Critical Political Economy: Complexity, Rationality, and the Logic of Post-orthodox Pluralism

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Routledge, 2008 - Business & Economics - 327 pages
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This book asks how a more liberating economics could be constructed and taught. It suggests that if economists today are serious about emancipation and empowerment, they will have to radically change their conception about what it means for a citizen to act rationally in a complex society.

Arnsperger emphasises that current economics neglects an important fact: Many of us ask not only 'what's in it for us', within a given socio-economic context; we also care about the context itself. The author argues that if citizens keen on exercising their critical reason actually demanded economic theories that allowed them to do so, economics would have to become a constantly emerging, open-ended knowledge process. He claims that in a truly free economy, there would be no all-out war between 'orthodox' and 'heterodox' approaches, but an intricate and unpredictable 'post-orthodox' pluralism that would emerge from the citizens' own complex interactions.

Offering an original and path-breaking combination of insights from Hayek, the theory of complexity, and the Frankfurt School of social criticism, Arnsperger discusses how such a free economy would generate its specific brand of economics, called 'Critical Political Economy'

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About the author (2008)

Christian Arnsperger is Senior Research Fellow with the Belgian National Science Foundation (FRS-FRNS) and Associate Professor at the University of Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium.

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