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Institute for New Economic Thinking

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Sophus Reinert and Francesca Viano of Cambridge University to be Awarded a Grant from the Institute for New Economic Thinking

An INET Grant will fund Professor Reinert and Professor Viano’s project to make historically significant economics texts available in English for the first time.

New York, NY, November 17, 2010 --( The Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET), launched with a $50 million pledge from George Soros to promote changes in economic theory and practice through research grants, Task Force groups, academic partnerships, and conferences, announced that it has selected Sophus Reinert and Francesca Viano of Cambridge University to be awarded a project grant through the Institute’s Inaugural Grant Program to deepen the understanding of the history of economics as a discipline by translating historically important economic texts into English. The grant program, along with other INET initiatives, was created in direct response to arguably the worst economic crisis in world history, and has been designed to encourage and support new economic thinking. Starting in 2011, INET will conduct two grant cycles annually.

The project addresses the problem that many important works of economic history were never translated into English. For example, Werner Sombart’s monumental Modern Capitalism has been translated from the original German into French, Italian, and Spanish, but not into English. This is due to the fact that when it was published, all serious American economists read German fluently – something that is not the case today. Professor Reinert and Viano plan to use INET’s funding to make several of these foundational texts available to students and scholars in a language with which they are familiar.

“Reinart and Viano’s project unlocks some of history’s greatest economic thinking to a broad audience,” said Dr. Robert Johnson, Executive Director of INET. “By translating historically remarkable economic works into English, their influence can be widespread amongst the present day economists and scholars.”

Sophus A. Reinert (Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge) works on problems of development, competition, and decline in economic history and in the history of economics. His first book, tentatively entitled "Emulation and the Origins of Political Economy", is forthcoming with Harvard University Press.

Francesca Viano (King’s College, Cambridge) is a historian of politics and economics. Among her books are studies of the Norwegian-American economist Thorstein Veblen and the economics of the pre-Depression era, James Bryce and the politics and economics of empire, and (forthcoming 2010) the economic and intellectual history of the Statue of Liberty.

“Our project redresses the disparity between the current canon of economics on the one hand and the economic works which, globally, have had the greatest historical impact in terms of editions, readerships, and policy-influence on the other,” said Dr. Sophus A. Reinert, Research Fellow at Gonville & Caius College, University of Cambridge. “This INET grant will uniquely allow us to provide a new generation of economists with more rigorous historical tools and help ground new economic thinking in a better understanding of past theories and their consequences.”

INET’s Inaugural Grant Program has been designed to harness the new economic thinking we recognize as crucial to effecting change. The program was launched this summer and received more than 500 applications from around the world and has selected 31 initiatives to be awarded grants totaling $7 million. INET's Grant Program will continue with two similar grant cycles annually, the next one commencing in the spring of 2011.

For further details regarding INET’s Grant Program or additional projects and people to be awarded grants please visit the Institute’s website.

About the Institute for New Economic Thinking:
Launched in October 2009 with a $50 million commitment from George Soros and driven by the global financial crisis, the Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET) is dedicated to empowering and supporting the next generation of economists and scholars in related fields through research grants, Task Force groups, academic partnerships, and conferences. INET embraces the professional responsibility to think beyond current paradigms. Ultimately, INET is committed to broadening and accelerating the development of innovative thinking that can lead to insights into and solutions for the great challenges of the 21st century and return economics to its core mission of guiding and protecting society. For more information please visit

Contact Information
Institute for New Economic Thinking
Bill Fallon
212 925 6900

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