The Departments of Political Science and of Economics at the University of Helsinki recently held a seminar entitled “Economics: Challenges for Political, Philosophical and Historical Research”. The motivation was a reorganisation of the University that will combine these two Departments. The flyer for the seminar advertised it in the following manner:
This seminar, organized jointly by the Department of Political Science, Department of Economics and Centre of Excellence on Global Governance Research, will start with reflections on the role of economics and economic studies.
- Can we combine economics and politics through political economy?
- Have political and economic studies neglected history?
- How can different methodological tools be combined?
One of the contexts for the seminar is the creation of the new Department of Economic and Political Studies at the University of Helsinki. More generally, we hope to contribute to theoretical and political debates on how to explain recent and future changes in global capitalism.
I was invited to put the perspective of economists who are critical of neoclassical economics, while the perspective of those favourably disposed to this school of thought was put by Professor Vesa Kanniainen from the Department of Economics at the University of Helsinki. The other speakers were:
- Isabella Bakker, Professor of Political Science, York University;
- Susanna Fellman, Professor of Economic History, University of Helsinki;
- Uskali Mäki, Academy Professor of Philosophy, University of Helsinki; and
- Heikki Patomäki, Innovation Professor of Human Security, Globalizations and Global Institutions, RMIT University.
The seminar was chaired by Teivo Teivainen, Professor of World Politics, University of Helsinki.
I videotaped the talks, and also made an audio recording–the latter includes about an hour’s discussion that was not recorded on video (since my camera’s battery ran out). The presentations and the discussions should be of interest to anyone who is curious about the capacity of economics to reform itself in the light of the global financial crisis, and the failure of neoclassical economics to anticipate this event.
The recording is in three segments: from the introductions and opening address by Vesa to most of the way through my talk:Steve Keen’s Debtwatch Podcast
From the end of my talk to that by Uskali Mäki:Steve Keen’s Debtwatch Podcast
And from Uskali Mäki till the end of the speechesSteve Keen’s Debtwatch Podcast
Discussion then followed for roughly an hour; all the preceding speeches and this last hour of discussion is recorded in the following audio file:
The Powerpoint file for my presentation is available here.