The Duck of Minerva

The Duck Quacks at Twilight

Albert O. Hirschman (1915-2012)

December 11, 2012

If you haven’t heard yet, Albert O. Hirschman passed away today. Some good discussion at Crooked Timber, including a link to a terrific piece by Rajiv Sethi. Hirschman’s stature in the social sciences was of such magnitude that, while still alive, the Social Science Research Council named a lifetime achievement award after him.

I don’t have a great deal to add myself. I learned a tremendous amount from his works, including The Passions and the Interests and Exit, Voice, and Loyalty. Perhaps I am getting on myself, but it seems like we’re gradually losing a group of scholars whose influence across the spectrum of social sciences is unlikely to be repeated in the future.


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Daniel H. Nexon is a Professor at Georgetown University, with a joint appointment in the Department of Government and the School of Foreign Service. His academic work focuses on international-relations theory, power politics, empires and hegemony, and international order. He has also written on the relationship between popular culture and world politics.