Letter to the editor - Pluralism in economics

Sir,

The growing movement for pluralism in economics has inspired a group of early-career academics in the UK to form a new network, Reteaching Economics (http://reteacheconomics.org/), committed to pluralism in the teaching of economics. The group aims to effect change in the economics curriculum through a combination of scholarly and institutional activity and activism. The group supports the UK student campaign for the introduction of theoretical and methodological pluralism in the teaching of economics, spearheaded by groups such as Rethinking Economics (www.rethinkeconomics.org/) and the Post-Crash Economics Society (www.post-crasheconomics.com/). The group currently has thirty-nine members drawn from academic institutions across the UK. It is open to all UK early-career academics who support the aims of the network.

Our objectives include the introduction of Methodology and Philosophy of Social Sciences into the economics curriculum, and the re-introduction of History of Economic Thought. Equally important are the institutional requirements to progress economics as a discipline. Among other activities, group members are involved in efforts to reform the Research Excellence framework and the QAA (the Quality Assurance Agency, which influences the content of the economics teaching throughout UK) and workshops and in events to promote pluralism.

The official launch of Reteaching Economics took place on 21st of March 2015 and included a private viewing of the film Boom Bust Boom (http://boombustclick.com/) at SOAS, University of London. The film, produced by Terry Jones and Ben Timlett, gives an accessible introduction to the history of financial crisis and the related shortcomings of mainstream economics. The event was attended by students, academic economists, journalists, politicians, and activists. The film was inspired by discussions between Terry Jones and students regarding the lack of balance in their education and the culpability of much of the economics profession for propagating the idea that financial crisis was an impossibility.

In the coming academic year we hope to broaden our activities by forming working relationships with other academic groups committed to pluralism in economics and by supporting the student movement by providing reading lists and example curriculum materials.

We warmly encourage those who support our aims to join us.

Reteaching Economics
(Twitter: @ReteachEcon)

From Issue no. 170, July 2015, p.18

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