PREFACE vii INTRODUCTION 1 PART ONE: CRITIQUE 5 ONE: The Limits of the Rational-Actor Model as a Microfoundation of Economic Efficiency 7 Cooperation 18 Uncertainty 36 Innovation 50 PART TWO: CONCEPTS 67 TWO: Emile Durkheim: The Economyas Moral Order 69 Sociology as the Science of Morality 74 Durkheim's Critique of Economics 76 Economic Institutions as Moral Facts 81 Anomie and Forced Division of Labor 114 Stabilizing Economic Relations with Professional Groups 119 Cooperation and Morality 122 Appendix: Systematizing the View of the Economy in Sociological Theory: Durkheim through Weber to Parsons 125 THREE: Talcott Parsons: The Economyas a Subsystem of Society 133 Economic and Sociological Theory in Parsons's Early Work 135 The Economy as the Adaptive Subsystem of Society 149 The Boundary Proceses of the Economy 156 The Institutional Establishment of Economic Rationality 192 Cooperation and Interpenetration 197 FOUR: Niklas Luhmann: The Economyas a Autopoietic System 201 The Self-Referentiality of the Economy 207 The Reentry of the Excluded Third Party 216 System and Action 233 FIVE: Anthony Giddens: Actor and Structure in Economic Action 241 Interpretation and Structuration of Economic Action ??? Cooperation and Reflextivity 259 Innovation and Creativity 269 PART THREE: CONCLUSIONS 283 SIX: Perspectives for Economic Sociology 285 NOTES 297 BIBLIOGRAPHY 327 INDEX 347
Going against the mainstream of social theorizing, this excellent book is an attempt to reclaim a territory for sociology that has been increasingly occupied by either economists or sociologists-turned-economists. Beckert arrives at far-reaching conclusions and is not hesitant to spell them out unambiguously. His book represents a provocative and elegant contribution to the debate about the proper way of embedding markets in social governance structures. It reactivates the analytical program of sociology for an understanding of a terrain that the discipline has prematurely ceded to economics. It will have a wide readership and will offer itself, because of its clear writing, for wide use in teaching. -- Wolfgang Streeck, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies Beckert has an independent mind and argues in an enlightened and interesting way that a sociological theory of action can improve economic analysis. His argument, which reflects his knowledge of contemporary economic theory, is sophisticated and up-to-date. -- Richard Swedberg, Stockholm University
Jens Beckert is Associate Professor of Sociology at the International University Bremen.
"This book reflects impressive intellectual ambition, maturity, and erudition."--Bruce G. Carruther, American Journal of Sociology