What is this thing called ‘heterodox economics’?
This paper conducts a type of meta-analysis of a sample of commentaries on heterodox economics, also drawing on biological literature and other treatments of classification. The paper contrasts what might be called a ‘classical’ category with a ‘modern’ category and then analyses treatments of HE as a category. It is argued that though HE appears to be a complex object – and that authors recognise this – HE as a category is most often classical even though modern would appear more appropriate. That this is the case may reflect choices of levels of abstraction which in turn reflect instrumental purposes of influencing the reality of Economics. While arguments for the rejection of HE as a category are too strong, current treatments of HE are perhaps not careful enough in recognising its provisional and fluid nature. The paper considers these issues in turn.
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