Contemporary Economic Theory

By Tsaliki, Persefoni | Capital & Class, Autumn 2001 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Contemporary Economic Theory

Tsaliki, Persefoni, Capital & Class

Contemporary Economic Theory Macmillan, 1999 ISBN 0-333-75362-3 L52.50

Reviewed by Persefoni Tsaliki

The slowdown in the economic activity that started in the early 1970s had two effects on the ideological level. First, it revealed the weaknesses of Keynesianism and, second, it created the necessary conditions for the appearance of the neoliberalism and the new classical economics. Neoliberalism attributes the causes of the economic recession to the malfunctioning of the markets caused by the excessive government intervention and blamed Keynesianism as the main factor responsible. It is ironic that Keynesianism, which once was held responsible for rescuing the market system from its deep crisis of 1930s and led to the `golden age' of capitalism, is nowadays considered a theory incapable of providing solutions to current economic problems. The neoliberal policy proposals actually undo Keynesian prescriptions as they all amount to the decrease in the size of the government.

This book includes articles and comments written by authors who seek to analyse current economic problems using alternative theoretical frameworks. This critical approach stems from the view shared by most of the authors that the neoclassical interpretation of economic phenomena lacks solid theoretical foundations.The book shows that there are radical economic theories, which not only propose an alternative theoretical framework to neoliberalism but also provide empirical analyses which display higher explanatory power than that of the neoclassical theory.

The book is divided into two parts. The first part contains articles that critically evaluate major neoclassical arguments and present and develop the elements of alternative theoretical frameworks.The second part of the book analyses the implications and future of the Economic and Monetary Integration of Europe.

In the first article, Andriana Vlachou and George Christou briefly discuss the basic microeconomic and macroeconomic principles of neoclassical economic theory, the foundation of neoliberalism and critically evaluate the main theoretical differences between alternative schools of economic thought. The article also provides an initial critical analysis of the effects of neoliberalism on European Integration. In the next article, Ben Fine argues that a general theory of privatisation cannot be developed because of the many country-specific socio-economic and historical features. He presents the UK experience and shows that privatisation usually benefits a small group of people and not society at large. In their comment, Stavros Mavroudeas and Lefteris Tsoulfidis argue that a theory on privatisation can be general and should rely on the analysis of the causes of falling profitability. Privatisation should be seen as one of the ways of government intervention to restore profitability in an economy.

In the third article, Richard Wolff takes a critical position towards the neoclassical theoretical concept of efficiency and argues that the analysis and solution of the problems of capitalist economy should be founded on theoretical grounds which recognise the class structure of society and the exploitation of labour. Anwar Shaikh, in his comment, emphasises that the class structure of the capitalist system formulates the economic behaviour of the system and not only the socio-political structure of it.

In the fourth article, Anwar Shaikh shows that the hypothetical inverse relationship between inflation and unemployment (Phillip's curve) cannot be established as a general historical relation.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Contemporary Economic Theory


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?