Dreaming of a “New Planning”: Development and the Internationalization of Economic Thought in Late Soviet Reformist Politics

Abstract: This paper argues that the trajectory of late-Soviet economic thought must be understood in the context of a larger global discourse on the proper role of state planning in the context of development. This debate was born out of a disappointment with the development planning that had dominated prescriptions of economists and policy entrepreneurs on both sides of the Iron Curtain. Faced with the failures of economic development in the “Third World” and a socio-economic crisis in “industrial societies” these intellectuals attempted to invent a “new planning” that derived sources of growth from a “human factor” rather than industrial development. To further this agenda, these figures established international organizations such as the Club of Rome and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis. Proponents of new planning saw it as a way reorganize the global economy during the turbulent 1970s. As well, these same ideas informed the development of Perestroika.

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