Reteaching Economics: Boom Bust Boom
The movement for pluralism in economics, including pedagogical pluralism, has inspired a group of enthusiastic early-career economics lecturers in the UK to constitute a new group/network committed to introducing pluralism in economics: Reteaching Economics (http://reteacheconomics.org, @ReteachEcon)
The group has the objective of contributing towards the change of economics curriculum through a combination of both scholarly and institutional activities or activism. The group is interested in supporting the student movement in the UK that is campaigning for the introduction of theoretical and methodological pluralism within the teaching of economics. Objectives include the introduction of new courses covering areas such as the Methodology and Philosophy of Social Sciences, and the reintroduction of courses in the History of Economic Thought. Equally important are the institutional requirements that must be met for the progress of economics as a profession and discipline. To this end there are, among other things: i) work undertaken in small groups for the reform of QAA (the Quality Assurance Agency, which influences the content of the economics teaching throughout UK); ii) action to reform of the Research Excellence framework; and iii) the organisation of workshops and events that popularise the meaning of pluralism.
a combination of lighthearted humour and serious commentary, reveals our unstable economic system and explains why crashes happen.
The official launch of the network took place on 21st of March 2015 and coincided with the private viewing of the film Boom Bust Boom, produced by Terry Jones and Ben Timlett with economics input from Professor Theo Kocken, University of Amsterdam and contributions from many others. The event was open to students, academic economists, journalists, politicians, and activists. It was organised at by Ioana Negru and Robert Jump at the School of Oriental and African Studies. They are members of the Economics Department and of Reteaching Economics. The Economics Department at SOAS has a long and established tradition in teaching Political Economy and alternative perspectives such as Institutional Economics, Post-Keynesian Economics and Marxian Economics. The film was inspired by discussions between Terry Jones and economics students regarding the poor, non-pluralistic education that economics students receive and the responsibility of the economics profession for the sort of thinking which was a major factor in the economic crisis.
The film attempts to look at the current financial crisis and the current state of the economy. It poses an important question from the outset: Why do economic and financial crises keep occurring? Whilst representing a critique of capitalism that discusses a history of crises, the film suggests two essential solutions for the current economic situation: the need to redesign the current financial system and the need to re-educate economists in the spirit of responsibility. We at Reteaching could not agree more.
From: p.14 of World Economics Association Newsletter 5(2), April 2015