Introduction to "The Economization of the Social and the History of Complexity"
The research group examines relationships between political and social approaches to social "complexity" and the "economization of the social" since the 1970s. Rising social complexity that was perceived during the period had several responses. One suggested that overly complex state tasks should be governed and directed by other forces such as the market. This led to the increased deregulation and economic liberalization that emerged in the USA and Great Britain. Against this background, the group aims to develop an analytical framework based on the "economization of the social," integrating economic and social historical perspectives as well as the history of ideas and culture. The "economization of the social" is to be approached in a diachronically open way so that periods following the 1970s can also be embedded into the long history of twentieth century. Topics to be addressed include the marketization of political language and policy areas, the rhetoric and practice of cost-benefit analysis in public policy, economic conceptions of the self, the impact of management consulting on politics and policy, and the social and cultural significance of the rise of finance.