Lecture Series in the Winter Term of 2019/20
Debates about economic theory are omnipresent. There is increasing doubt if complex economic relationships can be modelled precisely enough through rationality-based mathematical models. Dynamic equilibrium theory and prognoses have often been deficient to anticipate crises and upheavals in reality. This criticism is mostly brought forward by so called ‘heterodox’ or ‘pluralist’ economists, who have gained popularity and momentum in recent years. Even in public discourse, questions about a new economic order have become more present. Nonetheless, the progress made in research and the debates amongst scholars are not taught to undergraduate students of economics. It is often said that new students firstly need to learn the ‘basics’ before they can participate in controversial discussions. Lectures presenting different schools of thought, the history and emergence of economic thought and heterodox perspectives are mostly postponed to graduate studies – or not taught at all.
The lectures series by Rethinking Economics Tübingen wants to change this fact and start teaching a broad understanding of economics. What are the beginnings of the discipline and how did it depart from other social sciences? What can a philosophy of economics contribute to contemporary debates in the field? How many schools of thoughts do exist and what are their theoretical underpinnings? Are economic models the only way to do research for economists?
We want to show that studying economics can be much more than integral functions, time series and indifference curves and furthermore give a prospect to what economics courses can be: controversial, interdisciplinary, multi-perspective, diversified and in tune with the latest economic developments. The lecture series will present a broad array of perspectives that – from our point of view – belong in any undergraduate program and aims at proving how divers and pluralistic economics can and should be. The series starts with remains from the previous lecture series in the summer term of 2019 dealing with the topic of capitalism. We managed to win excellent speakers who could not attend in the past semester. They can show with their talks about capitalism how heterodox economics is connected to real-life processes and even the entire economic system. We continue the lecture series by exploring the various perspectives of economics: Starting with qualitative research methods, to a critical analysis of what the ‘blind spots’ of economics are and ending with an outlook on the future of pluralism in economics. Feminist economics, ecological economics, post-Keynesian economic and others are an integral part of the lecture series.