Dobb–Sweezy Debate

The Dobb-Sweezy Debate, despite its name, actually ranged over a number of Marxist scholars. As it is often referred to simply as “The Transition Debate” (its contributions were also assembled in a publication of that name [see below]), we have referred to it here by its colloquial designation in order to distinguish it from the debate on the transition to capitalism more generally. These articles highlight and bring out many important themes about social theory, economic development and historiography and they serve as an important foundation for the material that would later emerge in The Brenner Debate.

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Dobb, Maurice (1946). Studies in the Development of Capitalism. Routledge.

Sweezy, Paul M. and Maurice Dobb (1950). ‘The Transition from Feudalism to Capitalism,’ Science & Society, 14(2), Spring, pp. 134-167

Hilton, Rodney (1952). ‘Capitalism––What’s in a name?’ Past & Present, 1, February, pp. 32-43

Takahashi, Kohachiro (1952). ‘The Transition from Feudalism to Capitalism: a contribution to the Sweezy-Dobb controversy,’ Science & Society, 16(4), Fall, pp. 313-345, Translated from the original Japanese by Henry F. Mins.

Dobb, Maurice and Paul M. Sweezy (1953). ‘Comments on Takahashi’s “Transition from Feudalism to Capitalism,”Science & Society, 17(2), Spring, pp. 155-164

Hilton, R.H. and Christopher Hill (1953). ‘The Transition from Feudalism to Capitalism,’ Science & Society, 17(4), 340-351

Procacci, Giuliano (1955). ‘A Survey of the Debate,’ Società, XI

Lefebvre, Georges (1956). ‘Quelques observations,’ La Pensée, Nouvelle série, No. 65, janvier-fevrier, pp. 22-25. This contribution was also translated and reprinted as ‘A Historian’s Remarks on the Transition from Feudalism to Capitalism,’ Science & Society, 20(3), Summer, pp. 241-246.

Hobsbawm, Eric (1962). ‘From Feudalism to Capitalism,’ Marxism Today, August.

Dobb, Maurice (1962). ‘From Feudalism to Capitalism,’ Marxism Today, September.

John Merrington (1975). ‘Town and Country in the Transition to Capitalism,’ New Left Review, I, 93, September-October, pp. 71-92

The above articles, under slightly different titles in some cases, were reprinted in

Hilton, Rodney (ed.) (1978). The Transition from Feudalism to Capitalism. London: Verso.

Contributions following this original series include

Sweezy, Paul M. (1986). ‘Feudalism-to-Capitalism revisited,’ Science & Society, 50(1), Spring, pp. 81-84