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Chapter in Bob Jessop and Karim Knio's Book, The Pedagogy of Economic, Political and Social Crises

Title: 'Vision and Ideology in Economic Theory: The Post-Crisis Persistence of Mainstream General Equilibrium Macroeconomics', in Bob Jessop and Karim Knio (eds) (2018) The Pedagogy of Economic, Political and Social Crises: Dynamics, Construals and Lessons, London: Routledge, pp. 105-120.

Extract from text: The problem facing mainstream macroeconomics is that competitive pricing dynamics are now treated as the norm on both sides of the Schumpeterian divide between vision and ideology. It is the assumption of competitive pricing dynamics that makes DSGE models thinkable in the first instance; it is their methodological condition of possibility. Yet this same assumption now routinely informs policy recommendations from DSGE modellers on how best to manage economic relations. What might originally have been merely a set of tools to guide attempts to make sense of the world in abstract terms have since become increasingly difficult to disentangle from the assertion that competitive pricing is essential to the efficient allocation of scarce resources in the modern economy. Initially, the assumption of continuous market-clearing dynamics was just a means of making the mathematics of a purely hypothetical general equilibrium model operable. Increasingly, however, this same assumption is invoked to justify remaking economic institutions and attitudes so that the world operates just like the model.

Sat 22 Sep 2018, 15:12 | Tags: book chapter, Routledge

Foreword to Robbie Shilliam's Race and the Undeserving Poor

Title: 'Foreword', in Robbie Shilliam (2018) Race and the Undeserving Poor: From Abolition to Brexit, Newcastle upon Tyne: Agenda Publishing.

Extract from text: The great merit to be found in Robbie Shilliam's book is just how clearly his voice comes across. He explores the lineage of repeated political attempts in Britain from the eighteenth century onwards to bracket off 'the deserving poor' from the broader category of 'the poor' in general. Some marker of difference must be called upon to distinguish those who do from those who do not merit political sympathy for their plight and state support to lessen their day-to-day grind of making ends meet. Shilliam shows that, often, the simple characteristic of what you look like was enough for a person of colour to be relegated from the deserving category. At other times, behaivoural traits became the means of differentiation, but assumptions relating to the propensity to display proscribed behaviour have been so frequently racialised that this symbol of exclusion has also been reduced to the issue of skin colour. Race and the Undeserving Poor demonstrates how practices of British working-class respectability have historically been inscribed with underlying images of whiteness.

Sun 08 Jul 2018, 15:56 | Tags: book chapter, Agenda, Columbia University Press

Introduction to the Reprinted Edition of Susan Strange's Casino Capitalism

Title: ‘Introduction’, in Susan Strange (2016 [1986]) Casino Capitalism, reprinted edition, Manchester: Manchester University Press, pp.vii-xviii.

Extract from text: For anyone who is returning to [Casino Capitalism] for the first time in a number of years, it is a delight to be reacquainted with the nuance of a historical perspective that emphasises the significance of decisions that could have been taken but were not, just as much as the decisions that were actually taken (pp.47-58). History thus comes alive as a highly politicised lens in Strange’s hands through the analysis of alternatives that were available but were overlooked simply because they did not fit the prevailing political mentality. For anyone coming to this work for the first time, there will consequently by many moments of revelation. Even though a self-consciously theoretical voice was so often written out of Strange’s work, younger generations of IPE scholars will find on repeated occasions that her texts speak to them in a language that helps to confirm their own subsequent theoretical choices. Strange’s ‘amateur history’ thus pre-empts a good deal of IPE’s future, in its concern for both the way in which the financial system was becoming a repository for political power and for how this made more and more people susceptible in their everyday lives to the whims of financial market pricing dynamics.

Wed 23 Aug 2017, 16:43 | Tags: book chapter

Book Chapter Published in Hay and Payne's Civic Capitalism

'What Has to be Civilized?', in Colin Hay and Anthony Payne (eds) (2015) Civic Capitalism, Cambridge: Polity Press, pp. 109-116.

Pre-print version available here.

Tue 17 Mar 2015, 18:38 | Tags: book chapter