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Bankruptcy and Debt Collection in Liberal Capitalism: Switzerland, 1800–1900
by Mischa Suter
University of Michigan Press, 2021
eISBN: 978-0-472-12885-3 | Cloth: 978-0-472-13252-2
Library of Congress Classification HG3769.S94S8813 2021
Dewey Decimal Classification 332.7509494

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ABOUT THIS BOOK

Drawing on perspectives from anthropology and social theory, this book explores the quotidian routines of debt collection in nineteenth-century capitalism. It focuses on Switzerland, an exemplary case of liberal rule. Debt collection and bankruptcy relied on received practices until they were standardized in a Swiss federal law in 1889. The vast array of these practices was summarized by the idiomatic Swiss legal term “Rechtstrieb” (literally, “law drive”). Analyzing these forms of summary justice opens a window to the makeshift economies and the contested political imaginaries of nineteenth-century everyday life. Ultimately, the book advances an empirically grounded and theoretically informed history of quotidian legal practices in the everyday economy; it is an argument for studying capitalism from the bottom up.



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