Drawing upon research from such diverse places as the New York Board of Trade and the Turkish and Egyptian countrysides, the book explores how market agents from peasants to global merchants negotiate, accept, reject, resist, reproduce, understand, and misunderstand a global market. The book demonstrates that policymakers and researchers must focus on the specific practices of market maintenance in order to know how they operate. Markets do not simply emerge as a relationship among self-interested buyers and sellers, governed by appropriate economic institutions. Nor are they just social networks embedded in wider economic social structures. Rather, global markets are maintained through daily interventions, the production of prosthetic prices, and the waging of struggles among those who produce and exchange commodities. The book illustrates the crucial consequences that these ideas have on economic reform projects and market studies.
Spanning a variety of disciplines, Market Threads offers an original look at the world commodity trade and revises prevailing explanations for how markets work.