The moral matrix of a capitalist society: Time for more comparative analysis?

The moral matrix of a capitalist society: Time for more comparative analysis?

09. 05. 2023

Public talk by Dr. Jörg Wiegratz (University of Leeds)

Monday, 29.05.2023, 16:00P

Institute of Ethnology, CAS, Na Florenci 3, Prague 1 (5th floor) and on-line.


The moral orders, milieus, transformations and agencies in contemporary capitalism remain highly understudied, across most regions of the world. This includes the moral grammar of major professions and economic sectors. Comparative analysis across regions is minimal. The scholarship on the politics/political economy of capitalist moral order, change and agency has seen important interventions recently but remains - relative to the empirical phenomenon of concern - minimal too.  This talk explores this state of affairs and makes a case for ‘comparative moral economy studies’, across regions and countries, to track and understand the (global) moralities of capitalism. The talk is based on long-term empirical research work in Uganda and involvement in various collective interventions on the moral economy of neoliberal capitalism, in particular in Africa and Eastern Europe. The presenter will use work on the moral economy of fraud and, more recently, ‘accountability patriotism’ to illustrate the analysis.

Jörg Wiegratz is Lecturer in Political Economy of Global Development at University of Leeds. Wiegratz focuses on the political economy and moral economy of neoliberalism in Africa and elsewhere. He is the author of Neoliberal Moral Economy: Capitalism, Socio-Cultural Change and Fraud in Uganda (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016) and co-editor of Neoliberalism and the Moral Economy of Fraud (Routledge, 2016), Uganda: The Dynamics of Neoliberal Transformation (Zed Books, 2018).