The students are revolting

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And good on them for it! Aca­d­e­m­ic econ­o­mists are ignor­ing or min­i­miz­ing the need for change, just as they did 40 years ago when I was one of the revolt­ing stu­dents. So stu­dents are tak­ing their demands to hear oth­er sto­ries read from oth­er than the Neo­clas­si­cal song­book to the streets–and the web and news­pa­pers.

Today 42 dif­fer­ent stu­dent groups around the world have launched the “Inter­na­tion­al Stu­dent Ini­tia­tive for Plu­ral­ism in Eco­nom­ics”. They have penned an Open Let­ter on the need for plu­ral­ism, which will be pub­lished in a num­ber of news­pa­pers today–May 5th 2014. The open­ing para­graph of the let­ter is (with two points high­light­ed in ital­ics):

It is not only the world econ­o­my that is in cri­sis. The teach­ing of eco­nom­ics is in cri­sis too, and this cri­sis has con­se­quences far beyond the uni­ver­si­ty walls. What is taught shapes the minds of the next gen­er­a­tion of pol­i­cy­mak­ers, and there­fore shapes the soci­eties we live in. We, 42 asso­ci­a­tions of eco­nom­ics stu­dents from 19 dif­fer­ent coun­tries, believe it is time to recon­sid­er the way eco­nom­ics is taught. We are dis­sat­is­fied with the dra­mat­ic nar­row­ing of the cur­ricu­lum that has tak­en place over the last cou­ple of decades. This lack of intel­lec­tu­al diver­si­ty does not only restrain edu­ca­tion and research. It lim­its our abil­i­ty to con­tend with the mul­ti­di­men­sion­al chal­lenges of the 21st cen­tu­ry — from finan­cial sta­bil­i­ty, to food secu­ri­ty and cli­mate change. The real world should be brought back into the class­room, as well as debate and a plu­ral­ism of the­o­ries and meth­ods. This will help renew the dis­ci­pline and ulti­mate­ly cre­ate a space in which solu­tions to society’s prob­lems can be gen­er­at­ed.

Click here to read the rest of the let­ter,

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About Steve Keen

I am Professor of Economics and Head of Economics, History and Politics at Kingston University London, and a long time critic of conventional economic thought. As well as attacking mainstream thought in Debunking Economics, I am also developing an alternative dynamic approach to economic modelling. The key issue I am tackling here is the prospect for a debt-deflation on the back of the enormous private debts accumulated globally, and our very low rate of inflation.