Our resurgent enemy: authoritarian nationalism trumps neoliberalism

Institutionalist economist Geoffrey Hodgson writes a fascinating and highly informative blog entitled New Politics. This post from January discusses the authoritarian nationalist turn in world politics and the vital importance of liberalism in countering this threat. His writing is lucid, compelling, and very well-informed by lessons from history.

Although the post is more about politics than economics, from a political economy perspective, the two are more useful when analysed together. In modern capitalist economies, the role of the state is inseparable from other institutions such as the rule of law and the market.

The debate over economic policy should be thoroughly exercised in the public realm of a healthy democracy. This requires well-educated citizens open to engaging critically in such a debate, allowing space for diversity and pluralism without dictating their terms. Intolerance is present in elements of both left and right and is contrary to the liberal perspective. Continue reading

Michael Hudson on Junk Economics

More below from Michael Hudson‘s J is for Junk Economics, the major part of which is a dictionary of ideas from economics, political economy and beyond which aims to be ‘a guide to reality in an age of deception’. Hudson draws on an eclectic mix of sources to argue his case; among them, the classical political economy of Smith and Ricardo, the institutionalism of Veblen, post-Keynesianism and the little-known American School of Political Economy. He remains an independent, iconoclastic and provocative thinker and his work deserves a wide audience. Continue reading

Austerity and Germany’s Social Democrats – via econoblog101

Many of my European friends ask me about Martin Schulz and the success of social-democrats at the polls. Since they are progressive, they hope for reforms in the eurozone to curb mass unemployment, stellar youth unemployment and social problems that exist in many crisis countries. I always had my doubts if Martin Schulz was the […]

via … and austerity for all! (Martin Schulz reloaded) — econoblog101

Varoufakis: the Eurogroup is a bit like sausages

In this brief clip, former finance minister of Greece and ‘rock star’ economist Yanis Varoufakis describes the dysfunctional and undemocratic nature of the Eurogroup. Varoufakis is an entertaining speaker and is pushing for greater democracy in the EU with his Democracy in Europe Movement 2025 or DiEM25.

George Magnus: what can we learn from economic experts?

This thirteen minute TED talk by George Magnus explores the role of economists in an uncertain and changing world. In particular, he discusses the importance of the political, and suggests that economics courses should focus less on mathematics and modelling and more on economic history, the history of economic thought and politics. It is well worth a listen.

The difficulty of industrial policy in developing countries

My former tutor, SOAS Professor Mushtaq Khan, on the difficulty of industrial policies in developing countries. Political, economic and technological conditions are specific to each country and to different stages of development, and this should be borne in mind when designing and implementing such policies, if they are to have a good chance of success. Such an outcome is badly needed to help the poorest on our planet improve their situation.