Journal Article

Theoretical versus practical explanation in political economy and economic sociology: the case of Tocqueville

Richard Swedberg

in Socio-Economic Review

Published on behalf of Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics

Volume 6, issue 3, pages 427-447
Published in print July 2008 | ISSN: 1475-1461
Published online March 2008 | e-ISSN: 1475-147X | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ser/mwn004
Theoretical versus practical explanation in political economy and economic sociology: the case of Tocqueville

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Moral Philosophy
  • Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Welfare Economics
  • Political Economy
  • Economic Sociology

GO

Show Summary Details

Preview

This article represents an attempt to show the relevance of Tocqueville's analyses of economic phenomena to modern political economy and economic sociology. The entry point is his approach to explanation, which is midway between value neutrality (Weber) and the idea that explanations must lead to social change (Marx). Tocqueville instead argues that the analyst (here of economic phenomena) should focus on as well as encourage the actors' sense of freedom. This argument is illustrated with the help of Tocqueville's analysis of the economy in Democracy in America, Recollections and The Old Regime and the Revolution.

Keywords: political economy; economic sociology; Tocqueville; objectivity; B1 history of economic thought through 1925

Journal Article.  9231 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Moral Philosophy ; Corporate Social Responsibility ; Welfare Economics ; Political Economy ; Economic Sociology

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.