Current Issue, No. 162 | April 14, 2014

From the Editor

While George Soros' "Institute for New Economic Thinking" (INET) once ago set out to transform economics into a more critical, and possibly even more diverse field of study, recent developments have cast doubt on its potential contribution to these aims. While much of INET has an appeal of openness, in some parts mainstream closures are visible and possibly stronger than expected by some of those opting for a more fundamental transformation of the discipline. An example for such closure is provided by a recent report of the Association of Heterodox Economics (AHE) on one of INET's main projects labelled CORE (Curriculum Open-Access Resources in Economics). The CORE project should be a very basic introduction to economic problems and an economic way of thinking and has, according to the AHE, a certain bias with regard to established views. Here is a quote from the report:

"Our concern is that the CORE project seems unlikely to achieve any of these [aims]. As such, the positive potential of INET has, by its adoption of CORE, been closed down. What began as recognition of fundamental problems that require fundamental change has become a more modest set of alterations. An initial recognition of failure within economics is being translated into a context of relative success, requiring more limited changes and providing no serious challenge to the present monoculture of mainstream economics: it is a matter of change which leaves the dominant paradigm unchanged."

To be sure, this finding does in no way imply that all of INET's efforts are eventually problematic from a pluralist perspective, but I have the impression the AHE makes an important case in this particular context.

All the Best!