1st Edition

Mapping Mainstream Economics Genealogical Foundations of Alternativity

    88 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    88 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Mapping Mainstream Economics: Genealogical Foundations of Alternativity seeks to establish a definition of the mainstream economics, and by extension the alternatives to it, by adopting a genealogical approach: tracing the methodological development of the economic mainstream through its ancestry, which allows for a definition of the mainstream that is separate from politically charged categories or gridlocked academic arguments between received schools of thought.

    The book follows the evolution of the economic mainstream through four major transformations of the discipline: from political to analytical economics, debates around a logical empiricist economics, the consolidation of neoclassical economics, and the recent expansion of the mainstream. For each of these steps, the key point of departure is explored, illustrated through the work of leading authors at the time. Thus, the book draws on recent research from the history of economic thought and debates the crucial role of historic concepts of economics for alternativity in the field. To put the approach into practice, it examines the relation between today’s mainstream economics and two of its alternatives: ecological economics and degrowth. Finally, the book reflects on recent exciting developments in the discourse on alternativity and sheds light on some distant relatives of today’s mainstream. This book marks a significant contribution to the literature on the debates around the state and nature of mainstream, alternative, and heterodox economics.

    01: Introduction. A genealogical approach to alternativity
    02: Today’s mainstream in four genealogical steps
    03. Genealogical Outlook: After today’s mainstream
    04. Application contexts
    05. Conclusion


    Georg N. Schäfer is a doctoral candidate of sociology at Friedrich Schiller University Jena and the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science. His PhD project, which will inquire into the role of modern economic activity in the genesis of the Anthropocene, links his research interest in the history of ideas and knowledge, the history of economic thought, environmental history, and the human geological epoch. He is also an associated researcher with the Institut für Wirtschaftsgestaltung, Berlin.

    Sören E. Schuster is a doctoral candidate of philosophy at Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg. His research pursuits at the Institut für Wirtschaftsgestaltung in Berlin include philosophy of economics, history of economic thought, philosophy of management, and Friedrich Nietzsche.