The Origins and Implications of Polanyi’s Political Economy
Cover of issue 37
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The Origins and Implications of Polanyi’s Political Economy. (2008). The Political Science Reviewer, 37, 44-67.


The following is an examination of Michael Polanyi’s politicaland economic thinking. In this context, I focus on two aspectsof his thought: moral inversion and polycentricity. Regardingmoral inversion, I will suggest that Polanyi’s early encounter withDostoyevsky’s story of the Grand Inquisitor from The BrothersKaramozov was formative. Regarding polycentricity, I will showhow this concept parallels in important ways the principle ofsubsidiarity as developed in Catholic social thought. I will concludeby briefly considering if and how these two Polanyianconcepts are relevant for understanding and addressing ourcontemporary situation.
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