View Full Version : Political economy

06-28-11, 05:08 PM
political economy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_economy)

Political economy originally was the term for studying production, buying, and selling, and their relations with law, custom, and government, as well as with the distribution of national income and wealth, including through the budget process. Political economy originated in moral philosophy. It developed in the 18th century as the study of the economies of states, polities, hence political economy.

In the late nineteenth century, the term 'economics' came to replace 'political economy', coinciding with publication of an influential textbook by Alfred Marshall in 1890.[1] Earlier, William Stanley Jevons, a proponent of mathematical methods applied to the subject, advocated 'economics' for brevity and with the hope of the term becoming "the recognised name of a science."[2][3]


History of the term

Originally, political economy meant the study of the conditions under which production or consumption within limited parameters was organized in the nation-states. In this way, political economy expanded the emphasis of economics, which comes from the Greek oikos (meaning "home") and nomos (meaning "law" or "order"); thus political economy was meant to express the laws of production of wealth at the state level, just as economics was the ordering of the home. The phrase économie politique (translated in English as political economy) first appeared in France in 1615 with the well known book by Antoine de Montchrétien: Traité de l’economie politique. French physiocrats, Adam Smith, David Ricardo and German philosopher and social theorist Karl Marx were some of the exponents of political economy. In 1805, Thomas Malthus became England's first professor of political economy, at the East India Company College, Haileybury, Hertfordshire. The world's first professorship in political economy was established in 1763 at the University of Vienna, Austria; Joseph von Sonnenfels was the first tenured professor.

In the United States, political economy first was taught at the College of William and Mary; in 1784 Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations was a required textbook.[5]

Glasgow University, where Smith was Professor of Logic and Moral Philosophy, changed the name of its Department of Political Economy to the Department of Economics (ostensibly to avoid confusing prospective undergraduates) in academic year 1997–1998, making the class of 1998 the last to be graduated with a Scottish Master of Arts degree in Political Economy.

Economics is a portion of political economy. Political economy is the root and it is subsumed by a wider field, moral philosophy.

Economics is what's left when you strip law, ethics, sociology, history, and psychology from political economy.

Economics originally focused on the ordering of the home and not the nation-state.

I've noticed with greater specialization, being able to see the forest seems to be less stressed with all the focus placed upon a few trees.

08-13-11, 12:06 PM
Perhaps this is one of many reasons why many in the Western world rail against Karl Marx.

Karl Marx was a very deep understudy of political economy.

Political economy has been phased out in the 20th century into a small sliver of itself, economics.