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Redefining classical political economy: The Swiss and Russian economist and sociologist N. I. Sieber

English title Redefining classical political economy: The Swiss and Russian economist and sociologist N. I. Sieber
Applicant Allisson François
Number 163856
Funding scheme Bilateral programmes
Research institution Centre Walras-Pareto IEPHI / SSP Université de Lausanne
Institution of higher education University of Lausanne - LA
Main discipline Economics
Start/End 01.10.2016 - 30.09.2019
Approved amount 225'019.00
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All Disciplines (2)

Discipline
Economics
Sociology

Keywords (9)

Russian economic thought; history of economic thought; Sieber; classical political economy; Marx; Ricardo; international circulation of ideas; Switzerland; Russia

Lay Summary (French)

Lead
La Russie impériale a été une terre d'accueil favorable pour le «Capital» de Karl Marx, avec des traductions presque immédiates des différents volumes et un succès en librairie. Mais, au gré de la censure ou de la rareté des exemplaires, les russes ont initialement découvert la théorie économique de Marx à travers la lecture qu'en offrait Nikolay Ivanovich Sieber (1844-1888) dès le début des années 1870. L'influence de cet économiste russe et suisse sur la naissance du marxisme russe tout comme le fait qu'il a le premier traduit et interprété la théorie économique de David Ricardo en Russie ne doivent pas être négligés: Sieber a durablement marqué la compréhension en Russie de l'économie politique classique, or s'il est encore aujourd'hui presque inconnu en Occident, il est en passe d'être oublié en Russie.
Lay summary
La Russie impériale a été une terre d'accueil favorable pour le «Capital» de Karl Marx, avec des traductions presque immédiates des différents volumes et un succès en librairie. Mais, au gré de la censure ou de la rareté des exemplaires, les russes ont initialement découvert la théorie économique de Marx à travers la lecture qu'en offrait Nikolay Ivanovich Sieber (1844-1888) dès le début des années 1870. L'influence de cet économiste russe et suisse sur la naissance du marxisme russe tout comme le fait qu'il a le premier traduit et interprété la théorie économique de David Ricardo en Russie ne doivent pas être négligés: Sieber a durablement marqué la compréhension en Russie de l'économie politique classique, or s'il est encore aujourd'hui presque inconnu en Occident, il est en passe d'être oublié en Russie.

Le projet vise à rétablir la mémoire de Sieber dans le paysage intellectuel, ainsi qu'à l'établir comme une figure importante de l'économie politique classique européenne, via la publication de trois volumes. Le premier est la première biographie intellectuelle de Sieber avec des outils utiles aux futurs chercheurs (biographie, bibliographie, guides de lecture de ses œuvres). Le second est la première traduction accessible de son œuvre majeure (du russe vers l'anglais), «David Ricardo et Karl Marx dans leurs recherches socio-économiques» (1885, 500 p). Le troisième est une anthologie en russe d'articles non-économiques de Sieber, afin d'offrir de lui une image renouvelée en Russie.

Les deux équipes de recherche, basées à Lausanne et à Saint-Pétersbourg, et spécialisées en histoire de la pensée économique, vont pouvoir explorer les archives dans les deux pays où Sieber a vécu (Suisse et Russie), pour réaliser ce travail d'interprétation et d'édition critique.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 30.08.2016

