The Wrong Way Round

Geoffrey Hawthorn

  • Rival Views of Market Society, and Other Recent Essays by Albert Hirschman
    Viking, 197 pp, £18.95, November 1986, ISBN 0 670 81319 2
  • Development, Democracy and the Art of Trespassing: Essays in Honour of Albert Hirschman edited by Alejandro Foxley, Michael McPherson and Guillermo O’Donnell
    Notre Dame, 379 pp, $25.95, October 1986, ISBN 0 268 00859 0

‘The 20th century,’ Charles Sabel remarks in his essay in the collection in honour of Albert Hirschman, ‘has been a gigantic lesson in the transformability of theories, political programmes and institutions through their recombination in new contexts.’ It is a revealing remark. For although most of what now goes on in the ‘advanced’ societies – in what since the Bandung Conference of 1955 have sometimes been thought of as the First and Second Worlds – has indeed turned out to be very different from what was once expected; and although there is now also an even more varied Third World; that’s to say, although almost everything, event and context, has confounded expectation and will no doubt continue to do so – nevertheless the theories we have with which to understand, expect and direct it all are increasingly antique.

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[*] ‘The Rise and Decline of Development Economics’ in Essays in Trespassing: Economics to Politics and Beyond (1981).