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

By Derrick K. Gondwe | Go to book overview

3
Ideology in Political Economy

It should be clear from the first chapter that neoclassical economics has been portrayed as a value-free science since Alfred Marshall Principles of Economics. As we have seen, a social science cannot be value-free by its very nature. In fact, a value-free social science, if it could be devised, would necessarily be socially irrelevant. This does not mean that the use of economic theory in a value-free framework should be discarded. Useful economic analysis has been done using this framework. The point is that neoclassical economics has adopted this framework as the one and only legitimate framework. It is not surprising, therefore, that the more neoclassical economists have tried to divorce themselves from social value systems, the more socially irrelevant they have appeared to be. The problem is that economic and social problems are too closely interrelated to be analyzed independently of each other. In other words, it is impossible to find a purely economic answer to an economic problem. Economic answers will always have social implications. Ignoring the social ramifications and implications of economic issues is a serious flaw in neoclassical analysis. However, as any economist will assert, taking openly subjective issues into the study of economics puts us squarely in the field of political economy. It is in this field where we cannot even assume away the role played by ideology.

The term ideology may mean different things to different people, and this can complicate whatever one might want to say about it. To some, it

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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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