Stucked in the Middle? The Politics of a Sociology of Economics
It is a truism that global problems and crises don’t fall into disciplinary boundaries. In case violence breaks out, it makes a huge difference whether political scientists, priests or economics are authorized to solve the problem: every discipline approaches problems, crises and violence in their own peculiar way, every discipline includes certain aspects and excludes others. Every discipline defines its own way of knowing about the world, the aesthetic rules of argumentation and the rules for ascribing expertise. This means, however, that important political questions of authority and legitimacy are related to the drawing and reproduction of disciplinary boundaries. This holds particularly true in the context of the current economic crisis where in particular economists define what good idea is: what the problems are and how reforms should look like to address them. This presentation addresses the problems of ‘politics of a sociology of economics’ that might help us to shed light on the politics of economic expertise. It proposes a reconstruction of the disciplinary boundaries of economic thought and highlights the biases and shortcomings of the current reform debate.