Stanfield’s Concepts of Social and Political Economy: Introduction to the Special Issue
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This introduction to the special issue of the Forum for Social Economics discusses the conceptual advances made by James Ronald Stanfield that are critical to the future of social and political economy. We introduce the papers by Stanfield and O’Hara, which provide an overview of the conceptual advances. We then introduce the concepts of historical specificity, as well as policy and governance, and how they are need to be seen as interlinked into the cultural and institutional environment. The concept of the disembedded economy is then analysed and related to the papers by Kunibert Raffer and Doug Brown. This is followed by the concept of the economic surplus, and the notion of the surplus as a fund for social change, which is discussed by Mary Wrenn in her paper.The concept of reciprocity, nurturance and love is then linked to Edward O’Boyle’s paper, which sees close parallels between his own personalist economics and Stanfield’s inquiry. The final concept to be introduced is Stanfield’s notion of institutional change and transformation, which John Marangos scrutinises in the rapid changes happening in Central and Eastern Europe. The future of social and political economy is then explored relative to the need to understand and change the world for the better through analysing the core problems that successively emerge through historical time.
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