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Heterodox Political Economy Specialization and Interconnection - Concepts of Contradiction, Heterogeneous Agents, Uneven Development


  • Phillip Anthony O’Hara

    () (Global Political Economy Research Unit (GPERU), Department of Economics, Curtin University)


This paper extends the analysis presented by Marc Lavoie in this journal about the relationship between the major schools of heterodox political economy. We argue that the evolution of heterodoxy over the past four decades has seen both specialization and interconnection. The specialization has enabled a degree of detailed analysis of concepts, such as class, demand, institution, innovation, gender, ecology and development. Interconnections between the schools also developed from an early stage. With both forces operating, the specialization promotes clarity of perception and depth of analysis, while the association enables this perception and depth to be linked between the schools. This has led to a degree of cross-fertilisation of themes to form broad concepts. Three such broad concepts are examined that are emerging and link aspects of different schools: contradiction, heterogeneous agents, and uneven development. These broad concepts are important for comprehending the social, institutional and historical forces of political economy, and for linking themes from the various schools of heterodoxy.

Suggested Citation

  • Phillip Anthony O’Hara, 2007. "Heterodox Political Economy Specialization and Interconnection - Concepts of Contradiction, Heterogeneous Agents, Uneven Development," European Journal of Economics and Economic Policies: Intervention, Edward Elgar Publishing, vol. 4(1), pages 99-120.
  • Handle: RePEc:elg:ejeepi:v:4:y:2007:i:1:p:99-120

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    Cited by:

    1. O'Hara, Phillip Anthony, 2009. "Political economy of climate change, ecological destruction and uneven development," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 223-234, December.

    More about this item


    schools of heterodox political economy; specialization; association; concepts; contradiction; heterogeneous agents; uneven development;

    JEL classification:

    • B5 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches
    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification


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