The Covid-19 pandemic is having multiple consequences for the global economy and society, including: opening up significant gaps between vaccination rates across countries; leading to a reversal in the decline of absolute global poverty (as measured by the standard World Bank minimum income indicators); slowing down global supply chains; stoking inflation in the old industrialised countries; leading to some reindustrialisation as the old industrialised countries seek to insure the supply of essential goods; a further eastward shift in the center of gravity of the global economy as growth in China has been more stable through the pandemic; and some more concern and action to fight climate change, etc.
Drawing on lessons from previous crises - notably the era of stagflation in the 1970s and the global financial crisis and Great Recession (2007-2009), this course seeks to examine some of the challenges ahead.
Other areas of political economy - defined here very basically as the interaction of politics and economics - will also be discussed in class, as shown in the programme below.
Students should note that the contents of the course will be subject to some change at the margins, to address priority issues as they unfold.
19 January 2022
What is Political Economy?
Wikipedia gives quite a good, broad definition of what Political Economy is. Academics are usually sceptical about Wikipedia, although some students have told me it is their most trusted source of information. Wikipedia does have the advantage of being permanently reviewed, and it is of course incredibly international. You can read more here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_economy
The following is a course outline of what we will look at in class, and more detail is given in the sections of this Epi below. These will be steadily amended during the semester, which lasts for twelve weeks. Each section will therefore be covered in two weeks. 1/ Economics in times of crisis:
is economics? What is capitalism? How do they respond to crises?
ii) The contribution of complexity theory to understanding crises: an introduction
Brief introductions to major shocks: World War II, the stagflation in the 1970s, the
global financial crisis (GFC, 2007-2009), and the Covid-crisis.
2/ The neoliberal paradigm
i) the primacy of monetary policy and the emergence of the Jackson Hole consensus;
ii) market deregulation, privatisation and the weakening of labour;
iii) New Public Management.
3/ The "Washington Consensus", the "End of history" and "varieties of capitalism"
i) From dependency theory and alternative development theories to the Washington Consensus.
ii) The "End of History" and the emergence of "varieties of capitalism" literature.
ii) New varieties of capitalism across the globe.
4/ Money, financial globalisation and financial crises
i) A return to the history and nature of money: the forgotten core of capitalism in the study of economics;
ii) The rise of global finance;
iiI) The 2007-2008 global financial crisis (GFC), "secular stagnation", the Covid-19 shock.
5/ The changing International Political Economy (IPE)
i) A review of the historical concepts of IPE (the American, British and radical schools);
ii) Dany Rodrik's "Globalisation Paradox";
iii) Brexit, Trump, Covid-19 and the new disorder.
6/ The contributions of some women economists
i) The challenges of inequality and global warming;
ii) Some possible avenues suggested by women economists;
iii) A brief introduction to feminist economics.