The Political Process and Economic Change

The Political Process and Economic Change

The Political Process and Economic Change

The Political Process and Economic Change

Synopsis

"Political economy is coming of age again, thanks to studies such as this.. References and index are abundant and useful... Useful from lower division undergraduate level onward." - CHOICE

Excerpt

What is meant by contemporary political economy? Because this is the first in a series of works in contemporary political economy and because the area of study itself is becoming increasingly important in both political science and economics, the concept of contemporary political economy as a field should be addressed directly.

A subject with a long and varied past, political economy originally referred to classical economic theory as developed by Adam Smith, David Ricardo, and the Parson Malthus. Since then, the intellectual and political upheavals in social science have greatly distorted political economy as a discipline separate from political science and economics. Few schools in the United States offer separate PhDs in political economy. There is no one journal of political economy accepted as the definitive one in the field. The subject evokes much emotion but little agreement concerning the proper nature of the study of political economy.

The unifying concept in this series is political economy as the systematic analysis of the interaction between the political and economic systems. It is a nonideological concept, one which includes analysis of theories of political economy ranging from the Marxist to the public choice orientation. The method of analysis, however, is that of the exact sciences rather than the Marxist concept of science. The emphasis is on systematic works of both a theoretical nature and those which model and empirically examine theoretical concepts, especially in cross-cultural and cross-national comparisons. To provide adequate understanding of the field for the undergraduate or nonprofessional student of political economy and to introduce the professional reader to the concept of this particular series, the introductory chapter of this volume traces the development of political economy as a discipline and discusses the particular contribution of the work offered in the following chapters.

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