To bring together scholars who explain historical phenomena using the methods of the social sciences

Programme

Wed 4 April
    8.30 - 10.30
    11.00 - 13.00
    14.00 - 16.00
    16.30 - 18.30

Thu 5 April
    8.30 - 10.30
    11.00 - 13.00
    14.00 - 16.00
    16.30 - 18.30
    19.00 - 20.15
    20.30 - 22.00

Fri 6 April
    8.30 - 10.30
    11.00 - 13.00
    14.00 - 16.00
    16.30 - 18.30

Sat 7 April
    8.30 - 10.30
    11.00 - 13.00
    14.00 - 16.00
    16.00 - 17.00

All days
Go back

Friday 6 April 2018 14.00 - 16.00
K-11 - ECO12 : The Origins of Neoliberalism: Economic Thought and International Relations in the 1930s
PFC/02/011 Sir Peter Froggatt Centre
Network: Economic History Chair: Thomas Welskopp
Organizer: Hagen Schulz-ForbergDiscussant: Thomas Welskopp
Martin Beddeleem : Embedding Liberalism within Science: the Epistemological Groundwork of Early Neoliberalism
This paper analyses how neoliberalism arose from an intellectual attack upon traditional scientific ideas. In 1931 in London, the nascent community of historians of science was stunned to hear from Russian delegate Boris Hessen that Newton’s major discoveries had been stimulated not by his genius alone but by the social ... (Show more)
This paper analyses how neoliberalism arose from an intellectual attack upon traditional scientific ideas. In 1931 in London, the nascent community of historians of science was stunned to hear from Russian delegate Boris Hessen that Newton’s major discoveries had been stimulated not by his genius alone but by the social and technical needs of the bourgeois class. This conference led an important bloc of scientists (J. D. Bernal, P. M. S. Blackett, C. H. Waddington, etc.) to support the view that all scientific work, however 'pure' it might appear, was a response to the practical problems confronting the elites, and that only in a socialist society would the emancipatory promise of science be fully realized. Scientists of a liberal leaning (Friedrich Hayek, Michael Polanyi, Karl Popper, Louis Rougier, etc.), who strongly defended the intellectual autonomy of the individual researcher, acknowledged in return that the production and dissemination of science entailed social and political provisions, precisely those of a liberal order. From 1938 to 1945, the publications of early neoliberals zeroed in epistemological and methodological issues attempting to revamp a genuine science of liberalism geared towards the discovery and promotion of the values and institutions that sustain a liberal order. Using insights from both intellectual history and the sociology of science, this paper contends that the consolidation of neoliberalism, across borders and disciplines, was rooted in a critical conventionalism, where knowledge and truths were established intersubjectively within a set of axiomatic premises uncritically accepted. Early neoliberals sought to distance themselves from the rationalism, empiricism, and naturalism which prevailed in classical liberalism and socialism, and adopted, as a result, a skeptical view of applied science and instrumental knowledge as tools for social policy. (Show less)

Søren Friis : The Peaceful Science? Economics, Politics and Social Science Networking at a Nordic Interwar Think-Tank
Founded in Copenhagen in 1927, the Institute for Economics and History may be considered the first Nordic research institute in the area of international studies. This paper illustrates the relationship that evolved between the Danish institute and its transnational network of sister institutes joined together by the League of Nations’ International Studies Conference (as well as their key stake-holders) from 1928 to 1939. Through the prism of localized efforts and ... (Show more)
Founded in Copenhagen in 1927, the Institute for Economics and History may be considered the first Nordic research institute in the area of international studies. This paper illustrates the relationship that evolved between the Danish institute and its transnational network of sister institutes joined together by the League of Nations’ International Studies Conference (as well as their key stake-holders) from 1928 to 1939. Through the prism of localized efforts and challenges in transnational network-building, the paper aims to shed light on how intellectual, political and economic agendas underwent lasting changes in the interwar setting. By focusing on cooperative efforts in defining the aims and objects of “International Studies”, in which economic paradigms and power relations came to play no small role, this paper contributes to a clearer understanding of how an internationalized social science agenda came to prominence during a period of international crises, and what this might mean for its legacies until today. (Show less)

Hagen Schulz-Forberg : The Institutional and Intellectual Birth of Neoliberalism
In the literature on neoliberalism, the WLC is constructed as having happened within a vacuum. A handful of maverick thinkers got together to rebuild liberalism – so goes the suggested interpretation. The so-constructed root cause of neoliberalism is thus not adequately contextualized. All is interpreted from a post factum perspective, ... (Show more)
In the literature on neoliberalism, the WLC is constructed as having happened within a vacuum. A handful of maverick thinkers got together to rebuild liberalism – so goes the suggested interpretation. The so-constructed root cause of neoliberalism is thus not adequately contextualized. All is interpreted from a post factum perspective, tracing the lives and thoughts of famous postwar figures such as von Hayek and von Mises. Research has so far not traced the role and significance of the institution hosting the WLC, the International Institute of Intellectual Co-operation (IIIC). Once the IIIC is taken seriously, it appears as merely one conference among many organized within an impressive network of transnational and national institutions that began to function effectively by the early 1930s. The IIIC was crucial to the birth of International Studies as a social science designed to find ways that would lead to a peaceful world order. Early neoliberals were fully integrated in this network and neoliberalism as a consequence did not emerge in a vacuum, but in dialogue with and contestation of other doctrinal variations of a reconstructed liberalism. This paper begins with the new agenda of liberalism from 1938 and reconstructs its institutional and intellectual origins of the early 1930s as emergent from the above-described network of institutions and actors. (Show less)