Mainstream economics was founded on many strong assumptions. Institutions and politics were treated as irrelevant, government as exogenous, social norms as epiphenomena. As an initial gambit this was fine. But as the horizons of economic inquiry have broadened, these assumptions have becomehindrances rather than aids.
This graduate-level course examines issues related to women’s paid and unpaid work during a time of rapid integration of world markets. Students will analyze the role of government policy, unions, corporate responsibility, and social movements in raising women's wages, promoting equal opportunity, fighting discrimination in the workplace, and improving working conditions.
What determines the status of women in different communities? What role is played by women’s labor (inside and outside of the home)? By cultural norms regarding sexuality and reproduction? By racial/ethnic identity? By religious traditions? After some brief theoretical grounding, this course will address these questions by examining the economic, political, social, and cultural histories of women in the various racial/ethnic groups that make up the US today.
Since the Middle Ages, literature has portrayed the economic world in poetry, drama, stories and novels. The complexity of human realities highlights crucial aspects of the economy. The nexus linking characters to their economic environment is central in a new genre, the "economic novel", that puts forth economic choices and events to narrate social behavior, individual desires, and even non-economic decisions.
Education policy seeks to ensure equality in access, equality within the classroom and in teaching- learning processes, and equality in outcomes. This course encourages students to assess and evaluate the extent to which these objectives are met in practice and the ways in which educational outcomes are shaped by, as well as alter, gendered social norms.
The first day of the workshop is intended to initiate students to the foundational concepts of ecological economics. Ecological economics is an ecological critique of economics, applying the energetics of life to the study of the economy. It also investigates the social distribution of environmental costs and benefits. It does so by deconstructing concepts that are taken for granted like “nature” or “the economy”, excavating their ideological origins.
Over the last decade, the world's largest corporations - from The Coca Cola Company to Amazon, Apple to Unilever - have taken up the cause of combatting modern slavery. Yet, by most measures, across many sectors and regions, severe labour exploitation continues to soar. Corporate social responsibility is not working. Why?
Dependency in Central and Eastern Europe - Self-reliance and the need to move beyond economic growth
In this essay, the author takes a critical perspective on the pursuit of growth as the solution for providing for environmental sustainability and economic stability in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe. Drawing from the framework of dependency theory and presenting brief insights into European core-periphery relations the author then argues for the implementation of an alternative strategy to development that is built around the concept of self-reliance.
Gender Development and Globalization is the leading primer on global feminist economics and development. Gender is a development issue because social considerations are not easily incorporated into institutions such as policies, regulations, markets and organizations. This process is often referred to as the mainstreaming of gender in development institutions.
This book is an original, systematic, and radical attempt at decolonizing critical theory. Drawing on linguistic concepts from 16 languages from Asia, Africa, the Arab world, and South America, the essays in the volume explore the entailments of words while discussing their conceptual implications for the humanities and the social sciences everywhere.
This lecture course, which will be taught in English, will deal with gender issues in developing countries. After providing an overview of the gender differences in various aspects of welfare and economic life, the course will then tackle a number of specific issues.
Economist and 2020 Balzan Prize winner for Environmental Challenges: Responses from the Social Sciences and Humanities, Joan Martínez Alier, speaks on the importance of ecological economics and its timeliness around the 2007/2008 global financial crisis. He speaks on the importance of building the field of ecological economics “from the ground up” through praxis.
Economists like to base their theories on individual decision making. Individuals, the idea goes, have their own interests and preferences, and if we don’t include these in our theory we can’t be sure how people will react to changes in their economic circumstances and policy. While there may be social influences, in an important sense the buck stops with individuals. Understanding how individuals process information to come to decisions about their health, wealth and happiness is crucial. You can count me as someone who thinks that on the whole, this is quite a sensible view.
This brief note explores the possibility of working towards an enlarged self-definition of economics through economists’ study and appreciation of economic sociology. Common ground between economic sociology and heterodox economics is explored, and some of Richard Sennett’s ideas are used as prompts to raise some pertinent and hopefully interesting questions about economics. In particular, the note revisits the question of whether there is a possibility of changing our understanding of what kind of social scientific work falls within the domain of economics proper once we start critically engaging with work conventionally considered to be outside of that domain. In part, the note is intended to offer undergraduate students in economics – and possibly even those further down the road in their education – food for thought about what constitutes economics.
This paper surveys the development of the concept of socialism from the French Revolution to the socialist calculation debate. Karl Marx’s politics of revolutionary socialism led by an empowered proletariat nurtured by capital accumulation envisions socialism as a “top-down” system resting on political institutions, despite Marx’s keen appreciation of the long-period analysis of the organization of social production in the classical political economists. Collectivist thinking in the work of Enrico Barone and Wilfredo Pareto paved the way for the discussion of socialism purely in terms of the allocation of resources. The Soviet experiment abandoned the mixed economy model of the New Economic Policy for a political-bureaucratic administration of production only loosely connected to theoretical concepts of socialism. The socialist calculation debate reductively recast the problem of socialism as a problem of allocation of resources, leading to general equilibrium theory. Friedrich Hayek responded to the socialist calculation debate by shifting the ground of discussion from class relations to information revelation
The Nobel laureate Amartya Sen´s text analyzes three main figures in social sciences and the relation between them: the Italian economist Piero Sraffa, the Austrian philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein, and the Italian politician and philosopher Antonio Gramsci.
