|Born||October 25, 1886|
|Died||April 23, 1964 77) (aged|
|Spouse(s)||Ilona Duczynska (1923–1978)|
|Field||Economic sociology, economic history, economic anthropology|
|Historical school of economics|
|Influences||Robert Owen, Bronisław Malinowski, G. D. H. Cole, Richard Tawney, Richard Thurnwald, Karl Marx, Aristotle, Karl Bücher, Ferdinand Tönnies, Adam Smith, Alfred Radcliffe-Brown, Werner Sombart, Max Weber, György Lukács, Carl Menger|
|Contributions||Embeddedness, Double Movement, fictitious commodities, economistic fallacy, the formalist–substantivist debate (substantivism)|
|Part of a series on|
| Economic, applied, and development |
|Social and cultural anthropology|
Karl Paul Polanyi ( // ; Hungarian : Polányi Károly [ˈpolaːɲi ˈkaːroj] ; October 25, 1886 – April 23, 1964) was an Austro-Hungarian economic historian, economic anthropologist, economic sociologist, political economist, historical sociologist and social philosopher. He is known for his opposition to traditional economic thought and for his book The Great Transformation , which argued that the emergence of market-based societies in modern Europe was not inevitable but historically contingent. Polanyi is remembered best as the originator of substantivism, a cultural version of economics, which emphasizes the way economies are embedded in society and culture. This opinion is counter to mainstream economics but is popular in anthropology, economic history, economic sociology and political science.
Polanyi's approach to the ancient economies has been applied to a variety of cases, such as Pre-Columbian America and ancient Mesopotamia, although its utility to the study of ancient societies in general has been questioned.Polanyi's The Great Transformation became a model for historical sociology. His theories eventually became the foundation for the economic democracy movement. His daughter, Canadian economist Kari Polanyi Levitt (born 1923 in Vienna, Austria) was taught by Friedrich Hayek at the London School of Economics and is Emerita Professor of Economics at McGill University, Montreal.
Polanyi was born into a Jewish family. His younger brother was Michael Polanyi, a philosopher, and his niece was Eva Zeisel, a world-renowned ceramist.He was born in Vienna, at the time the capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. His father, Mihály Pollacsek, was a railway entrepreneur. Mihály never changed the name Pollacsek and is buried in the Jewish cemetery in Budapest. Mihály died in January 1905, which was an emotional shock to Karl, and he commemorated the anniversary of Mihály's death throughout his life. Karl and Michael Polanyi's mother was Cecília Wohl. The name change to Polanyi (not von Polanyi) was made by Karl and his siblings. Polanyi was well educated despite the ups and downs of his father's fortune, and he immersed himself in Budapest's active intellectual and artistic scene.
Polanyi founded the radical and influential Galileo Circle while at the University of Budapest, a club which would have far reaching effects on Hungarian intellectual thought. During this time, he was actively engaged with other notable thinkers, such as György Lukács, Oszkár Jászi, and Karl Mannheim. Polanyi graduated from Budapest University in 1912 with a doctorate in Law. In 1914, he helped found the Hungarian Radical Party and served as its secretary.
Polanyi was a cavalry officer in the Austro-Hungarian Army in World War I, in active service at the Russian Front and hospitalized in Budapest. Polanyi supported the republican government of Mihály Károlyi and its Social Democratic regime. The republic was short-lived, however, and when Béla Kun toppled the Karolyi government to create the Hungarian Soviet Republic Polanyi left for Vienna.
From 1924 to 1933, he was employed as a senior editor of the prestigious Der Österreichische Volkswirt (The Austrian Economist) magazine. It was at this time that he first began criticizing the Austrian School of economists, who he felt created abstract models which lost sight of the organic, interrelated reality of economic processes. Polanyi himself was attracted to Fabianism and the works of G. D. H. Cole. It was also during this period that Polanyi grew interested in Christian socialism.
He married the communist revolutionary Ilona Duczyńska, of Polish-Hungarian background.
