This lecture briefly discusses historic understandings of the limits to infinite economic growth on a finite planet (from John Stuart Mill to Marx). Taking a ecological economics perspective it discusses the metabolism of the economy, the economy as a subsystem of the environment, biophysical limits to growth, and sustainable economic scales.
A short course introducing co-operative firms, in the context of the Candian economy where various forms of co-operative make up a significant sector of the economy. The course offers foundational knowledge about co-operatives, explaining what they are and how they operate.
Economic theory must distinguish between publicly owned and privately owned property if it is to account for the effect of institutions on the behavior of individuals. Careful study of the theories of Marxists and the real-world experience in the Soviet economy offer important lessons and insight for economic modeling and the ongoing development of theory. In this course, Marxist/Leninist theory and Soviet reality will be studied with an open mind, and with the goal of taking lessons from the case study. To what extent was the Soviet economy an accurate expression of Marxist theory? If Marxism were tried somewhere else would the results be the same?
Trade disputes are usually understood as conflicts between countries with competing national interests, but as Matthew C. Klein and Michael Pettis show in this book, they are often the unexpected result of domestic political choices to serve the interests of the rich at the expense of workers and ordinary retirees.
This paper investigates how the concept of public purpose is used in Modern Monetary Theory (MMT). As a common denominator among political scientists, the idea of public purpose is that economic actions should aim at benefiting the majority of the society. However, the concept is to be considered as an ideal of a vague nature, which is highly dependent on societal context and, hence, subject to change over time. MMT stresses that government spending plans should be designed to pursue a certain socio-economic mandate and not to meet any particular financial outcome. The concept of public purpose is heavily used in this theoretical body of thought and often referred to in the context of policy proposals as the ideas of universal job guarantee and banking reform proposals show. MMT scholars use the concept as a pragmatic benchmark against which policies can be assessed. With regards to the definition of public propose, MMT scholars agree that it is dependent on the social-cultural context. Nevertheless, MMT scholars view universal access to material means of survival as universally applicable and in that sense as the lowest possible common denominator.
This article introduces the series, “Reclaiming Africa’s Early Post- Independence History,'' from Post-Colonialisms Today. It explores the policies and thinking of African governments in the early post-independence period, and the lessons for today’s struggles for political and economic agency on the continent.
Feminist economics critically analyzes both economic theory and economic life through the lens of gender, and advocates various forms of feminist economic transformation. In this course, we will explore this exciting and self-consciously political and transformative field.
Environmental catastrophe looms large over politics: from the young person’s climate march to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal, increasing amounts of political space are devoted to the issue. Central to this debate is the question of whether economic growth inevitably leads to environmental issues such as depleted finite resources and increased waste, disruption of natural cycles and ecosystems, and of course climate change. Growth is the focal point of the de-growth and zero-growth movements who charge that despite efficiency gains, increased GDP always results in increased use of energy and emissions. On the other side of the debate, advocates of continued growth (largely mainstream economists) believe that technological progress and policies can ‘decouple’ growth from emissions.
The Sufficiency Policy Map is an online tool for initiatives, political actors, organisations and individuals. It provides recommendations, strategies and communication tools for realizing projects and policy around the topic sufficiency. Sufficiency projects have the aim to reduce one's own ecological footprint.
Macroeconomics in Context: A European Perspective lays out the principles of macroeconomics in a manner that is thorough, up to date, and relevant to students. With a clear presentation of economic theory throughout, this latest addition to the bestselling "In Context" set of textbooks is written with a specific focus on European data, institutions, and historical events, offering engaging treatment of high-interest topics, including sustainability, Brexit, the euro crisis, and rising inequality. Policy issues are presented in context (historical, institutional, social, political, and ethical), and always with reference to human well-being.
Economics is dogmatic, monolithic, merely quantitative, highly normative, strongly political, primarily ethical, pseudo-scientific, and manipulative.
Philosopher and political economist John Stuart Mill laid several foundations for liberal thinking, amongst others with the harm principle: everyone should be given the individual freedom - and not be hindered by e.g. state intervention - to act as s/he wants as long as no other person is harmed by this action. A short insight in his book On Liberty.
In this interview, Daron Acemoğlu provides a definition of institutions as rules that govern how individuals interact and speaks about social, political and economic institutions. He furthermore presents his view on bad or good institutions and the importance of the latter. The video is part of a larger interview, where he elaborates his perspective on differing prosperities of states and the relation between growth and democracy.
Mark Blyth criticises the political inability to solve the persistent economic crisis in Europe against the background of a deflationary environment. Ideological blockades and impotent institutions are the mutually reinforcing causes of European stagnation. The deeper roots lie in the structural change of the economic system since the 1980s, when neoliberalism emerged as hegemonic ideology. This ideology prepared the ground for austerity and resulting deflationary pressures and a strategy of all seeking to export their way out of trouble. Worryingly this is breeding populist and nationalist resentments in Europe.
In this article, Rob Hoveman breaks down concepts like historical materialism and materialist analysis that are pivotal to understand Marx. He argues that abstractions are necessary for a concrete analysis of society that in turn should inform political practice.
