What is the issue?
University economics education fails to equip graduates with the tools to be able to address the economic, social and environmental crises that we face. Instead, it leads students to think of the economy in narrow terms that ignore the real crises of our times. Every year over 10,000 economics students graduate from UK universities and fill the worlds of finance, business, policy making and regulation. Our curriculum review of 172 economics modules at seven UK universities illustrates that these students are taught one economic perspective as if it was universally established truth. Critical and independent thinking is almost non-existent and there is little or no history, ethics or philosophy.
Problems with economics are not limited to the classroom. Economics is construed as a “neutral” and “technical” issue which ordinary citizens cannot engage with; this justifies decisions which affect us all being made by small groups of technical and political elites without public engagement which in turn undermines democracy and leads to bad decision making.
What will this project try to achieve?
Rethinking Economics’ (RE) vision is of a world with just, resilient and sustainable economies in which citizens have the knowledge and confidence to be actively involved in economic discussion and decision making at every level of society. RE seeks to achieve this by building our network so that as the next generation of economists we can support each other to be the change we want to see. RE’s second aim is to equip future economists with the tools and motivation to build just, resilient and sustainable economies by campaigning for reforms in education and the discipline more broadly. RE’s third aim is to democratise economics: to make economic discussion and decision making more participatory and inclusive by providing public education in economics and campaigning for understandable, participatory economics in the media and politics.
Who might be interested in this project?
This project will be of interest to economics students, academics, economists, policy-makers, politicians, businesses, civil society, future generations and anyone who has ever wondered what ‘the economy’ actually is and how it relates to their life.