Polanyi was asked to resign from Der Oesterreichische Volkswirt because the liberal publisher of the journal could not keep on a prominent socialist after the accession of Hitler to office in January 1933 and the suspension of the Austrian parliament by the rising tide of clerical fascism in Austria. He left for London in 1933, where he earned a living as a journalist and tutor and obtained a position as a lecturer for the Workers' Educational Association in 1936. His lecture notes contained the research for what later became The Great Transformation . However, he would not start writing this work until 1940, when he moved to Vermont to take up a position at Bennington College. The book was published in 1944, to great acclaim. In it, Polanyi described the enclosure process in England and the creation of the contemporary economic system at the beginning of the 19th century.
Polanyi joined the staff of Bennington College in 1940, teaching a series of five timely lectures on the "Present Age of Transformation.".The lectures "The Passing of the 19th Century", "The Trend Towards an Integrated Society", "The Breakdown of the International System", "Is America an Exception" and "Marxism and the Inner History of the Russian Revolution" took place during the early stages of World War II. Polanyi participated in Bennington's Humanism Lecture Series (1941) and Bennington College's Lecture Series (1943) where his topic was "Jean Jacques Rousseau: Or Is a Free Society Possible?"
After the war, Polanyi received a teaching position at Columbia University (1947–1953). However, his wife, Ilona Duczyńska (1897–1978), had a background as a former communist, which made gaining an entrance visa in the United States impossible. As a result, they moved to Canada, and Polanyi commuted to New York City. In the early 1950s, Polanyi received a large grant from the Ford Foundation to study the economic systems of ancient empires.
Having described the emergence of the modern economic system, Polanyi now sought to understand how "the economy" emerged as a distinct sphere in the distant past. His seminar at Columbia drew several famous scholars and influenced a generation of teachers, resulting in the 1957 volume Trade and Markets in the Early Empires. Polanyi continued to write in his later years and established a new journal entitled Coexistence. In Canada he resided in Pickering, Ontario, where he died in 1964.
In economics, a free market is a system in which the prices for goods and services are self-regulated by the open market and by consumers. In a free market, the laws and forces of supply and demand are free from any intervention by a government or other authority, and from all forms of economic privilege, monopolies and artificial scarcities. Proponents of the concept of free market contrast it with a regulated market in which a government intervenes in supply and demand through various methods such as tariffs used to restrict trade and to protect the local economy. In an idealized free-market economy, prices for goods and services are set freely by the forces of supply and demand and are allowed to reach their point of equilibrium without intervention by government policy.
Michael Polanyi was a Hungarian-British polymath, who made important theoretical contributions to physical chemistry, economics, and philosophy. He argued that positivism supplies a false account of knowing, which if taken seriously undermines humanity's highest achievements.
Othmar Spann was a conservative Austrian philosopher, sociologist and economist whose radical anti-liberal and anti-Socialist views, based on early 19th century Romantic ideas expressed by Adam Müller et al. and popularized in his books and lecture courses, helped antagonise political factions in Austria during the interwar years.
Economic sociology is the study of the social cause and effect of various economic phenomena. The field can be broadly divided into a classical period and a contemporary one, known as "New economic sociology".
The Great Transformation is a book by Karl Polanyi, a Hungarian-American political economist. First published in 1944 by Farrar & Rinehart, it deals with the social and political upheavals that took place in England during the rise of the market economy. Polanyi contends that the modern market economy and the modern nation-state should be understood not as discrete elements but as the single human invention he calls the "Market Society".
Regulatory economics is the economics of regulation. It is the application of law by government or independent administrative agencies for various purposes, including remedying market failure, protecting the environment, and economic management.
Rajk László College for Advanced Studies is an educational institution offering advanced courses in the fields of economics, business and social sciences. The College is a self governing community of about 100 selected students living together. It was founded in 1970 by the students of the Corvinus University of Budapest, with Attila Chikán as its first principal. It is the oldest existing institution of the kind in Hungary, giving a model to a number of later colleges in Hungary and abroad, such as the Bibó István College for Advanced Studies in Hungary or the Mikó Imre College for Advanced Studies in Romania. The college was named in 1974 after László Rajk, a leading Hungarian Communist, who was proclaimed enemy of the regime and executed in a show trial in 1949. The idea behind the naming of the college was to express criticism towards the system at the time.
