Capitalism and Democracy
Show Less

Capitalism and Democracy

A Fragile Alliance

Theo C.M.J. van de Klundert

Capitalism is driven by technological revolutions, leading to alternating periods of regulation and deregulation in leading economies. Technologically backward countries face a different situation as they have to catch up with the leaders. Against this backdrop, Theo van de Klundert examines the relationship between capitalism and democracy, combining economic theory and historical description to analyse long-run economic development. Emphasis is placed on the interrelation between economic and political power, and a robust state-of-the-art overview of today’s political economy is presented.
Buy Book in Print
Show Summary Details
You do not have access to this content

Chapter 5: The long wave

A Fragile Alliance

Theo C.M.J. van de Klundert


The idea that economic developments are characterized by a superimposition of cycles of a different length and amplitude appeals to one’s imagination. In this context, a special fascination proceeds from the possible existence of a dominant long wave, featured by a length of approximately 50 years. Several authors are of the opinion to have detected such a long wave. Nikolai Kondratieff (1892–1938) is considered the pioneer in this area. This Russian economist was executed by the Stalinist regime in 1938. Kondratieff (1926) showed that economic indicators, such as prices, interest rates, international trade and coal production exhibit a long wave. Others had preceded him in this respect, such as, for example, the Dutch scientists Jacob van Gelderen (1913) and Salomon de Wolff (1924). Kondratieff, who did not possess any knowledge of the work of his predecessors, took the credit, owing to the appreciation of the famous economist Joseph Schumpeter (1939). Therefore, waves of approximately 50 years in time series of economic variables are known as Kondratieff waves (or, simply, K-waves).

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information

or login to access all content.