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Project partner

Publications

Publication
Networks, Fields, and Political Economy in Fin-De-Siècle Russia: The Life and Work of Nikolai Sieber
RaskovDanila E. (2018), Networks, Fields, and Political Economy in Fin-De-Siècle Russia: The Life and Work of Nikolai Sieber, in Hass Jeffrey K. (ed.), Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, 97-125.
Кем был Н. И. Зибер? Контекст интеллектуальной биографии [Who was Nikolai Sieber? Contexts of intellectual biography]
RaskovDanila E. (2018), Кем был Н. И. Зибер? Контекст интеллектуальной биографии [Who was Nikolai Sieber? Contexts of intellectual biography], in Вопросы Экономики (Voprosy Ekonomiki), 2018(4), 111-128.
Н. Зибер и К. Маркс в истории дореволюционной российской экономической мысли [N. Sieber and K. Marx in the history of pre-revolutionary Russian economic thought]
Shirokorad Leonid D. (2018), Н. Зибер и К. Маркс в истории дореволюционной российской экономической мысли [N. Sieber and K. Marx in the history of pre-revolutionary Russian economic thought], in Вопросы Экономики [Voprosy èkonomiki], 2018(4), 95-110.
Зибер и Воронцов о капиталистическом пути развития России (Sieber and Vorontsov on the Capitalist Path of Development of Russia
Dubyansky Aleksandr N. (2016), Зибер и Воронцов о капиталистическом пути развития России (Sieber and Vorontsov on the Capitalist Path of Development of Russia, in Terra Economicus, 14(4), 107-118.
Н.И. Зибер - Влиятельный ученый-одиночка [N.I. Sieber as a Solitary but Influent Scholar]
Allisson François (2016), Н.И. Зибер - Влиятельный ученый-одиночка [N.I. Sieber as a Solitary but Influent Scholar], in Terra Economicus, 14(4), 84-91.
Н.И. Зибер как кабинетный экономист-антрополог [N.I. Sieber as an Armchair Economic Anthropologist]
Raskov Danila E. (2016), Н.И. Зибер как кабинетный экономист-антрополог [N.I. Sieber as an Armchair Economic Anthropologist], in Terra Economicus, 14(4), 92-106.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Higher School of Economics in Moscow Russia (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Marx-Engels-Gesamtausgabe (Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften) Germany (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
Round-table, seminar Economics and Culture (Smoly Department of St. Petersburg State University) Talk given at a conference What is interesting for us in Sieber: the Russian Episode 14.04.2018 St. Petersburg, Russia Raskov Danila E.;
Round-table, seminar Economics and Culture (Smoly Department of St. Petersburg State University) Talk given at a conference What is interesting for us in Sieber: the Swiss Episode 14.04.2018 St. Petersburg, Russia Allisson François;
Round-table, seminar Economics and Culture (Smoly Department of St. Petersburg State University) Talk given at a conference What is interesting for us in Sieber: the Ukrainian Episode 14.04.2018 St. Petersburg, Russia D'Onofrio Federico;
XIX April International Academic Conference (Higher School of Economics) Talk given at a conference Towards an intellectual biography of N.I. Sieber 10.04.2018 Moscow, Russia D'Onofrio Federico; Allisson François;
XIX April International Academic Conference (Higher School of Economics) Talk given at a conference Sieber as an interpreter of Ricardo and Marx 10.04.2018 Moscow, Russia Raskov Danila E.;
Séminaire LARHRA-Triangle (Université de Lyon) Individual talk Le marxisme russe et la question ukrainienne dans les années 1870--1880 18.01.2018 Lyon, France Allisson François;
N.I.Sieber (1844-88), Swiss citizen: The first Russian Marxist? Talk given at a conference Sieber as historian of classical political economy 22.09.2017 Lausanne, Switzerland Allisson François;
N.I.Sieber (1844-88), Swiss citizen: The first Russian Marxist? Talk given at a conference Sieber and the first globalisation 22.09.2017 Lausanne, Switzerland D'Onofrio Federico;
N.I.Sieber (1844-88), Swiss citizen: The first Russian Marxist? Talk given at a conference Networks and political economy in fin-de-siecle Russia: to the intellectual biography of Nikolay Sieber 22.09.2017 Lausanne, Switzerland Raskov Danila E.;
CAMHIST at Clare Hall - Cambridge Seminar in the History of Economic Analysis Individual talk Sieber as the First Russian Marxist 20.07.2017 Cambridge (UK), Great Britain and Northern Ireland Allisson François;
European Society for the History of Economic Thought annual conference Talk given at a conference Sieber as an economic anthropologist 18.05.2017 Antwerp, Belgium Raskov Danila E.;
European Society for the History of Economic Thought annual conference Talk given at a conference Towards an intellectual biography of N.I.Sieber 18.05.2017 Antwerp, Belgium Allisson François; D'Onofrio Federico;


