In the last half century, economics has taken over from anthropology the role of drawing the powerful conceptual worldviews that organize knowledge and inform policy in both domestic and international contexts. Until now however, the colonial roots of economic theory have remained relatively unstudied. This book changes that.
The wide array of contributions to this book draw on the rapidly growing body of postcolonial studies to critique both orthodox and heterodox economics. This book addresses a large gap in postcolonial studies, which lacks the type of sophisticated analysis of economic questions that it displays in its analysis of culture. The intellectual and disciplinary terrain covered within this book spans economics, history, anthropology, philosophy, literary theory, political science and women's studies.
Part 1. The Space of Postcoloniality Part 2. Economics as a Colonial Discourse of Modernity Part 3. Economics as a Contemporary Hegemonic Discourse Part 4. Toward a Non-Modernist Economic Analysis
Social Theory is experiencing something of a revival within economics. Critical analyses of the particular nature of the subject matter of social studies and of the types of method, categories and modes of explanation that can legitimately be endorsed for the scientific study of social objects, are re-emerging. Economists are again addressing such issues as the relationship between agency and structure, between economy and the rest of society, and between the enquirer and the object of enquiry. There is a renewed interest in elaborating basic categories such as causation, competition, culture, discrimination, evolution, money, need, order, organization, power probability, process, rationality, technology, time, truth, uncertainty, value etc.
The objective for this series is to facilitate this revival further. In contemporary economics the label “theory” has been appropriated by a group that confines itself to largely asocial, ahistorical, mathematical “modelling”. Economics as Social Theory thus reclaims the “Theory” label, offering a platform for alternative rigorous, but broader and more critical conceptions of theorizing.