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Readings in Political Economy

Readings in Political Economy
Economy as a Social Science

George Argyrous & Frank Stilwell
ISBN: 9780734611437 / 978-0-7346-1143-7
Price: A$69.95 NZ$83.95 US$59.95
Binding: Softcover
Trim: 170 x 245 mm   378 pp 
Copyright: 2011

Economic ideas are influential in restructuring society, for better or worse. An understanding of economics is important in the pursuit of progressive social change, even more than in the pursuit of personal enrichment.

Readings in Political Economy: Economics as a Social Science challenges the conventional wisdom of neoclassical economic theory found in most standard textbooks. It examines alternative analytical frameworks and draws on the insights provided by contemporary feminist and environmental movements. Since the release of the first edition in 1996 (and the second edition in 2003), this book has become a key text. This new edition provides up-to-date analysis of economic issues, grounded in the current social and political context.

This third edition of Readings in Political Economy: Economics as a Social Science updates a comprehensive collection of classical and contemporary readings in the field, written by leading local and international scholars. Some chapters have been written for the book by prominent economists; others are condensed versions of longer chapters and articles, abridged in order to highlight the key issues. All have been selected with a view to making the issues and ideas accessible to non-specialists who might otherwise shy away from the study of technical economic issues.

Key Features

Major sections explore:

  • Contemporary challenges: globalisation, inequality, economy-environment interactions and the ‘new economy’
  • Economy and society: market, state, class, gender, ethnicity, social capital, ideology Competing economic analyses: classical, neoclassical, Marxian, institutional, Keynesian and post-Keynesian
  • Modern challenges: green economics, feminist economics, rethinking economic development
  • The state and economic policies: what can governments do?
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Part I - Economy and society

Chapter 1 - Contemporary challenges
Chapter 2 - Economic and social order

Part II - Frameworks of economic analysis

Chapter 3 - What matters to economists?
Chapter 4 - Classical political economy
Chapter 5 - Marxist economics
Chapter 6 -  Neoclassical economics
Chapter 7 - Institutional economics
Chapter 8 - The economics of Keynes
Chapter 9 - Post-Keynesian economics
Part III - Alternative economic perspectives

Chapter 10 - Green economics
Chapter 11 - Feminist economics
Chapter 12 - Development for whom?
Chapter 13 - Behavioural economics

Part IV - From economic analysis to economic policy

Chapter 14 - The state and the economy
Chapter 15 - Current economic policy issues



George Argyrous
is Senior Lecturer in the School of Social Science and Policy at the University of NSW, Sydney. His research interests include the changing role of the state in the economy, the relation­ship between technological change and social change, and the re­lationship between the Labour market and the welfare system.

Frank Stilwell is Professor of Political Economy in the School of Economics and Political Science at the University of Sydney. He is author of Changing Track: A New Political Economic Direction for Australia (2000) and contributor to other books such as Serving the City (1999) and Stopping the Juggernaut (1999). 


Geoff Dow, James Clifton, Marilyn Waring, Steve Keen, Tony Aspromorgous, Julie Nelson, Peter Kriesler, Rhonda Sharp, Paul Sweezy, Peter Earl, Joseph Stiglitz, Susan Engel, Gunnar Myrdal, Jill Hewitson, Herbert Simon, John Quiggin, Michael Johnson, John Phillimore, Lynne Chester, Alan Morris, Jonathan West, Sharon Beder and John Kenneth Galbraith.