Readership: Legal historians and constitutional theorists, economists and economic historians
Christine Desan, Leo Gottlieb Professor of Law, Harvard Law School
Christine A. Desan is the Leo Gottlieb Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. She teaches about the international monetary system, the constitutional law of money, constitutional history, political economy, and legal theory. She is the co-founder of Harvard's Program on the Study of Capitalism; with its co-director, Professor Sven Beckert (History), she has taught the Program's anchoring research seminar, the Workshop on the Political Economy of Modern Capitalism, since 2005. Desan's research explores money as a legal and political
project, one that configures the market it sets out to measure.
"Ms Desan displays exemplary scholarship in detailing money's origins, albeit in an academic style... her study is worth the effort."
"Christine Desan compares the design of commodity money with the design of money produced by modern banks of issue. The modern method shares the monopoly traditionally held by the public with private actors, pays them for money creation, and institutionalises self-interest at the heart of the political economy... As it institutionalised that profit-driven logic, the new design brought capitalism to the modern world. By exploring money's internal design my new book, Making Money: Coin, Currency, and the Coming of
Capitalism, reveals both its collective engineering and the early modern revolution in making money." - The European Financial Review
1: Creation Stories
2: From Metal to Money: Producing the "Just Penny"
3: Commodity Money as an Extreme Sport: Flows, Famines, Debasements, and Imitation Pennies
4: The High Politics of Medieval Money: Strong Coin, Heavy Taxes, and the English Invention of Public Credit
5: The Social Stratigraphy of Coin and Credit in Late Medieval England
6: Priming the Pump: The Sovereign Path Towards Paying for Coin and Circulating Credit
7: Interests, Rights, and the Currency of Public Debt
8: Reinventing Money: The Beginning of Bank Currency
9: Re-theorizing Money: The Struggle Over the Modern Imagination
10: The Eighteenth Century Architecture of Modern Money
11: Epilogue to the Eighteenth Century: the Gold Standard in an Era of Inconvertibility
Conclusion: From Blood to Water