Grabel, "Post-Crisis Experiments in Development Finance Architectures: A Hirschmanian Perspective on ‘Productive Incoherence’"
The Asian and especially the global crisis of 2008 have catalyzed decentralization of the developing world’s financial governance architecture. I understand this state of affairs via the concept of “productive incoherence” which is apparent in a denser, multilayered development financial architecture that is emerging as a consequence of heterogeneous practical adjustments to changing circumstances rather than as the embodiment of a coherent doctrine. Drawing on Albert Hirschman, I argue that the absence of an encompassing theoretical blueprint for a new economic system—i.e. a new “ism” to replace neoliberalism—is in fact a vitally important virtue. If we cannot live without a new “ism,” I propose “Hirschmanian Possibilism” as a new doctrine—one that rejects an overarching theoretical framework from which to deduce the singly appropriate institutional structure of the economy. Hirschmanian Possibilism asserts instead the value of productive incoherence as a framework for pursuing democratic, ethically viable development institutions.
Ilene Grabel, "Post-Crisis Experiments in Development Finance Architectures: A Hirschmanian Perspective on ‘Productive Incoherence’", Review of Social Economy, 73/4 (2015), pp. 388-414.
(This article is part of the special issue of Review of Social Economy on "Ethics, Global Finance, and the Great Recession," on which more here.)