RETHINK
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410 results

2020
Level: beginner
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?
2018
Level: advanced
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.
2021
Level: beginner
After completing the module, participants should have knowledge and understanding about the theory of Critical Political Economy and its basic methods. They should be able to apply central concepts to analyse critical questions regarding the embeddedness of economic relations within broader social, political and ecological relations.
2018
Level: beginner
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.
2022
Level: beginner
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.
2022
Level: beginner
Adhering to the multiplicity of degrowth whilst also arguing that strategic prioritisation and coordination are key, Degrowth & Strategy advances the debate on strategy for social-ecological transformation. It explores what strategising means, identifies key directions for the degrowth movement, and scrutinises strategies in practice that aim to realise a degrowth society.
2012
Level: beginner
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.
2020
Level: beginner
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.
2016
Level: advanced
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.
2017
Level: beginner
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
2003
Level: advanced
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.
2022
Level: beginner
"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)
2015
Level: advanced
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.
2014
Level: advanced
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.
2002
Level: advanced
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).
2003
Level: beginner
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.
2022
Level: beginner
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.
2010
Level: beginner
"The Company of Strangers: A Natural History of Economic Life" by Paul Seabright is an engaging and informative book that explores the complex relationship between economic behavior and human instincts. Seabright uses real-world examples to present complex ideas in a clear and accessible way. The author argues that the market is not only a place for exchanging goods and services but also relies on trust, cooperation, and social norms.
1991
Level: advanced
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.
2019
Level: advanced
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.
Level: advanced
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.
2009
Level: advanced

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.

2020
Level: beginner
The general idea of a Job Guarantee (JG) is that the government offers employment to everybody ready, willing and able to work for a living wage in the last instance as an Employer of Last Resort. The concept tackles societal needs that are not satisfied by market forces and the systemic characteristic of unemployment in capitalist societies. Being a central part of the Modern Monetary Theory (MMT), attention for the JG concept rose in recent years.
2014
Level: beginner
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.
2009
Level: beginner
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.
2014
Level: beginner
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.
2013
Level: beginner
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.
1977
Level: beginner
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.
2016
Level: beginner
Irene van Staveren, professor of pluralist development economics, presents her pluralist teaching method for the introductory level. Based on her textbook “Economics After the Crisis: An Introduction to Economics from a Pluralist and Global Perspective” she suggests to focus on real-world problems and pari passu apply economic theories such as Social economics, Institutional economics, Post-Keynesian economics as well as Neoclassical economics without wasting time to single out the latter. Besides pointing out advantages of such a pluralist method Irene illustrates her approach based on interesting topics such as growth or feminist economics.
2014
Level: beginner
In this short Video Silke Helfrich discusses the basics of commons. It’s an introduction into the essence of commons from a perspective stemming from outside the economic discipline that focuses on social practice. Her perception challenges the economic mainstream’s perception of common goods and goes beyond a purely materialistic conceptualisation of commons.
2013
Level: beginner
There are three things one can do in this website - 1. Learn 2. Help Teach 3. Sign up MOOC. This is a semester-long graduate course in Econometrics. This course is intended for graduate students in economics-related fields and more generally in social sciences. The course includes an overview of the models and theory and applications using Stata, R, or SAS programs. This econometrics class covers about 15 of the most commonly used econometric models in economics, such as linear regression, panel data models, probit and logit models, limited dependent variable models, count data models, time series models, and many more.
2020
Level: advanced
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.

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