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Markets in the Name of SocialismThe Left-Wing Origins of Neoliberalism$
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Johanna Bockman

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780804775663

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804775663.001.0001

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A New Transnational Discussion among Economists in the 1950s

A New Transnational Discussion among Economists in the 1950s

Chapter:
(p.50) 2 A New Transnational Discussion among Economists in the 1950s
Source:
Markets in the Name of Socialism
Publisher:
Stanford University Press
DOI:10.11126/stanford/9780804775663.003.0003

Economists in the socialist East developed mathematical neoclassical economics that was distinct from that developed by their counterparts in the capitalist West. However, the death of Joseph Stalin in 1953, the end of McCarthyism, and the relaxation of Cold War tensions provided an opportunity for East-West dialogue based on neoclassical economics. This chapter examines the experiences of economists in the United States as part of a broader group of Americans engaged in Sovietology—the interdisciplinary study of the Soviet Union and socialist Eastern Europe. In addition to economists, Sovietologists included sociologists, historians, political scientists, and literature and language specialists, who helped expand liminal spaces critical of both Soviet state socialism and American free market capitalism. As world politics shifted and science underwent a major restructuring after 1953, the possibility for a common economics profession emerged and Sovietologists were forced to consider their counterparts across the Iron Curtain as colleagues. These changes gave rise to new scientific approaches and new economic knowledge, as well as new scientific credibility claims, priority controversies, professional disputes, and even espionage cases.

Keywords:   neoclassical economics, Soviet Union, United States, Cold War, Sovietologists, economists

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