I was heartened by a piece in the Guardian a week or two ago – Economics students aim to tear up free-market syllabus – not least because it is reflective of my own second year economics module (which will be retitled New Directions in Economics for 2014/15). Whilst student revolt at orthodox economics is not new (it can be, for instance, traced back to around 2000 with French and then Cambridge students), its reoccurrence is healthy for the discipline.
The spokesperson for Manchester quoted in the article as saying “economics teaching at Manchester “focuses on mainstream approaches, reflecting the current state of the discipline”" is missing the point – that economics is not just the orthodoxy and ignoring the new directions consequently does not ‘reflect the current state of the discipline’.
In s similar vein, I was recently sent an inspection copy of a new economics textbook by a publisher (it shall remain anonymous) and I was pretty appalled by the complete lack of recognition of any of the areas of economics I feel to be interesting and relevant. So, nothing on behavioural economics, nothing on ethics and economics, nothing on network economics and IP, nothing on ecological economics… and so on. Economics tends to be in denial about the necessity for change, and it will take quite a lot to make that happen – but the post-crash economics society is good prompt.