The main modern directions of studies of socio-economic and...

The main modern directions of research of socio-economic and political processes

The most widespread in the modern world are the liberal, conservative, social democratic and Marxist areas of research. The influence of each of them constantly changed and changed, mainly in connection with the changes in the economic and political life of the society and in the development of science itself. As already noted, the scientific prerequisites for the study of socio-economic and political processes are closely intertwined with social prerequisites, rooted in the nature of the interaction of various social forces, ultimately in the content of existing social relations.

Representatives of each of these areas in their writings proceed from their inherent theoretical vision of contemporary socio-economic and political processes and the corresponding methodology for their research. Let's consider these directions.


This direction since the beginning of the emergence has declared itself as a manifestation of bourgeois social thought. Ideas of liberalism were substantiated in the XVII-XVIII centuries. the English philosopher J. Locke and the English economist A. Smith, as well as the French philosopher S. L. Montesquieu. Later they were developed in the works of T. Jefferson, A. Hamilton, T. Payne and other American thinkers, as well as in the writings of the English philosopher, economist and jurist I. Bentham, the prominent French theoretician in the field of bourgeois democracy A. Tocqueville and several others Western European scientists. Great contributions to the development of the theory of liberalism were made by outstanding United States thinkers, specialists in philosophy, history, political science and law - VM Gessen, SA Kotlyarevsky, M. Korkunov, P. I. Novgorodtsev, B. N. Chicherin, G. F. Shershenevich, and others.

Representatives of liberalism, comprehending society, its economic, political and spiritual life, the activities of its legal institutions (it is primarily about the main methodological approaches to the study of social phenomena, including economic, political, etc. .), used certain criteria, the main one of which was (and is) the idea of ​​human freedom and, first of all, the freedom of expression of each individual's views and interests, as well as freedom of his activity and related other civil freedom. The subject of the study was the state of society from the point of view of the presence or absence of certain economic, political and civil freedoms in it and finding ways to realize them most fully.

Theorists of liberalism solve the following problems:

• Freedom of the individual in society and its responsibility for their actions and results of activities;

• The content of the current law as a measure of personal freedom and as an institution regulating social relations between people

• the interaction of law and the state, which, according to J. Locke, should not absorb the rights and freedoms of citizens;

• the basic principles of the formation of the rule of law;

• separation of powers into legislative, executive and judicial; factors that ensure their harmonious interaction (finding the necessary checks and balances for this);

• The role of private property as the economic basis of individual freedom and the functioning of the economy;

• conditions that ensure free enterprise and free market relations.

These and other problems related in one way or another to the problems of human freedom and the measure of its implementation in society are investigated most often by analyzing the interests of people (economic, political, etc.), existing legal norms and the activities of the relevant political institutions of a given society, first of all state ones.

The main role of the state is seen in protecting the interests and rights of citizens, their social freedoms. At the same time, the right of the state to interfere in the private life of citizens, including in their entrepreneurial activities, is denied. This position found expression in the principle laissez-faire, meaning full freedom of economic activity and market competition of entrepreneurs, non-interference of the state in their activities and in the economy in general. Since the time of A. Smith, liberals have traditionally assigned the state the role of the "night watchman" protecting the property of citizens, their rights, order in the country and protecting it from external encroachments.

In their opinion, the freedom of economic activity of people must correspond to their political freedom (freedom of their political activities), political equality and equality of all before the law, which was proclaimed as a legal ideal.

The labor theory of the value of the founder of economic liberalism A. Smith, who played an important methodological role in the study of economic phenomena, also responded to the ideas of freedom, equality and justice. A. Smith wrote that the exchange of goods in accordance with the labor expended on them establishes the equality in the market as one of the manifestations of economic equality and at the same time the justice consisting in an equivalent exchange . As Smith put it, "the invisible hand of the market" everything settles into place.

Promoting the development of the free market and the consequent non-intervention of the state in the economy is the main idea of ​​representatives of modern economic liberalism. However, they recognize that the market economy can not ensure the welfare of all people, eliminate unemployment, realize the ideas of social justice. This explains the increase in the number of works of modern liberals, which explore the possibilities of ensuring the dignified existence of the entire population of the country, as well as the problems of social protection of various sectors of society.

A significant influence on the development of modern economic science and thus the content of many studies in the economy is provided by the so-called "monetarist theory," developed by representatives of the so-called Chicago school, headed by prominent modern economist Milton Friedman. This theory is theoretically and methodologically based on the idea of ​​a free market and non-interference of the state in the development of the economy. At the same time, M. Friedman and his followers substantiate the idea of ​​the paramount role of monetary circulation and, mainly, of monetary and credit operations in the functioning of a market economy. This will be discussed in more detail below. Let us just note that the theory of monetarism, starting from the notions of self-organization and self-regulation of economic processes and contributing to their research, proves the relevance of the fundamental ideas of liberalism in the study of modern economic phenomena and processes.

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