Tim B. Thornton: From Economics to Political Economy: The Problems, Promises and Solutions of Pluralist Economics.

Author:Walsh-Fuehring, Marcus
Position:Book review
 
FREE EXCERPT

Tim B. Thornton From Economics to Political Economy: The Problems, Promises and Solutions of Pluralist Economics, New York: Routledge, 2017; 227 pp.: ISBN 9781138933101, 92 [pounds sterling] (hb)

As the current economic crises (e.g. global financial and housing) have been challenging economic models, a schism has developed on how to apply and adapt scholarly work to real-world problems. This raises the question for economics whether to revise orthodox teaching methods and curricula. In the recent wave of student protests across Europe and the United States for more pluralism in economic courses at universities, the movement has spread globally and has led to the formation of a consortium, the International Student Initiative for Pluralism in Economics (ISIPE). The aim of the consortium is to address and expand ontological approaches in macroeconomics and incorporate more heterodox approaches into the discipline. In Tim B. Thorntons book, From Economics to Political Economy: The Problems, Promises and Solutions of Pluralist Economics, the author argues that, to challenge contemporary economic problems, the discipline of economics must incorporate a pluralistic approach such as adopting political economy into mainstream academics. The book addresses the question why reform is needed and the practical consequences in implementing and practising economics. It, thereby, challenges the economic establishment by illustrating the debate between dissenters and reformers on the value of their economic models.

The premise of the argument is timely and relevant in identifying the opposition in academia and the shortfalls in teaching traditional economics. By demonstrating the gap between the modern philosophy of science and the practice of economic orthodoxy, the author demonstrates the conflict in the fundamental purpose between ontological and epistemological approaches. In reforming economics, the author suggests to restore heterodox traditions of economics (e.g. institutional economics, Marxist economics, feminist economics, etc.) and to incorporate history of economic thought, economic history, and economic development in classical economic approaches. In his book, Thornton categorises these disciplines collectively as political economy. There has been a severe backlash to attempts to incorporate heterodox approaches at universities and, depending on the discipline, this has taken on different levels of importance. Therefore, the author suggests...

To continue reading

REQUEST YOUR TRIAL