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Zur De-Pluralisierung der Wirtschaftswissenschaft nach 1970: Explorationen in einem wissenschaftlichen Macht- und Kampffeld


  • Arne Heise
  • Sebastian Thieme


In the context of ongoing criticisms of the lack of pluralism in economics, the present article aims to discuss the development of ‘heterodox’ economics since the 1970s. Following Lakatos’s concept of scientific research programs (srp), and concentrating on the situation in Germany, the article will discuss classifications of economics, and will specify the understanding of diversity in the light of ‘axiomatic variations’ of the economic mainstream. This will form the basis for the subsequent description of the development of heterodoxy in Germany, with special reference to the founding of new universities and the reform movements in the 1970s. It can be shown that the heterodox scene flourished in this period, but that this pluralization remained fragmented and short-lived; by the 1980s at the latest heterodoxy was again on its way to marginalization. The history of heterodoxy in Germany thus presents itself as an unequal ‘battle of the paradigms,’ and can only be told as the story of a failure. / Im Kontext der weiterhin anhaltende Kritik am mangelnden Pluralismus der Wirtschaftswissenschaften soll im vorliegenden Beitrag die Entwicklung der ,heterodoxen‘ Ökonomik seit den 1970er Jahren diskutiert werden. In Anlehnung an Lakatos’ Konzept der Forschungsprogramme und in Konzentration auf die Situation in Deutschland wird dabei die Wirtschaftswissenschaft klassifiziert und das Verständnis von Vielfalt im Lichte ,axiomatischer Variationen‘ des ökonomischen Mainstreams präzisiert. Darauf basie-rend folgt die Beschreibung der Entwicklung der Heterodoxie in Deutschland unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der universitären Neugründungen und Reformbewegungen in 1970er Jahren. Es lässt sich zeigen, dass die heterodoxe Szene in dieser Zeit eine Hochphase erlebte, diese Pluralisierung aber kleinteilig blieb und auch nur kurz anhielt, so dass die Heterodoxie spätestens ab den 1980er Jahren wieder auf eine Marginalisierung zusteuerte. Die Geschichte der Heterodoxie in Deutschland stellt sich insofern als ungleicher ,Kampf der Paradigmen‘ dar und muss als ,Misserfolgsgeschichte‘ erzählt werden.

Suggested Citation

  • Arne Heise & Sebastian Thieme, 2015. "Zur De-Pluralisierung der Wirtschaftswissenschaft nach 1970: Explorationen in einem wissenschaftlichen Macht- und Kampffeld," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 135(2), pages 155-187.
  • Handle: RePEc:dah:aeqsjb:v135_y2015_i2_q2_p155-187

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    JEL classification:

    • A - General Economics and Teaching
    • B - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology
    • B - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology
    • Z - Other Special Topics


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