Albert Hirschman Centre for Democracy
29 October 2021

The practical and contemporary relevance of Albert O. Hirschman’s outstanding intellectual legacy

Join us for a series of events from 9 to 11 November

Albert O. Hirschman’s intellectual legacy has profoundly shaped the scholarship in the social sciences as well as the work of development practitioners and policy-makers. The events and seminars organised by the Albert Hirschman Centre on Democracy from 9 to 11 November explore its practical and contemporary relevance.

Tuesday 9 November 12:30 – 14:00
AHCD brown-bag seminar
Albert O. Hirschman and Eugenio Colorni’s intellectual legacy

Luca Meldolesi and Nicoletta Stame will review some of the key concepts developed by Albert Hirschman and Eugenio Colorni as their intellectual journeys crossed national borders and disciplinary boundaries. They will reflect on the ways in which Hirschman and Colorni may inspire fresh approaches to research on democratic practices today.


Wednesday 10 November 12:30 – 14:00
Panel discussion
Albert O. Hirschman’s “possibilism” in action: Experiments in Italy and beyond

What is the practical and contemporary relevance of the ‘possiblist’ methodology? Francesco Cicione, Luca Meldolesi and Nicoletta Stame will also explain how Hirschman’s ideas are put in practice today in Italy’s Mezzogiorno, and how they inspired bold and innovative projects launched by entrepreneurs, civil servants and non profit organisations.


Thursday 11 November 12:30 – 14:00
AHCD brown-bag seminar
From economics to politics and beyond

Albert O. Hirschman’s analytical framework developed in The Rhetoric of Reaction proves very adapted to understand contemporary dynamics in Brazil, as explored in the first part of the seminar by Mario Grangeia
Following Albert O. Hirschman, development economist Judith Tendler (1938-2016) worked out unconventional way of looking at reality. In the second part of the seminar, Nicoletta Stame will delve into Judith Tendler’s contribution to ongoing evaluation debates, and specifically on independence and ethical issues, theories of change, and evaluation designs and methods.


These events exchanges are organised in collaboration with the A Colorni Hirschman International Institute (ACHII) in Rome.

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Listen to our RAHCD podcast episode on Discovering the Possible: The surprising world of Albert Hirschman