Self-organised

Title Date Place
N.I.Sieber (1844-88), Swiss citizen: The first Russian Marxist? 22.09.2017 Lausanne, Switzerland
Roundtable on the Intellectual Biography of N.I.Sieber and his Place in the History of Social and Economic Thought 17.02.2017 St. Petersburg, Russia

Knowledge transfer events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Date Place Persons involved
Atelier de formation doctoral CUSO en histoire quantitative Talk 22.05.2017 Lausanne, Switzerland D'Onofrio Federico; Allisson François;


Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) Communication about the project with the hashtag #ni_sieber Twitter International 2017
Talks/events/exhibitions Journée de la recherche SSP à l'Université de Lausanne Western Switzerland 2017
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) Several blog posts on the contributions of Sieber to the debates on economic development Blog envelopment International 2017

Abstract

The definition of classical political economy is yet unfinished. Since Karl Marx coined the expression « classical political economy », several attempts were made to give a definitive and authoritative list of economists belonging to this school of thought. Invariably, however, a name is still missing in all these lists: Nikolay Ivanovich Sieber (1844-1888), a Russian and Swiss economist whose works remain to the present day almost unknown. Sieber, considered as the last classical economist with his David Ricardo and Karl Marx in their socio-economical researches (1885), has much to teach about this definition. In his systematic analytical reconstruction of classical political economy, starting from pre-Smithian economists to Marx, through Smith, Ricardo and his contemporaries, Sieber exposes the fundamental methodological principles that allow depicting the school into a more coherent whole. Sieber is known in Russia for being one of the very first readers of Marx, and his name is associated with the early development of Russian Marxism, and as the translator of Ricardo in Russia. An edition of his collected works was even published in two volumes during the Soviet period (Sieber 1959). Outside Russia, however, his work remains unknown, mainly because he published only in the Russian language, although he lived in both Imperial Russia and in Switzerland. Thanks to the work of several pioneering scholars (Guelfat 1970; Scazzieri 1987; Kappeler 1989; White 1996, 2001, 2009, 2011; Smith 2001), the name of Sieber is becoming known outside Russia. But except for two papers translated by White (Sieber 2001, 2011), his work remains inaccessible for a non-Russian audience. This project aims at overcoming this sorry state of affair, by promoting Sieber’s theoretical legacy. This is done in three steps. First, the project aims at providing Sieber’s first intellectual biography. Besides a biographical essay, which implies archival work in both Switzerland and Russia for the many elements that are still missing on Sieber’s life, and an updated bibliography based on the already comprehensive but quite dated version by Rezul (1931), it will contain an evaluation of his economic work in light of his even lesser known but numerous writings in sociology, in law and history. And it will contain an interpretation of his reconstruction of classical political economy, thus providing Sieber’s renewed historiographical account of classical political economy. All these parts should first be published as articles in relevant international peer-reviewed journals (in history of economic thought, in history of ideas, in Russian studies), before being collected in a standalone volume. Second, the project aims at providing a wider access to Sieber’s main economic work: David Ricardo and Karl Marx in their socio-economical researches (1885). We will offer a critical English edition, with a historical and an analytical introduction, to make this end-of-nineteenth century Russian text easier to grasp for an English language twenty-first century reader, as well as editors and translators notes, to provide the necessary elements of context and on concepts of this 500 pages masterpiece. This will provide the second volume of the project. Third, the research team will engage in writing, presenting and publishing scientific papers on Sieber’s influence in Russia, on the development of classical political economy in Russia besides and beyond Sieber, in order to assess his legacy on Russian economic thought. A third volume dedicated to this theme will be published for a Russian audience.The Russian and Swiss applicants are specialists of Russian economic thought. Individually, they already edited and translated Russian texts into English and Russian and are accustomed to archival works. Together, they already collaborated in several smaller projects, as they already organised a conference in Lausanne in 2009 and a session at the ESHET Conference in Istanbul (partly on Sieber) in 2011. The Russian main applicant already came three times in Lausanne as a visiting scholar, and the Swiss main applicant equally came twice as a visiting scholar in St. Petersburg, for collaborations, which already produced joint and collective publications in the English and Russian languages. The research team, that is maintained relatively small to include people that already extensively collaborated together, feels confident on the feasibility of the project, and on the unique occasion to renew the historiography of classical political economy.
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