Bringing the Social Back into Economies: Progress or Reductionism?
Section 2 of this paper suggests that economics has long sought to colonise other social sciences. It has, however, only achived limites success because of its alien methods and its need to take the social as given. Section 3 argues that there is now a newer version of economic imperialism drawing upon the new microfoundation principles associated with information imperfections. In view of rational response to market imperfections, these purport to be able to explain the social whether the latter be non-economic or collective forms of behaviour. Section 4 presents illustrations of the way in which imperialism is bringing the social back into its analysis, drawing in broad brush rather than detail upon the new economic sociology, the new institutional economics, the new economic history, the new development economics, and the all-embracing notion of social capital.
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