The Rise Of Historical Economics And Social Reform In Germany 1864-1894

Hardcover | September 14, 2003

byErik Grimmer-Solem

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Social science and social reform flourished in Imperial Germany, and the historical economist Gustav Schmoller made fundamental contributions to both. Despite this, historians have neglected him. Questioning the term 'German Historical School' associated with Schmoller, Grimmer-Solem revealsthe European context of Schmoller's thought and the influence of empiricism, statistics, and advances in the natural sciences on his choice of methods. By exploring the social context in detail, he deomonstrates how the nexus of young scholars around Schmoller fundamentally transformed Germaneconomics into a tool of social reform which was directly relevant to the many 'social questions' raised by rapid industrialization and urbanization in Germany in the 1860s. These reform efforts were novel in that they put forth the idea that inequality and poverty were ills emerging from thedivision of labour which society had an obligation to remedy. As a result, an awareness of the social implications of individual economic action emerged which proved remarkably useful for the development of social policy. Although the dissemination of this reform message influenced public opinionand put social reform on the political agenda, Grimmer-Solem shows that Schmoller and his colleagues remained a beleaguered group, attacked from all political directions. His investigation brings the fissures within German liberalism into sharp relief, revealing the persistence of a potent ideal ofclasslessness that fundamentally shaped German social policy. Grimmer-Solem makes a unique and much-needed contribution to our understanding of the thought and milieu of Gustav Schmoller, the origins of social reform, and the development of the social sciences in Germany. The resulting volumeaddreses central questions in the historiography of the German Empire, of relevance to all German, European, social, and intellectual historians.

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From the Publisher

Social science and social reform flourished in Imperial Germany, and the historical economist Gustav Schmoller made fundamental contributions to both. Despite this, historians have neglected him. Questioning the term 'German Historical School' associated with Schmoller, Grimmer-Solem revealsthe European context of Schmoller's thought ...

Erik Grimmer-Solem is Assistant Professor of History, Wesleyan University.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:352 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.9 inPublished:September 14, 2003Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199260419

ISBN - 13:9780199260416

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Table of Contents

List of AbbreviationsIntroductionPart I: Structures1. What was the Historical School? A Critical Reassessment2. The Mode of ProductionPart II: Context, Ideas and Methods3. The Social Question and the Challenge to Economic Orthodoxy4. Empirical Knowledge and the Reform of Society 1864-1872Part III: Policy5. The New Economics and the Public 1872-18806. Historical Economics and Policy 1880-18947. From Science of Reform to the Reform of Social Science: The MethodenstreitConclusionBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

..."anyone interested in the history of economics and social policy will find this volume deserving of attention." --Modern History"This is a bracing, judicious and eye-opening volume on the nature and functions of the German Historical School of Economics."--EH.NET"Well-organized and clearly written....succeeds in illuminating the wider implications of the historical economists; policies: the ethical foundations of social life, nation-building, civil society, the role of the state, and the integration of all classes into the socioeconomicstructure."--American Historical Review