished University Professor of Economics, New School for Social Research, New York

This book is unique in many ways… [A]n excursion to explore how the world has evolved through different epochs of history. I strongly recommend this book to all those who are interested in our country`s future…

Bimal Jalan
Former Member of Parliament [Rajya Sabha]

Bearing the unmistakable imprint of wide reading and deep reflection, Business and Polity is a virtual tour de force of the world history from the ancient times to the present. Ghosh’s purpose in doing so is to demonstrate that business and polity have always had an impact on each every time and every clime. While business is concerned with wealth generating activity, polity refers to levers of political power…[The book] is a series of feedbacks, enriching our understanding of the nexus between the two power networks, Ghosh’s narrative, nevertheless, suggests a pattern that no reader can miss, even as none can miss the erudition informing his analysis.

Economic & Political Weekly

This book explains how each nation rose to global hegemony and then lost that position, covering a history of 2,500 years. A unique analysis targeted at political scientists and economic historians and policymakers across the world, it talks about the Grand Prix of nations, which plays out eternally, in financial markets and military theatres, depending upon each nation’s polity and business… [The author] has done a superb job of explaining the reasons why nations rise to, or ebb from, power…. In terms of genre and content, it is rare and insightful.


The book clearly brings out the symbiotic relationship between business and polity. The way these two forces have interacted has shaped the fortunes of empires/states. The author impresses with the sheer coverage through centuries. The book is enriching in terms of the insight it gives into economic history.

Business Line

Over 400 pages and 1,20,000 words in length, this book may appear long, but its canvas is so vast that it races through centuries and continents at breakneck speed. The reader will learn many obscure and interesting things from it… In case he wants to quench his thirst for more knowledge, he has a bibliography of 600 works to help him… this book is the best introduction to a fascinating subject.

The Telegraph

With the hindsight of contemporary developments in the overlapping areas of political and business sectors, Ghosh is able to explain the shifting nature of this relationship. No doubt this book is of academic mould, but those who are generally interested in the history of politics and business would find it informative.


Ghosh’s performance is praiseworthy. His work is a concise, carefully focused and elegantly presented economic history of the world—no mean task… I hope that many readers will find the book as interesting and helpful as I did.


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ISBN: 9788132105312

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