Heterodox Economics Newsletter

Issue 329 June 24, 2024 web pdf Heterodox Economics Directory

Throughout the last weeks we have been continuing our work on updating the Heterodox Economics Directory and added a revised collection of heterodox study programs to the current beta-version of the upcoming 7th edition. As usual, it would be great if you could check whether all heterodox programs you are involved with are covered and adequately described in this revision. We will put additional focus on this updating routine in the next weeks and hope to complete all this by the end of the summer. In this context, a special thanks goes to Niklas Klann, a member of our editorial team and an MA-student of socioeconomics in Duisburg, who showed a heroic effort in the last months to diligently update all aspects of the Directory.

Although somewhat repetitive in some instances, updating the Directory is in general an enjoyable task. However, there are some decisions or cases that reveal the inner tensions and trade-offs related to this editing process. One of our pillars is to be inclusive and, hence, try to represent heterodoxy in its full breadth. At the same time, we have to take into account that heterodox economists contest a dominant mainstream approach in economics, which creates additional difficulties. One such difficulty is that heterodox ideas are often reduced to their political underpinnings or implications, so that some parts of the audience may get the impression that heterodoxy is just a vehicle for certain political interests. Another is that heterodox economists have to contest mainstream economics in a differentiated way to not contribute to a general disillusionment in science. The latter point has become more forceful in recent years seeing a rise in the spread of misinformation in public debate. In sum, there is also a second variable to consider namely how the included journals, associations and the like represent heterodox economics as a credible scientific approach.

In most of these cases decisions are easy, because the large majority of work in heterodox economics is truly undogmatic and scientifically honest. But in some sad instances, I found that journals turned the wrong way with the Journal of Economic Surveys being an example of a journal, that has been kicked out of the Directory for implementing predatory strategies as has also been reported in a past editorial. A similar instance is the American Journal of Sociology and Economics (AJES), that till about a decade ago was edited by Fred Lee and published rather interesting papers, seems to have significantly decreased in terms of scientific quality and editorial care as evidenced by a just recently published paper that can be shortly summarized as climate denial. On this basis, we decided to discontinue coverage of the AJES in both, the Newsletter as well as the Directory.

While in the case of the Journal of Economic Surveys a key reason for exclusion is the undermining of the institutional routines necessary to ensure certain quality standards in scientific outputs, the case of the American Journal of Sociology and Economics is more clear-cut as such 'research' truly misrepresents core shared convictions on scientific rigor and integrity shared across all branches of heterodox thought.

Hope you agree and all the best,

Jakob

PS: On a related note I wanted to announce that the Newsletter will revert to 'northern hemisphere summer mode' in the next months, which means that new issues will be published every four weeks (instead of the usual three).

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