1st Edition

Political Economy

By Sarah Comyn Copyright 2025
    88 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Providing a ‘short take’ on the long history of political economy, this book examines both the stories about and those within economics.  It traces the history of political economy from its beginnings in the Scottish Enlightenment; through its disciplinary demarcation as a science in the nineteenth century that saw its differentiation from literary, aesthetic, and moral discourses; and its emergence as the ‘amoral’ market-driven neoliberalism that dominates economic theories and policies today.

    In exploring the long history of economic thought, it examines and challenges both Enlightenment and contemporary grand narratives such as the stadial theory of progress, the ‘Great Divergence’ and the ‘Great Convergence’ that have divided the world into global norths and souths according to their economic advantages. It concludes with a study of currency as both a medium of monetary exchange and a term that denotes prevalence and acceptance to explore political economy’s continuous engagement with the problem of representing value through money. 

    Part of the series Short Takes on Long Views, this book will appeal to a traditional academic audience of scholars and students, and to a wider public audience of informed non-fiction readers interested in the long history of economics.

    Introduction. 1 Courting the Imagination. 2 Grand Economic Narratives. 3 Currency


    Sarah Comyn is an Assistant Professor and Ad Astra Fellow in the School of English, Drama and Film at University College Dublin. She is the author of Political Economy and the Novel (2018) and co-editor of Worlding the South (2021).