The Paradox of Unintended Consequences

The Paradox of Unintended Consequences: From the Invisible Hand to Perverse Effects in Social Sciences [Paradoks niezamierzonych konsekwencji: Od niewidzialnej ręki do efektów odwrócenia w naukach społecznych]

The problem of unintended consequences is claimed a central tenet in both sociology and economics. As a matter of fact, it has been asserted, over and over again, to be the main concern of social sciences. Sociology institutionalized an interest in the unintended consequences of social action, whereas economics built on the unintended consequences of human action, but not of human design. The research objective is to analyze traditions, as well as current refinements and changes in focus over time of the “paradox of unintended consequences” (Max Weber) in social sciences, and sociology and economics in particular.


Principal investigator: Adriana Mica

Implementing institution: Faculty of Applied Social Sciences and Resocialisation – University of Warsaw

Duration: 2014-2017

Funded byNational Science Centre, decision number UMO-2013/09/D/HS6/00242.