Between social science and social technology: Toward a philosophical foundation for post-communist transformation studies

Philosophy of the Social Sciences 31 (4):459-487 (2001)
Abstract
This analysis examines fundamental questions at the intersection of social science and social technology as well as problems of disciplinary divisions and the challenge of cross-disciplinary cooperation. Its theoretical-empirical context is provided by post-communist transformations, a set of profound societal changes in which institutional design plays a central role. The article critically reappraises the contribution of Karl Popper's philosophy to this problem context, examines neoliberalism as social science and social technology, and examines the role of experts and disciplinary divisions in the reform process. Building on Mario Bunge's social philosophy, it sketches basic elements of a cross-disciplinary approach to "social change by design." Key Words: post-communist transformation • social change • institutional design • Karl Popper • Mario Bunge.
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