The socioeconomic context: An alternative approach to Popper's situational analysis

Philosophy of the Social Sciences 28 (4):484-497 (1998)
This article raises the question of whether standard economics with the general equilibrium model at its core applies situational analysis in a Popperian sense. Contrary to Popper's own view, the authors come to the conclusion that this is not the case. Standard economics fails to represent elements essential to any social situation in an adequate manner. It comprises uncertainty, time and space, social interaction, unintended effects, as well as culture and institutions. The authors suggest, therefore, the socioeconomic context as an alternative approach to analyzing social situations. It consists of four basic elements: (1) dominant worldviews, (2) institutions and technologies, (3) relative prices, and (4) political instruments. The alternative approach was applied with some success to analyzing inter alia problems of unemployment as well as of transformation.
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