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The Essential Hirschman$
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Albert O. Hirschman and Jeremy Adelman

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691159904

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691159904.001.0001

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Political Economics and Possibilism

Political Economics and Possibilism

(p.1) Political Economics and Possibilism
The Essential Hirschman

Albert O. Hirschman

Princeton University Press

This chapter contains the introduction to Hirschman's collection of essays on development at the close of the 1960s, A Bias for Hope: Essays on Development in Latin America. Here, Hirschman points to the importance of the interplay between economic and political forces: not just the economic theories of politics, nor simply the political dimensions of economic phenomena, but the interactions between two fields that can open up spaces for alternatives. Hence, this chapter urges more flexibility and realism and less reliance on general laws to explain social phenomena. Freedom and creativity—in short, “a passion for the possible”—were Hirschman's watchwords in this piece.

Keywords:   development, economic forces, political forces, social phenomena, Latin America, A Bias for Hope, social change, freedom, creativity

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