The Political Economy of Gunnar Myrdal

Transcending Dilemmas Post-2008

By Örjan Appelqvist

© 2013 – Routledge

150 pages

Purchasing Options:
Hardback: 9780415527149
pub: 2013-11-15
US Dollars$145.00

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About the Book

The intellectual trajectory of Gunnar Myrdal, Swedish Nobel Laureate economist, sociologist, and politician, brings us through many of the major issues in the world economy and politics of the 20th century. This new volume explores Myrdal's work on three major themes:

  • breaking away from conventional assumptions in Political Economy (and highlighting flaws that can still be found in today’s teachings on Political Economy);
  • finding ways of re-creating Europe after WW II, including the discussions between liberal Americans and European social democrats on how to create a more cooperative and socially just international order;
  • and understanding the impact or environmental concerns on growth and development, starting with Myrdal’s participation in the first UN Conference on Environment in Stockholm 1960 and continuing with his later writings.

What is then the relevance of these themes today? In times when financial crisis threatens to block international and domestic economies, when the European Union’s promises of prosperity and cooperation seems to be severely threatened and when there is a large consensus that current modes of economic development are ecologically unsustainable: can we find ways of transcending seemingly intractable dilemmas? These questions will be discussed in the final part of the book.

Table of Contents

Introduction Part I: Explaining Fundamentals in the Intellectual Development of Gunnar Myrdal 1. The Issue of Valuations in Science - and Economics 2. The Question of Time in Neo-classical Economics 3. The Basic Tendency of Markets: equilibrium or dynamics? 4. The role of the Public Sector in the Economy 5. Out of the War: planning for peace and welfare society Part II: Gunnar Myrdal and the International Economy 6. Forging the International Outlook During the War Bridge-Building and 'Organized Free Trade' 7. In the Economic Commission for Europe and Beyond: the functionalist civil service preparing for the future beyond stalemate 8. Rattling with Issues of Trade Theories and Development: from Columbia to Cairo 9. Modernization and the Internal Impediments to Development: South Asia in focus. 10. Challenge of World Poverty: back to American Creed? 11. Introducing Ecology into Economics: the UN Conference on Human Environment 1972 and beyond. 12. Myrdal, the internationalist disappointed: The urgency and impediments to international cooperation. 13. Values and Shortfalls in Myrdal's Outlook on Internatnional Affairs. Part III: Out of the European Dilemma? Using Myrdal's Ideas in the Post-2008 Landscape 14. The Dynamics of 2008 as Four Interlinked Circles 15. The Ecologic Crisis: the inexorable growth of the pressure on the ecological balance 16. Myrdal's approach as a tool in this new landscape? 17. The Pertinency of the Core Values of Myrdal: rationality, equality and democracy. 18. Transcending Myrdal: debt, credit and new growth paradigms 19. Between Morality and Realism: the ideas of Gunnar Myrdal in the new international political landscape.

About the Author

Örjan Appelqvist is an economic historian specialized in the early post-WWII economies of Sweden and Western Europe and on the intellectual heritage of Gunnar Myrdal. As Associate Professor of the Department of Economic History, University of Stockholm he developed its Courses in International Relations. He was one of the founding members of the Attac-movement in Sweden. Actually based in Paris he is participating in various networks of European heterodox economists favoring social and ecological concerns as basis for a renewal of economic thought.

About the Series

Routledge Frontiers of Political Economy

In recent years, there has been widespread criticism of mainstream economics. This has taken many forms, from methodological critiques of its excessive formalism, to concern about its failure to connect with many of the most pressing social issues. This series provides a forum for research which is developing alternative forms of economic analysis. Reclaiming the traditional 'political economy' title, it refrains from emphasising any single school of thought, but instead attempts to foster greater diversity within economics.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Economic History
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Economics / Theory
POLITICAL SCIENCE / History & Theory
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / Economic Policy