Some economists began to take a cultural turn in the 1980s and 1990s and the discursive and symbolic nature of all economic activities is now acknowledged in several disciplines. Economic sociologists have long been interested in the embedding of economic activities in wider social relations and institutions. This book offers a critique of both trends. It argues for a distinctive ‘cultural political economy’ that combines critical semiotic analysis and a rigorous critique of political economy that draws on institutional and evolutionary insights from heterodox economics. It then applies this new approach to issues such as economic and political imaginaries, differential accumulation, institutional and spatio-temporal fixes, knowledge-based economies and intellectual property, competitiveness as a material force and a knowledge brand, corporate social responsibility, crisis imaginaries and the rise of the BRIC economies.