Imagining Economics Otherwise Encounters with Identity/Difference
It is possible to be ‘irrational’ without being ‘uneconomic’? What is the link between ‘Value’ and ‘values’? What do economists do when they ‘explain’? We live in times when the economic logic has become unquestionable and all-powerful so that our quotidian economic experiences are defined by their scientific construal. This book is the result of a multifaceted investigation into the nature of knowledge produced by economics, and the construction of the category that is termed ‘economic’ with its implied exclusions. It is an attempt to think economics Otherwise, that is, a questioning of economics as if difference mattered.
Nitasha Kaul re-examines certain understood ways of thinking about economics as a discipline, especially in elation to questions of identity and difference. This book explores the notion that economics is not a timeless, universal, objective science but a changing response to the problems of knowledge and administration. The epistemological inheritance of economics is ‘rooted’ in the enlightenment, and it also inherits the liberal paradoxes of that age. Kaul argues that the juxtaposition of identity with economic (culture/economy) is essential, and can only be achieved by critiquing establishment economists’ discourse on identity, and taking feminist poststructural and postcolonial work seriously. The author challenges the assumption that there is a simple linkage between the category economic, the entity economy and the study of economics. She envisions an economics in the plural: contextual, social, political—econo-mixes.
The book brings together some of the most urgent topics of the day—the power of economics as a discipline, the questions of difference and the politics of identity, and feminist perspectives on this. It will be particularly relevant to heterodox economists, feminist theorists, postcolonial studies scholars, social and cultural theorists, philosophers and history of ideas or intellectual history of thought scholars.