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1st Vienna Conference on Pluralism in Economics

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This April, Vienna played host to the highly anticipated and vastly successful 1st Vienna Conference on Pluralism in Economics. Worldwide dissatisfaction with conventional economic curriculums and mainstream economic policy have fueled student demands for pluralism and interdisciplinarity in economic thought. As a consequence, the last few years saw the emergence of numerous organizations and events that provide a platform for marginalized economic theories as well as dialogue within the economic profession. These efforts and developments largely shaped the backdrop for the conference in Vienna.

The conference organizers, including the Society for Pluralism in Economics, the student organization Roter Börsenkrach and the collective of women in Economics, VrauWL, had developed a rather unconventional program for their conference. Rather than grouping participants and lecturers into workshops by their respective school of economic thought, they chose to group according to economic topics, such as Living with our natural surroundings, Redistributing wealth & power and Financial markets and the role of money. This enabled participants in each workshop to discuss their respective topic and hear questions from multiple differentiated perspectives – Marxist, Post-Keynesian, Feminist, Monetarist, Behavioral, Neoclassical,philosophical, sociological, etc.

The 300 conference participants and lecturers from all over Europe left the conference wanting more and promising to attend the 2nd Vienna Conference on Pluralism in Economics. Evidently, dialogue between different economic schools of thought is feasible, useful and in high demand. This is the message that has to be communicated to economic institutions and decision makers worldwide.

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From: p.12 of World Economics Association Newsletter 5(3), June 2015


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