While the development of economics in the U.S. during the Cold War has been subject to many studies, scholars from various disciplines have only recently begun exploring the other kind of economics during the same period: the economics in the Soviet Union and other socialist countries. Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, this research has benefited not only from the newly open archives, but also from a more open environment for the sharing of memories and reminiscences. “Economic Knowledge in Socialism, 1945–1989” represents an exemplary cross-disciplinary effort for better understanding various domains of economic knowledge and, more broadly, the social sciences in the Eastern bloc.
“How does a socialist economy function and how can it best be managed? The essays in this rich and fascinating volume excavate how economists throughout the socialist world worked to create the conceptual and institutional tools they needed to approach these questions. By uncovering the diverse legacies of economic thought under socialism, the authors in this collection not only contribute to our understanding of the socialist past, but encourage us to question contemporary economic orthodoxies.” —Melissa Feinberg, Rutgers University
“This volume explodes the protective shield that has long kept the history of socialist experts a world apart, seemingly unrelated to anything outside it. The articles collected in this excellent volume draw upon exciting advances in science studies and intellectual history to demonstrate that the forms of economic knowledge seemingly peculiar to socialist governance were, in fact, strongly influenced by the pre-socialist tradition of economic expertise in Eastern Europe, as well as by reciprocal exchanges with Western capitalist experts. In the process, the volume also paints a fascinating gallery of flesh-and-blood socialist experts, neither subservient mouthpieces of official dogma nor courageous dissidents, but ordinary individuals caught up in an extraordinary ideological machinery.” —Gil Eyal, Columbia University