Third Conference on Albert Hirschman’s Legacy - "A Passion for the Possible"


Supported by  A Colorni-Hirschman International Institute, Berlin School of Economics and Law, Social Science Institute (Humboldt University), Dahrendorf Forum at the Hertie School

We are proud to host the Third Conference on Albert Hirschman’s Legacy together with the A Colorni-Hirschman International Institute.

International researchers from the fields of economics, social and political science will discuss the significance of Albert Hirschman's intellectual heritage with contributions to the current global political situation, entrepreneurship and Hirschman's ideas in business consulting and many more topics. A total of nine panels and about 50 international speakers will present and discuss at the HWR, including practitioners from Germany and abroad.

Berlin, 24th-25th October 2019

HWR Berlin / Berlin School of Economics and Law
Berlin Professinal School
Campus Schöneberg
Building A Room A204
Badensche Str. 52, 10825 Berlin

Tentative Programme

Thursday, 24 October 2019


  • Welcome address by Dean of Berlin School of Economics and Law
  • Marianne Egger de Campo
  • Luca Meldolesi
  • Claus Offe

World Outlook
Chair: Hellmut Wollman

  • Ilene Grabel:  The current economic and political world outlook through a Hirschmanian lens
  • Inge Kaul: “Exit” and “Voice” in the Provision of Global Public Goods Today
  • Kim Burnett: Building an analytical framework to understand the possibilities for sustainable and equitable global political economy
  • Hilary Silver: The tunnel effect and relative income
  • Elena Saraceno: Understanding downward social mobility in developed economies
  • Baruch Knei-Paz: "The Time is Out of Joint" – Economics, Culture and Politics in an Age of Contradictions

Chair:Ilene Grabel

  • Osvaldo  Feinstein: Passion for the possible and the possibility frontier
  • Fonna Forman: Albert Hirschman and the “intermediary”: connecting top-down and bottom-up
  • Laura Orlando: Ecological restoration: a world of possibilities
  • Helmut Anheier: The principle of the Hiding Hand revisited
  • Adriana  Mica et al.: Possibility - the Story: Economic Sociology, Anthropology, and Beyond

Development, international
Chair:  Osvaldo Feinstein

  • David  Ellerman: Helping People Help Themselves: It’s not just the What but the How that Counts
  • André Guiot-Isaacs: Albert O. Hirschman and Dependency Theorists: On the Search for the Possible
  • John  Heath: Possible  small farmers value added
  • Antonio Andreoni: Possibilities in Constraints: From Linkages to Micro-Marxism and Beyond
  • Regina Pacheco: Engaging frontline public workers using non-monetary incentives
  • Philipp Lepenies and Robert Lepenies:
  • Anna de Caro: European youth between skills and non-formal learning

Development, local
Chair:  Philipp Lepenies

  • Matthias Tomenendal, Hans-Rudriger Lange and Christian  Raffer: Possibilism at Firm and Cluster Level: How Institutional Logics Affect Regional Economic Resilience in Lusatia in the Face of Decarbonization
  • Sandro Balducci:  Space and institutions vs. economy and society
  • Niels Otter: The adaptation of Hirschman’s exit-voice framework to metropolitan problems of housing: a case study of Berlin
  • Laura Tagle: The responsibility of  central authorities in local development: dimensions, visibility, and agency
  • Tito Bianchi: Blueprint development planning is alive and well
  • Viviana Fini: Subjectivity and desire: improving the public sector toward social development in our era

On Hirschman biography
Chair:  Marta Petrusewicz

  • Chris Fleck: Hirschman's early politicization
  • Sabine  Offe: personal memories on Sarah and Albert
  • LucieTesnière: My great grand-parents forged Albert’s identity card
  • Sharun Mukand: Persecution and escape: the fate of Jewish academics in Nazi occupied Europe

Friday, 25 October 2019

Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Chair:  Vinni Marino

  • Hans-Rudriger Lange and  MatthiasTomenendal:  “AkteurszentrierterStrukturwandel” in Lusatia – a  Hirschmanian approach to socio-economic transformations? Observations and questions from development practice and embedded research.
  • Francesco Cicione:  High Tech coming from the South
  • Francesco Messina: Possibilism as a keystone in consulting
  • Heinz Hinrich Schmidt: The “Exit Voice Loyalty Neglect Silence”(EVLNS)  Options as a “frame in use” for the Human Resources – or: How to master manifold paradoxical requirements and tensions in crafting organizational change.
  • RaffaeleTrapasso: Higher education institutions as drivers of economic development
  • Paolo Manfredi:  Connections: Addressing Italy’s innovation gap as a territorial issue

“Exit”  and  “The passions”
Chair: Ivan Krastev

  • Samantha  Ashenden and Andreas Hess: The Acceleration of Exit, Voice, and Loyalty: Catalonia and
  • Scotland
  • Christiane  Eisenberg:  Commerce and doux commerce in 18th century Britain: the hidden
  • curriculum of commercial sport as a culture of entertainment
  • Christine Lutringer: Transnational gender activism in the European Union : A reconfiguration of
  • "Exit", "Voice", and "Loyalty"?
  • Leslye Obiora: Discipline for Passion: a Passion for the Possible in Transforming leadership
  • Marek Skovajsa: Reactionary and progressive rhetoric in postcommunist transformations

Social cooperation and Inclusion
Chair:  Shalini Randeria

  • Erwin Seyfried: From negotiating the total institution to social cooperation – conceptual ideas, sources, and impacts of social cooperatives in Germany
  • Klaus  Hertrampf: From liberation to inclusiveness: extending the recognition of individual needs
  • Felicitas Kresimon: Experiences of integration between Social Cooperatives and further relevant organizations. Promote connections, transform and innovate systems in favor of inclusion
  • Peter Stadler: From experimental actions to economic professionalism: supporting social cooperatives to compete in the market
  • Alessandro La Grassa: The Management of assets confiscated from Mafias: paths and evolutions in social cooperatives experience
  • Vinni Marino: The cooperative movement in Italy; size, entity, economic values
  • Tommaso di Nardo: Social cooperation, inclusion, and the re-use of assets confiscated from the Mafias: The case of NCO in Campania

Closing  remarks

  • Nicoletta Stame:  A series of books  in the  Albert  Hirschman Legacy
  • E. Colorni:  Critical thinking in action.  New York, Bordighera Press, 2019
  • E. Colorni: The discovery of the possible. New York, Bordighera Press, 2020
  • A. Hirschman:  How to complicate economics, New York, Peter Lang, 2020
  • Beautiful pages by Judith Tendler, Roma, IDE, 2018
  • A Colorni-Hirschman International Institute: For a Better World, First Conference on Hirschman’s Legacy,  IDE, 2018
  • A Colorni-Hirschman International Institute: A Bias for Hope, Second Conference on Hirschman’s Legacy, IDE, 2019
  • Luca  Meldolesi:  Hirschman, Colorni and Europe

Conference registration is limited. We invite people interested in participating to contact the organizers at info(at)