Polányi, Polanyi is a surname. There have been a number of prominent individuals in the Polanyi family, illustrated in the following family tree:
Ludwig Heinrich Edler von Mises was an Austrian School economist, historian, logician and sociologist. Mises wrote and lectured extensively on the societal contributions of classical liberalism. He is best known for his work on praxeology, a study of human choice and action.
Ilona Duczynska, was a Polish-Hungarian-Canadian revolutionary, journalist, translator, engineer, and historian. Her husband was Karl Polanyi and her daughter is Kari Polanyi Levitt.
Attila Chikán is a Hungarian economist, university professor, Full Member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and Foreign Member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences. His research areas are national and firm competitiveness, business policy, and logistics. He is Founding Principal of Rajk László College for Advanced Studies. Minister of Economic Affairs in 1998-99, Rector of Corvinus University of Budapest. Currently he is Professor Emeritus and Director, Competitiveness Research Center of CUB.
The Budapest School was a school of thought, originally of Marxist humanism, but later of post-Marxism and dissident liberalism that emerged in Hungary in the early 1960s, belonging to so called Hungarian New Left. Its members were students or colleagues of Georg Lukács. The school was originally oriented towards developing Lukacs' later works on social ontology and aesthetics, but quickly began to challenge the paradigm of Lukacsian-Marxism, thus reconstructing contemporary critical theory. Most of the members later came to abandon Marxism. The school also critiqued the "dictatorship over needs" of the Soviet states. Most of the members were forced into exile by the pro-Soviet Hungarian government.
Imre (Emmerich) Menyhay was a Hungarian-Austrian economist, pedagogue, sociologist, and psychologist of economics. His fields of research are pedagogy, economic psychology and economic sociology development. His key works are Management, Business, Ethics - Social Theory and Background by the Application of Economic Sociology, dealing with social theoretical economic sociology, and Homo Oeconomicus And Unfinished Creation - The Analytical Background by Economic Psychology and Its Application, dealing with psychoanalytical economic psychology.
In economics and economic sociology, embeddedness refers to the degree to which economic activity is constrained by non-economic institutions. The term was created by economic historian Karl Polanyi as part of his substantivist approach. Polanyi argued that in non-market societies there are no pure economic institutions to which formal economic models can be applied. In these cases economic activities such as "provisioning" are "embedded" in non-economic kinship, religious and political institutions. In market societies, in contrast, economic activities have been rationalized, and economic action is "disembedded" from society and able to follow its own distinctive logic, captured in economic modeling. Polanyi's ideas were widely adopted and discussed in anthropology in what has been called the formalist–substantivist debate. Subsequently, the term "embeddedness" was further developed by economic sociologist Mark Granovetter, who argued that even in market societies, economic activity is not as disembedded from society as economic models would suggest.
The opposition between substantivist and formalist economic models was first proposed by Karl Polanyi in his work The Great Transformation (1944).
The Sonntagskreis was an intellectual discussion group in Budapest, Hungary, between 1915 and 1918. The main focus of the group was on the relationship between ideas and the social and historical context of those ideas, a line of thought that led towards the later concepts of "social history of art" and "sociology of knowledge.
Alabert Fogarasi, also known as Béla Fogarasi was a Hungarian philosopher and politician.
The concept of fictitious commodities originated in Karl Polanyi's 1944 book The Great Transformation and refers to anything treated as market commodity that is not created for the market, specifically land, labor, and money.
Jane Ford Aebersold is an artist specializing in ceramics.
Chris Hann is a British social anthropologist who has done field research in socialist and post-socialist Eastern Europe and the Turkic-speaking world. His main theoretical interests lie in economic anthropology, religion, and long-term history. After holding university posts in Cambridge and Canterbury, UK, Hann has worked since 1999 in Germany as one of the founding Directors of the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle/Saale.
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