Back to crises. Post-war dictionaries and The resilience of an old category (with Giorgio Colacchio), Ch. 29 of Crises and cycles in economic dictionaries and encyclopedias, edited by Daniele Besomi, London: Routledge.

Although the notion of ‘crisis’ was first subsumed under the idea of ‘cycle’ and eventually expurgated from economic terminology, the term continues to exist and occasionally makes it to economic dictionaries. This chapter surveys its usage in post-war dictionaries, beginning from some linguistic and national peculiarities—in particular, the term ‘crises’ is practically interchangeable with ‘cycles’ in French language, while in German crises is used to indicate the Marxist approach as opposed to bourgeois analysis. As to the interpretation of the concept, some writers interpret crises as a pathological deviations from ‘normal’ fluctuations, while some historical and political dictionaries associate crises to qualitative or systemic changes. In economic dictionaries, the entries trying to qualify crises as autonomous from the idea of cycle are extremely rare: we have found only two, one stressing the different logical nature of these concepts, the other emphasizing that crises cannot be encompassed by calculable mechanistic models. We conclude with some reflections on the complex relationship between crises and cycles.

Presentation of the project