One hundred years ago the idea of 'the economy' didn't exist. Now, improving the economy has come to be seen as perhaps the most important task facing modern societies. Politics and policymaking are conducted in the language of economics and economic logic shapes how political issues are thought about and addressed. The result is that the majority of citizens, who cannot speak this language, are locked out of politics while political decisions are increasingly devolved to experts. The econocracy explains how economics came to be seen this way - and the damaging consequences. It opens up the discipline and demonstrates its inner workings to the wider public so that the task of reclaiming democracy can begin.
One hundred years ago the idea of 'the economy' did not exist. Now, improving the economy has come to be seen as the single most important task facing modern societies. Politics and policymaking are conducted in the language of economics and economic logic shapes how political issues are thought about and addressed. The result is that the majority of citizens, who cannot speak this specialised language, find themselves locked out of the system while political decisions are devolved to experts. The econocracy explores how this way of thinking about economies and economics has come to dominate - and the damaging effects its domination has caused. We have put experts in charge but those experts are not fit for purpose. A growing movement is arguing that we need to reshape the relationship between society and its economic experts. Across the world, students - the experts of the future - are rebelling against an education system that is broken. From three members of this movement comes a book that seeks to open up the black box of economic decision-making to public scrutiny, exposing how a particular narrow, inward-looking form of economics has come to dominate in universities across the UK and has thus shaped our very understanding of the economy. In The econocracy they document the weaknesses of this form of economics and how it has failed to address many important issues - including financial stability, environmental sustainability and inequality - and set out a vision for bringing economic discussion and decision-making back into the public sphere so that societies of the future can flourish.
Joe Earle, Cahal Moran and Zach Ward-Perkins are founding members of the Post-Crash Economics Society at the University of Manchester. Andrew Bowman is a member of the Centre for Research on Socio Cultural Change.
Biblio NotesIntroduction1. Econocracy2. Economics as indoctrination3. Beyond neoclassical economics4. The struggle for the soul of economics5. Rediscovering liberal education6. Economics is for everyoneIndex
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