The Birth of Economics as a Social Science: Sismondi’s Concept of Political Economy, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Birth of Economics as a Social Science

Sismondi’s Concept of Political Economy, 1st Edition

By Francesca Dal Degan


158 pages | 4 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781848935358
pub: 2019-04-10
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Although considered a classic thinker, Sismondi is seldom discussed, at least in English. In this context, this volume offers a key reference work on the intellectual and economic contribution of Sismondi to the economic, political, and social sciences. The book explores his works in order to rediscover the direction of a viable path to individual and public happiness.

Through examining Sismondi’s work, The Birth of Economics as a Social Science contributes to the current debate on the relationships between liberty, interpersonal relations, and wealth. Moreover, Dal Degan presents an analytical and historical example of the ways in which an author from the past attempted to connect these aspects in his scientific discourse. The first part of the book focuses on Sismondi’s political thought, paying particular attention to the different cultural and political traditions that pepper the author’s reflections on the conditions for liberty. The second part analyzes the epistemological view underlying how Sismondi’s historical method and multidisciplinary approach respond to the need to base economic discourse on a contextual and causal analysis that also addresses the historical and institutional structure of social organizations. Finally, the third part of the book is dedicated to Sismondi’s economic theory.

This work brings the works of Sismondi to a wider readership. It will be of great interest to those studying and researching economic theory and the connections between economics and society, as well as the broader social sciences.

Table of Contents



Part 1 Origins and Method

1. A Biographical Note

2. From "Concentric Circles" to Social Sciences

Part 2 Political Thought

3. Coppet's "magic lantern"

4. "I am a Liberal or, rather, a Republican"

5. Reciprocal independence

Part 3 Economic Thought

6. Early Writings

7. The Economy of Leman District

8. Contradictions of Economic Growth

9. Inclusive Economics

10. Say’s law or law of Demand at Work in Labor Market?





About the Author

Francesca Dal Degan is a Researcher in the History of Economic Thought in the Department of Economics and Management at the University of Pisa, Italy.

About the Series

Modern Heterodox Economics

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Economics / General
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Economics / Theory