"Alexander Kravchuk is an economist and editor at Commons: Journal for Social Criticims, who has previously written about IMF conditions on loans to Ukraine. Jacobin’s David Broder asked him about the country’s economic situation and why debt cancellation is important if Ukrainians are to be able to shape their future." (quote from the interview)
This course teaches basic concepts relevant in political economy. Topics include the contractual nature of the state, public versus private goods, property rights and economic externalities, the logic of collective action and social choice theory. It also refers to the fundamentals of political philosophy, bringing two ideas of liberty into the picture. The relevance and limitations of the economic approach to the study of law and politics are then discussed.
Tony Lawson has become a major figure of intellectual controversy on the back of juxtaposing two relatively simple and seemingly innocuous ideas. He has argued firstly that success in science depends on finding and using methods, including modes of reasoning, appropriate to the nature of the phenomena being studied, and also that there are important differences between the nature of the objects of study of natural sciences and those of social science.
Traditionally, economists have attributed consistency and rational calculation to the action of ‘economic man’. In a powerful challenge to orthodox thinking, Geoffrey Hodgson maintains that social institutions play a central and essential role in molding preferences and guiding action: institutions are regarded as enabling action rather than merely providing constraints.
This brief but comprehensive account of the Post Keynesian approach to economic theory and policy is ideal for advanced undergraduate and postgraduate students in economics, public policy and other social sciences. Clear, non-technical and with a strong policy focus, it will also appeal to all of those who are dissatisfied with mainstream economics and wish to explore the alternatives.
Rethinking Business is a volume of thought-provoking researches that sets out to challenge the paradigm of business along the areas of governance, finance, corporate social responsibility, and sustainability.
Despite the Doha declaration of November 2001, the failure to start a new round of global trade negotiations at Seattle in December 1999 and the hostility of protesters to the trade liberalization process and growing global economic and social disparities was a wake-up call for the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
Ecological economics addresses one of the fundamental flaws in conventional economics--its failure to consider biophysical and social reality in its analyses and equations. Ecological Economics: Principles and Applications is an introductory-level textbook that offers a pedagogically complete examination of this dynamic new field.
Free, Fair & Alive is a foundational re-thinking of the commons, the self-organized social systems that human beings have used for millennia to meet their needs.
The Price of Slavery analyzes Marx's critique of capitalist slavery and its implications for the Caribbean thought of Toussaint Louverture, Henry Christophe, C. L. R. James, Aimé Césaire, Jacques Stephen Alexis, and Suzanne Césaire. Nick Nesbitt assesses the limitations of the literature on capitalism and slavery since Eric Williams in light of Marx's key concept of the social forms of labor, wealth, and value.
This is a recording of an introductory course held at the 4th International Degrowth Conference for Ecological Sustainability and Social Equity in Leipzig in 2014. Federico Demaria from the French-Spanish organisation Research and Degrowth gives an introduction to degrowth. The presentation is based on the introduction to the book “Degrowth. A vocabulary for a new era.” and discusses definitions of degrowth, degrowth literature, debates, history and further research to be done.
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.
Silvia Federici illustrates the potential of the concept of the commons as way of resistance and reorganization of the society in times of social injustice and ecological crisis. Amongst others, she outlines the role of women in the commons movement. Federici explains why she regards the theory of the tragedy of the commons as unfounded and why she considers Marx's concept of primitive accumulation as still appropriate to describe current events of deprivation, such as land grabbing.
Stiglitz answers the question why globalization and world trade has not delivered on its promise of increased well being as much as classical economists thought, by pointing to the power asymmetries: firstly, between industrialized nations and developing nations and secondly, between special corporate interest and social interests. In his analysis, developed countries and MNCs were able to extract the benefits, while shifting the costs (i.e. pollution) to states and communities with lesser power. Amongst many other historical examples the pharmaceutical and the mining industry are discussed to some length.
Galbraith first explores the social darwinism of Herbert Spencer and others that served as apology for the highly unequal distribution of wealth in the US at the end of the 19th century and naturalized differences in wealth by appealing to the concept of natural selection of the fittest. Then some instances of the unscrupulous business practices (i.e. robberies) of the American railroad tycoons and other business magnates are recounted. Lastly, Galbraith lines out some of the arguments of Thorstein Veblen, who delegitimized and ridiculed the business and leisure activities of the rich by putting them in the same category as predatory and ritualized practices of primitive or ancient societies.
The documentary proceeds along the lines of Karl Marx' biography, inquiring into his workings as a journalist, social scientist, revolutionary and historian and his travels through Europe. In chronological order historical events, such as the 1848 revolution or the Paris Commune as well as concepts such as dialectics, the labour theory of value or the reform-revolution debate are revisited. The documentary is narrated by John Kenneth Galbraith and by an actor, who plays Marx and recites quotes from his writings.