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John Ruskin's Political Economy: there is no wealth but life

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


Journal publication date1/05/2010
JournalBritish Journal of Politics and International Relations
Number of pages16
Original languageEnglish


In 2010 it will be one hundred and fifty years since John Ruskin's major intervention in political economy was published. While in many ways Ruskin remains a well known British commentator, his work on political economy has languished relatively under-appreciated and seldom discussed. In this short review of Ruskin's political economy, the central aspects of his analysis are introduced and summarised. This is then allied to a short indication of how these ideas remain (especially) relevant today, as a prompt to those interested in thinking through analytical alternatives in light of the current travails of contemporary capitalism, to examine and re-engage with John Ruskin's insights into the character and problems of economics.