Call for Papers: The Sociology of the Invisible Hand

The Sociology of the Invisible Hand, Peter Lang [in preparation]

Editors: Adriana Mica, Rafał Wiśniewski, Katarzyna Wyrzykowska and Iwona Zielińska

The invisible hand perspective, paraphrasing Adam Ferguson, depicts the social institutions as the unintended consequences of interdependent individual actions, yet not of human design. This analytical tradition refers to outcomes at the level of the social system which are traced to social interaction or situations of interdependence. It is a sociological enterprise which is highly embedded in political philosophy, history, and general economics. In sociology, it may be traced in the streams dealing with dialectical effects, evolutionary mold and structural-functionalist ironies, spontaneous order, and since the 1980s-90s also with compositional effects, tensions and contradictions. There is enough theoretical content in these treatments to qualify the invisible hand metaphor as a sociological tool as well. This notwithstanding, even in sociology, the invisible hand continues to be perceived as the manner in which economists look at, and explain the world. This situation is due mainly to the lack of a systematic approach that would show the traditional and contemporary applicability of invisible hand in sociological theory. The present book attempts to fill in this gap. The edited book brings together great major scholars on the invisible hand – not all of them sociologists – to show how the usage of the invisible hand theory with the tools of sociology is possible.



Contributions to this book project are welcome. Please contact Adriana Mica ( prior to submission.

  • late September 2016 – first draft;
  • late November 2016 – feedback from editors.


Technical details:

Regarding the full papers for the review and manuscript selection process:

  • Manuscripts should be approximately 8,000 (max. 10,000) words in length (including the Notes/Bibliography section);
  • For citation guidelines please consult the Chicago-Style Citation Quick Guide [AUTHOR-DATE] at The Chicago Manual of Style Online.