imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Mainstream Economics: Monocultures at the University

by Lena Kaiser Monday, Jun. 16, 2014 at 4:21 AM

The "Plural Economics Network" challenges breaking through the monoculture and intellectual one-sidedness in economics...Instead of viewing our varied social problems from different perspectives, all the answers are derived from very similar models.


Interview with activist Lena Kaiser

[The methods and contents of economics taught at universities – one-sided, rigid and false – increasingly trigger protest among students. In Germany the “Plural Economics Network” rebels against the dominance of neoclassical models and methods and demands a return to theory diversity. In conversation with Studis Online, activist Lena Kaiser criticizes blind trust in seeming laws, lack of interdisciplinarity and foreignness to the world in the lecture hall. A beginning of improvement is underway. That is her firm conviction. This interview is translated from the German on the Internet.}

Studis Online: The “Plural Economics Network” challenges breaking through the monoculture and intellectual one-sidedness in economics. “Emphasizing the great variety of economic theories” should be the goal, setting the solution of real problems in the foreground and promoting self-criticism, reflection and openness in economics.” What do you criticize in how economics is taught at the universities?

Our interview partner Lena Kaiser is studying political theory in Frankfurt after sailing through her Bachelors in economics and philosophy in Mannheim. She is engaged in the “Plural Economics Network.” [] and is a founding member of the “International Student Initiative for Pluralism in Economics” (ISIPE) http://www.isipe.net_.

Lena Kaiser: The main problem of economics for us is its one-sidedness. Almost only neoclassical theories and quantitative methods come up at the university. Interdisciplinarity is cut short. Instead of viewing our varied social problems from different perspectives, all the answers are derived from very similar models whose validity is rarely questioned critically. Apart from that, a reflection on the connection of current problems with the theories and models of the lecture hall is blocked. In the best case, current events are moved to a “special session.”

Take the so-called Euro-crisis as an example. Is it a theme in German lecture halls?

When I began my study in 2008, the US investment bank Lehman Brothers went bankrupt in the second week of lectures. Since then the economic crisis has been a permanent condition. In the textbooks, deregulated markets, growing economies and balanced state budgets are still stressed. In my interdisciplinary master’s study, I enrolled in a seminar on monetary policy in the Eurozone with an Italian co-worker of the European Central Bank. This seminar was excellent. Unfortunately such a seminar is not also offered for undergraduate students.

On the other hand, dealing with the Euro-crisis is a classic example of how the alleged crisis management intensifies economic and social problems more than contributes to their solution. Is there something like a cardinal error of the prevailing theory?

Far be it from me to identify a cardinal error in theory as to the Euro-crisis. The crisis is much too complex. The problem is rather than the economy is only described from a certain perspective. Social phenomena like the economy are multilayered and dependent on the context. For a good analysis, we need many perspectives and not blind trust in inherent universally-applicable laws.

Concretely, the so-called Greece bailout, runs according to the pattern of forcing state indebtedness through enormous cuts in state spending and employment. Wage cuts and limited employee rights should entice investors and get the economy back on its feet. The therapy does not bring any healing but leads to even greater unemployment and poverty. What is the problem in your opinion?

Interests always stand behind political decisions and are often legitimated with scientific studies. If different academic approaches were prominently presented, citizens would hardly think there are no alternatives to current policies.

Many understand what you call neoclassicism under the swearword “neoliberalism.” For the political left, the line of thinking exported to Europe by the Chicago school in the 1970s is nothing but a political-economic-cultural regime to make the rich richer and the poor poorer. Do you share this interpretation?


Yes. Neoclassicism is not neoliberalism. Neoliberalism as a history of ideas category includes more than the Chicago school. For example, Walter Eucken, the founder of the social market economy, also understood himself as a neoliberal. Our interest turns more on students’ opportunity to critically argue with combative political terms rather than identify with them. The great variety in theory in the history of ideas and in political theory in economic courses of study is crucial because power and distribution questions are blind spots in neoclassicism.

What do you think of Marxism? Is Marxism part of the great variety that you urge for economics?

We do not recognize any special approaches, not even for Marxism. As is clear from our call [], we stand for pluralism, for a great variety of different approaches. This includes Marxism and its variants as well as neoclassicism, the Austrian school, ecological economics and post-Keynesianism.

