Albert O. Hirschman (1915 - 2012)

Albert O. Hirschman served on the faculty of the School of Social Science from 1974 to 2012. His work contributed to the discussion around the economic reasons for the emergence of authoritarian regimes in Latin America in the sixties and seventies and for the return to democratic forms of governance in the eighties. His writing was path-breaking in many areas. His initial work on "unbalanced growth" was important for rethinking development theory; Exit, Voice and Loyalty provided a way of articulating individual and collective responses to a range of institutions from the family to the fall of the German Democratic Republic. He traced the contrast between "interests" and "passions" in the history of social thought from Machiavelli to Tocqueville. He also wrote on the principal forms taken by "reactionary" and "progressive" rhetoric over the past two centuries, demonstrating the powerful attraction exercised by certain invariant arguments. A biography by Princeton University historian Jeremy Adelman  Worldly Philosopher, The Odyssey of Albert O. Hirschman, will be published in 2013 by Princeton University Press.  

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