Radical Political Economy: Explorations in Alternative Economic Analysis

By Victor D. Lippit | Go to book overview

Preface

In teaching courses on radical political economy, I have long felt the need for a collection of essays that would reveal the breadth and analytical sophistication of the field. I believe that the importance of radical political economy lies, above all, in affording alternative means of conceptualizing critical economic issues, in affording a framework for thinking about economic issues that conventional approaches to the discipline tend to foreclose. For a number of years I have been engaged in assembling such a volume, and this book is the result.

By situating economic issues in their broader social and institutional context, and through acknowledging the impact of factors like class structure and the role of the state, radical political economy provides a fresh perspective for thinking about economics. The emphasis in this book is on exploring the insights into economic and social issues that radical political economy affords. Most of the essays are reprints of journal articles and book chapters, but several have been written especially for this volume. The resulting collection is, I believe, distinctive in both its quality and scope.

I am indebted to many people for the realization of this project. Aziz Khan and Bob Pollin read portions of the manuscript, and I benefited greatly from their critical comments. Laurence Harris and Howard Sherman were gracious enough to prepare essays especially for this volume. My colleagues at the University of California, Riverside, have helped to create an environment in which alternative approaches to economic analysis could be freely explored, and my students, both undergraduate and graduate, have provided an ongoing stimulus to fresh thinking.

Sandy Schauer and Kathy Downey, both formerly with the Economics Department office, helped to free up my time for the preparation of this volume. Among the editors at M.E. Sharpe who worked with me, I am especially indebted to Michael Weber and Eileen Gaffney. Finally, this volume would not have been possible without the love, encouragement, and constant support of my wife Joyce.

Riverside, California October 1995

-xi-

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