Our concerns are non-partisan. What unites us is criticism of the intellectual monoculture in economics and the conviction that a great variety of economic theories and methods would benefit the scholarliness of the discipline and our society.

What theories and methods would you ban from lecture halls?

We would not ban anything. However neoclassical approaches are over-represented in present-day economics. Therefore we would reduce its share in favor of other approaches. In addition economics must be understood again as a social science. To understand complex sociological problems, cooperation with other disciplines is necessary. Political science, philosophy and ethnology are a few examples, not only psychology in behavioral economics.

How promising is that where neoclassicism is practically a one-man show today in universities and economic institutes?

Through the call, the attent6ion of a broad worldwide public is focused on the theme and its social relevance. This is a necessary prerequisite for changing present conditions. In the meantime we are 65 groups from 30 countries. In Germany, the call is supported by German expert conferences of economics and the social sciences representing 700,000 students. The European Student Union that speaks for several million students supports us. A first step has been taken.

Thus the mainstream economics monoculture and the general disappearance of critical thinking are not typical German phenomena.

Students miss great variety in methods and theories everywhere in the world from Chile to India.

Are you supported by teachers? Are there lecturers and professors who embody a different thinking than the dominant approach?

We experience much openness and encouragement in conversations with lecturers and professors. Many scholars use and apply alternative theories and methods. Unfortunately very few successfully survive at prominent universities.

How satisfied are you with the degree of attention given to your theme in the media?

We are glad the media report about us like Spiegel Online and especially the detailed reporting in the Sueddeutschen Zeitung newspaper, DIE ZEIT, the Financial Times and in the Guardian. The debate about the new orientation of mainstream economics is finally carried out in the public.

What will you be doing in the near future? What activities are on the horizon in the coming weeks and months?

We will bring the buoyancy from the global call into our local work in university groups. We have received much encouragement and cooperation offers from institutes, academics and student groups to whom we are now devoted. This continues on the international plane. In the past we only knew activists from other countries from telephone conversations and writer correspondences. We plan conferences in London and Tubingen to come to know one another. We are really beginning.

Report this post as:

Local News


lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 6:38PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights M01 6:28PM

What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It M01 3:30PM

Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down F14 2:44PM

Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29 F13 12:51PM

Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf F13 11:04AM

Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development F12 8:51AM

Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine F09 10:25PM

Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents F09 7:14PM

Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters F07 9:50AM

City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre F04 3:17PM

Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling F04 12:42PM

Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present F04 10:52AM

Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police F03 11:11PM

LA Times Homicide Report F03 1:57PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

The Shortwave Report 04/20/18 Listen Globally! A19 4:01PM

The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder A19 11:48AM

Neurogenèse involutive A18 9:21AM

Paraphysique de la dictature étatique A16 10:13AM

Book Review: "The New Bonapartists" A16 3:45AM

The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia A14 12:25PM

Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine A14 3:30AM

The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally! A12 3:50PM

“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize! A12 3:48PM

The World Dependent on Central Banks A12 4:43AM

Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine A11 9:40PM

March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update A10 10:52PM

Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel A10 3:33PM

ICE contract with license plate reader company A10 1:14PM

Palimpseste sisyphéen A09 11:23PM

Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes A09 5:32AM

Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges A09 4:18AM

Prosecutors treat Muslims harsher than non-Muslims for the same crimes A08 10:33PM

Amy Goodman interview on cell phone safety A08 10:29PM

Mesa, Arizona police officer kills unarmed white man A08 9:50PM

Israeli leaders should be prosecuted for war crimes A08 9:48PM

Paraphysique de l'autorité A08 12:11AM

Two Podcasts on fbi corruption A06 10:13PM

Fbi assassins assault & try to kill DAVID ATKINS A06 7:29PM

EPA Head Scott Pruitt: Of Cages And Sirens A06 2:15PM

The Shortwave Report 04/06/18 Listen Globally! A05 4:25PM

Nicaraguas Conflic with native Peoples on the Caribbean Coast Near Bluefields in Decade80 A05 12:14PM

Millions Boycott The Sponsors Of Laura Ingraham A05 11:36AM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy