PhD thesis defence: Yaël Dosquet, 19 October, 2012

On 19 October 2012, Yaël Dosquet (Cemi-EHESS) had publicly defended his PhD thesis entitled The governmentality of New Classical Economics (written in French), in Paris.

Dr. Jacques SAPIR, Research Director, EHESS (supervisor)
Pr. Bernard GAZIER, Pantheon-Sorbonne University, Paris I (referee)
Pr. Frédéric GROS, University Paris-Est Créteil Val de Marne
Pr. Emmanuel PICAVET, Pantheon-Sorbonne University, Paris I (referee)

“Keynesian macroeconomics is rooted in the neoclassical theory. Obviously, it was Robert Lucas who, in 1972, contributed to the reconstruction of a neoclassical macroeconomics based upon business cycle theory with rational expectations equilibrium. Although this epistemological event is well known, no traditional epistemology provides a satisfying explanation. Hence, the purpose of this thesis is to demonstrate that the issues raised by the internal and external epistemological success of this neoclassical theory must be approached in two non distinct ways. On the one hand, through analysing how the theoretical strategic insights of this theory have composed a semantic ascent (Quine). On the other hand, through the genealogy of the muted roots of political economy as discipline. These roots can be reached thanks to the governmentality concept (Foucault). The governmentality concept raises the question of knowing how human beings rule themselves by producing truth. So, this genealogy enlightens the 1970’ governmental practice instability, from the point of view that Lucas’ model was the only one to provide a reliable solution to the blind alley issue that occidental economies were facing.This analytical renewal of the governing by the truth problem can be pointed out as a cognitive revolution of political economy.”

Key words : new classical economics, liberal governmentality, Michel Foucault, Robert Lucas, rational expectation, reason of the state, cognitive economics, social epistemology.

A working paper (written in French) excerpt from this PhD dissertation was presented in the XIVème Colloque de l’Association Charles Gide pour l’étude de la pensée économique (7-9 juin 2012) « Histoire de la  macroéconomie : des années de « haute théorie » (1926-1939) à nos jours ». You can access this working paper online:

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