2023 (20), №1

On Synthesis and Interdisciplinarity in Economics: Сomparison of Russian and English Discourses

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Kirdina-Chandler, S. G. (2023). On Synthesis and Interdisciplinarity in Economics: Сomparison of Russian and English Discourses. AlterEconomics, 20(1), 59–78. https://doi.org/10.31063/AlterEconomics/2023.20-1.4


Synthesis and interdisciplinarity in economic theory are considered promising directions for resolving the contradictions that have accumulated in the theory. The paper analyzes one of the extreme va­riants of interdisciplinary synthesis as presented in the work of Evgeny V. Balatsky, «New Imperatives of Economic Knowledge: On the Way to Socionomics» (2022. In Russian). The creation of a synthesised science of socionomics is proposed by Balatsky as an alternative to modern economics which is no longer able to get out of the “global methodological impasse” and give adequate answers to the challenges of practice. Socionomics should unite and streamline the principles, rules, effects, models and facts about the functioning of social systems “scattered over different sources”. We use the methodology of scientific critical discourse to analyze Balatsky’s proposals about the new science in this paper. At the same time, other forms of interdisciplinary interactions are also considered. First, we talk about the creation of ‘joint’ sciences with econo­mics for more in-depth answers to questions posed by practice (among them are neuroeconomics, econophysics, social economics, and complexity economics, etc.). Second, in addition to replacing economics with a new science and creating ‘joint’ sciences, relations of economics with other social disciplines on the basis of ‘soft’ interdisciplinary convergence are considered. In this case, there is a co-tuning of the general conceptual framework, as well as an exchange of models and methods of analysis between disciplines. However, despite this exchange, the disciplines do not become integrated with each other and retain their independence. Finally, the development of pluralism in economics is also considered as an additional prospect for the deve­lopment of economic discipline. The use of the methodology of scientific critical discourse, a structured lite­rature review and bibliometric analysis in our research made it possible to formulate the following conclusions. The first conclusion is that Russian-speaking and English-speaking economists assess the need for interdisciplinary synthesis in economic theory differently — the former consider it more necessary, especially in the face of modern global challenges. English-speaking economists are less radical in this regard and see the development of economics mostly as just an increase in interdisciplinary interactions. Another conclusion is that in English-language economic literature pluralism is a more pronounced trend in the development of modern economic science rather than the focus on synthesis.

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Svetlana G. Kirdina-Chandler — Dr. Sci. (Soc.), Institute of Economics of the Russian Academy of Sciences; Institute of Economics of the Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences; https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9234-8308 (32, Nakhimovsky prospect, Moscow, 117218, Russian Federation; 29, Moskovskaya St., Ekaterinburg, 620014, Russian Federation; e-mail: kirdina@inecon.ru).

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