Political Economy in the Modern State is Harold Innis’s transitional and, in some respects, his most transformative book. Completed in 1946, it is a collection of fifteen chapters plus a remarkable Preface selected and crafted to address four main themes: the problem of power and peace in the post-War era; the ascent of specialized and mechanized forms of knowledge involving, most particularly, the media, the state, and the academy; the crisis facing civilization and, more generally, the modern penchant for unreflexive short-term thinking in the face of mounting contradictions; and Innis’s growing focus on what would be called media bias.
In this new edition, editors Robert E. Babe and Edward A. Comor provide not only a general introduction to Innis’s largely forgotten book but also dedicated introductions to each of its fifteen chapters and a comprehensive index. Together, Babe and Comor demonstrate how Innis’s volume reflects a shift in Innis’s focus, away from analytical relativism towards, instead, a reflexive search for objective truths.
About the authors
Harold A. Innis (1894-1952) was a Canadian professor of political economy at the University of Toronto and the author of seminal works on media, communication theory and Canadian economic history.
Robert E. Babe is a professor in the Faculty of Information and Media Studies at the University of Western Ontario.
Edward Comor is a professor and faculty scholar in the Faculty of Information and Media Studies at the University of Western Ontario.
Other titles by Harold A. Innis
Empire and Communications
Select Documents in Canadian Economic History 1783-1885
Essays in Canadian Economic History
The Bias of Communication
The Fur Trade in Canada
An Introduction to Canadian Economic History
Essays in Political Economy
In Honour of E.J. Urwick
The History of an International Economy