In this article, Gareth Dale analyzes and compares the main characteristics and differences of two visions that are currently emerging to tackle Climate Change: the Green New Deal and Degrowth. Which are the consequences from the environmental, economic and political point of view? And what are the underlying doctrines?
Yanis Varoufakis, former finance minister of Greece and the co-founder of the international DiEM25 platform, discusses the economic and political impacts of the Covid-19 Pandemic, in particular with regards to the Eurozone and southern European countries.
John Christensen from the Tax Justice Network addresses the Modern Monetary Theory idea that governments don't need tax revenues if they want to spend money. Doing so, he sums up the main points made by MMT proponents and their critics, and shows how MMT can be reconciled with another progressive economic narrative: "Modern Tax Theory". While MMT made valuable contributions to the policy debate on fiscal policy, it misrepresents the importance of taxation as a political matter and as a way to generate public revenues. This is where MMT steps in.
In this interview, the political activist, author and lecturer Dr. Vandana Shiva explains the linkage between ecology, feminism and economics along the lines of current effects and implications of the Corona-Crisis in India and around the world.
The authors use the social ideas of the former incan empire to discuss political recommendations for their home-countries. The incan society was a special one in history, by some called socialistic, which triggers curiosity of people, searching for alternative ways of living. The podcast shares some insights in how the incas lived and what modern society could learn from them.
Right-wing populism and market-fundamentalism: Two mutually reinforcing threats to democracy in the 21st century
The article compares market fundamentalism and right-wing populism on the basis of its core patterns of thinking and reasoning. Based on an analysis of important texts in both fields we find many similarities of these two concepts in their "inner images". Thus, we develop a scheme of the similar dual social worlds of right-wing-populism and market fundamentalism and offer some recent examples of market fundamentalism and right-wing populism mutually reinforcing each other or serving as a gateway for each other. We then apply our scheme for the analysis of the recent political developments and its ideological roots in the US under Donald Trump.
In this interview Ilya Matveev discusses the social, political, economic, and ideological foundations of the Russian regime, to provide additional context about Russia’s geopolitical goals.
This brief views the environment through diverse lenses – those of standard economics, institutional economics, political science, environmental science and ecology.
This volume is concerned with the different schools within the discipline of economics (theoretical pluralism) and the relationship of economics to other disciplines, such as sociology, political science and philosophy (interdisciplinarity).
In this clear and accessible book, an eminent political scientist offers a jargon-free introduction to the market system for all readers, with or without a background in economics
Value and Crisis brings together selected essays written by Alfredo Saad-Filho, one of the most prominent Marxist political economists writing today. Divided into two parts, "Essays on the Theory of Value" and "Essays on Contemporary Capitalism," this book examines the labour theory of value from a rich and innovative perspective from which fresh insights are derived.
The podcast is an interview of Silvia Federici by David Denvir. It is centred around her book 'Caliban and the Witch - Women, the Body and Primitive Accumulation', but they also draw lines to contemporary issues and political struggles. Federici analyses the emergence of capitalism through a radical Feminist-Marxist lens.
What’s inflation? Why is it relevant? And is there an agreed theory about its roots and causes, or is it a contentious concept? That’s what this text is all about: We define what inflation actually means before we delve into the theoretical debate with an interdisciplinary and pluralist approach: What gives rise to it, what factors might influence it, and, consequently, what might be done about it?
What is game theory? Game theory is a way of thinking about strategic interactions between people, which makes it a crucial component of economics, political science, international relations, psychology and a variety of other disciplines that deal with the complexities of human interaction in decision making.
Austrian economics focuses on the economic coordination of individuals in a market economy. Austrian economics emphasises individualism, subjectivism, laissez-faire politics, uncertainty and the role of the entrepreneur, amongst others.
The Covid-19 pandemic has laid bare the deep structural rifts in modern capitalist economies. It has exposed and exacerbated the long-lasting systemic inequalities in income, wealth, healthcare, housing, and other aspects of economic success across a variety of dimensions including class, gender, race, regions, and nations. This workshop explores the causes of economic inequality in contemporary capitalist economies and its consequences for the economy and society in the post-pandemic reality, as well as what steps can be taken to alleviate economic inequality in the future. Drawing from a variety of theoretical and interdisciplinary insights, the workshop encourages you to reflect on your personal experiences of inequality and aims to challenge the way in which the issue is typically approached in economics.
The last 15 years have seen extensive research into ecosystem service valuation (ESV), spurred by the Millenium Ecosystem Assessment in 2005 (Baveye, Baveye & Gowdy, 2016). Ecosystem services are defined as “the benefits people obtain from ecosystems” (Millenium Ecosystem Assessment, p.V). For example, ecosystems provide the service of sequestering carbon which helps regulate the climate. Valuation means giving ecosystems or their services a monetary price, for example researchers have estimated that the carbon sequestration services of the Mediterranean Sea is between 100 and 1500 million euros per year. The idea of ESV was a response to the overuse of natural resources and degradation of ecosystems, allegedly due to their undervaluation and exclusion from the monetary economy. ESV can be used (1) for policy decision-making, for example allocating funding to a reforestation project (2) for setting payments to people who increase ecosystem services, for example a farmer increasing the organic carbon content of their soil, and (3) for determining fees for people who degrade ecosystem services, for example a company that causes deforestation.