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Schumpeter, Democracy, and the Scottish Enlightenments


  • Charles R. McCann


Much of the literature surrounding Schumpeter's 1942 Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy has focused on his reformulation of democratic theory rather than on the perceived tensions in the classical variant which motivated his reorientation. In contrast to the position of Schumpeter, the rational actor is not a prerequisite for the maintenance of the liberal political model, nor is communitarian organicism a necessary condition to the emergence of a social consciousness. Instead, rationality as it is portrayed in the classical liberal model that developed from the Scottish Enlightenment is given limited importance, while the social conscience is the critical element that gives rise to the communitarian ideal.

Suggested Citation

  • Charles R. McCann, 1999. "Schumpeter, Democracy, and the Scottish Enlightenments," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 155(4), pages 573-573, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:mhr:jinste:urn:sici:0932-4569(199912)155:4_573:sdatse_2.0.tx_2-2

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Massimo Egidi, 2017. "Schumpeter’s picture of economic and political institutions in the light of a cognitive approach to human behavior," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 139-159, January.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • B12 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925 - - - Classical (includes Adam Smith)
    • B31 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought: Individuals - - - Individuals


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