Social Science, Administrative Science, and Entangled Political Economy

This essay treats entangled political economy within the history of political economy. It explains that entangled political economy is not so much a new development in economics as it is a revisitation of some old themes that were swept aside in the conversion of political economy into economics starting late in the nineteenth century. With this conversion, what had been a science of social organization transformed into a science of resource allocation and rational calculation. Economics morphed from a science of society into a science of rational administration. With the importation of the calculus of maxima and minima, rational resource allocation came to occupy the analytical foreground and political economy was converted into economics; moreover, political economy came to denote public policy and the political oversight of corporate enterprise, abolishing in the process all semblance of the classical vision of political economy. In contrast, entangled political economy reflects an awareness of what was lost through this transformation into neoclassicism along with a desire to recover some of that lost heritage, although using some new analytical methods, techniques, and insights along the way.

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