Political Economy, Ideology, and the Impact of Economics on the Third World

By Derrick K. Gondwe | Go to book overview

1
Introduction

This book will introduce you to the field of political economy. It is a much broader field than the conventional study of economics. Introductory textbooks in economics deal with what economists like to refer to as positive or scientific economics. In its scientific dress, economics either ignores many questions of political economy or relegates them to subsidiary chapters or subdisciplines. The reason for this is that mainstream economists (the majority of whom are classified as neoclassical economists) have long since decided that economics should be a "scientific" discipline, like the natural sciences such as physics, using the "scientific" method. The "scientific" method has usually translated into "quantitative" and the intensive use of mathematics. Hence, anything that cannot be quantified has been regarded at best as being on the periphery of economics. In other words, anything that involves value judgments has been regarded as being either outside the realm of economic inquiry or as of secondary importance.

The discipline now known as economics was once only a part of the broad field of political economy. However, we shall see in the following pages that, as the discipline evolved, economics became not only the main branch of political economy, but ultimately replaced political economy as the subject of study by mainstream economists. Today, political economy as political economy is studied only by the so-called radical economists (who actually call themselves political economists), and another group

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Political Economy, Ideology, and the Impact of Economics on the Third World
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • 1 - Introduction 1
  • 2 - The Transition from Political Economy to Economics 11
  • 3 - Ideology in Political Economy 31
  • 5 - Economics and the Political Economy of Less Developed Countries 93
  • Notes 115
  • 6 - Ideology and the Economics of Less Developed Countries 121
  • 7 - Toward a People-Centered Political Economy 151
  • Bibliography 177
  • Index 189
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