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Article
Publication date: 26 September 2008

Frederic S. Lee and Wolfram Elsner

The purpose of the “Introduction” is to provide the motivation and context for the articles of this special issue and an overview and summary of the contributions that follow.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the “Introduction” is to provide the motivation and context for the articles of this special issue and an overview and summary of the contributions that follow.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper provides an overview and summary of the contributions in the special issue.

Findings

It is argued that heterodoxies had gained a considerable and growing influence on research orientations, methodologies, and critical reflections, also on the mainstream publishing practices, even in the mainstream. This has been widely acknowledged as “hip heterodoxy” recently. Thus, many heterodox economists have developed optimistic expectations for the future of the profession. However, that influence has left the main mechanisms of reproduction of the mainstream untouched. These are mass teaching, public advising, journal policies, and faculty recruitment. Above that, the last decade has seen something like a “counterattack” to safeguard these mainstream reproduction mechanisms. The means used for this seem to be journal (and publisher) rankings based on purely quantitative citation measures and “impact factors”. These have an obvious cumulative “economies‐of‐scale” effect which triggers a tendency towards reinforcement and collective monopolization of the dominating orientation. Department rankings and individual faculty evaluations are then based on journals rankings. As a result, there are observable tendencies towards the cleansing of economics departments in a number of countries.

Originality/value

The paper also discusses potential reasons and methods for alternative approaches to measure citation interrelations, networks, cooperation, and rankings among heterodoxies (journals and departments), and for alternatives of publishing and the future of heterodoxies in general. Finally, it draws the picture of the present situation and the foreseeable future of heterodoxies as it emerges from the 11 contributions of the special issue.

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 16 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 November 2004

Wolfram Elsner

The paper starts from the increasing spatial and functional fragmentation of value‐added chains, global de‐regulation and dis‐embedding of “markets”, and interdependencies among…

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Abstract

The paper starts from the increasing spatial and functional fragmentation of value‐added chains, global de‐regulation and dis‐embedding of “markets”, and interdependencies among the Net‐based digital technologies. It develops a socio‐economic setting with ubiquitous direct interdependencies and interactions, Net‐externalities, “strategic” strong uncertainty, and omnipresent collective‐good and social‐dilemma problems. These entail co‐ordination failures, either in the form of conventional market failure (i.e. collective blockages of action) or of “wrong” or outmoded institutional co‐ordination and, thus, wide‐spread technological “lock‐ins” that are indicative of insufficient ability of collective action. This is particularly true for de‐regulated, individualistic cultures. In contrast, sustainable innovation, used in a broad, i.e. technological and institutional, sense, requires an effective collective action competence. This, in turn, requires a new and increased co‐ordination. Against this background, the global corporate economy has spontaneously developed private individualist substitute arrangements to cope with the new complexity, such as local clusters and hub‐and‐spoke networks, which all have severe shortcomings. With reference to what we call the “Linux” paradigm, the paper discusses the possibility of a spontaneous evolutionary, i.e. collectively learned, institutional co‐ordination through emergent collective action and networks with “good” governance. The paper argues that only a hybrid system that consists of “well‐governed” networks and a new approach towards more comprehensive and deliberate “interactive” and “institutional” public policy, supporting collective learning and emergent institutional co‐ordination, is capable of solving the complexity and co‐ordination problems of the “new” economy by increasing certainty, stability and more continuous and comprehensive innovation. This new policy approach is outlined at the end.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 31 no. 11/12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

Keywords

Content available

Abstract

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 29 no. 12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

Article
Publication date: 26 September 2008

Phillip Anthony O'Hara

This paper seeks to evaluate how some of the core general principles of heterodox political economy (HPE) can be applied to the issue of how HPE has managed to undergo resurgence

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to evaluate how some of the core general principles of heterodox political economy (HPE) can be applied to the issue of how HPE has managed to undergo resurgence and development over recent decades.

Design/methodology/approach

Four major principles of heterodoxy are applied successively to this issue: historical specificity; contradiction; heterogeneous agents and groups; and circular and cumulative causation.

Findings

These principles assist in comprehending how HPE is able to develop its own concepts, networks, publications, academic departments, teaching and policy‐relevant material.

Research limitations/implications

HPE has had considerable success in developing a conceptual apparatus, which helps to explain the emergence of much of its edifice being developed in academic and policy circles. The performance of HPE has been impressive.

Practical implications

The conceptual apparatus of heterodoxy can be applied to real world situations; specifically a component of world history over especially the past 40 years.

Originality/value

This is the first time such a theme has been explored in the literature.

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 16 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 26 September 2008

Arturo Hermann

The purpose of this paper is to outline the system of assessment of economics journals in Italy, with particular attention to its implications for the development of a heterodox

218

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to outline the system of assessment of economics journals in Italy, with particular attention to its implications for the development of a heterodox approach in economics.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper sketches the most important aspects of the Italian system of assessment of economics journals.

Findings

By employing the available sources of information, the main features of Italian periodical literature in social sciences are pin‐pointed. These consist of a large number of journals and, at the same time, there is an absence of ranking procedures for these journals based on impact factor criteria. Journals are mainly assessed through more “qualitative based” criteria: in particular, their scientific orientations, the standing of their Editorial Boards, and their level of diffusion among libraries. One important reason that might explain this trend lies in the blending of different strands of social thought that are at the heart of our cultural tradition. In fact, most such contributions have a distinct humanistic flair, which emphasizes the relevance of feelings, values and collective action in human experience.

Research limitations/implications

The paper stresses that this system of research assessment, while having the merit of preserving some pluralism in social sciences, does not guarantee in many cases a well‐defined evaluation of economics journals, research institutions and individual contributions.

Originality/value

The paper highlights the importance of fostering a pluralistic‐oriented research assessment that should take into account, through a comprehensive and participatory social value process, all the factors relevant for a thorough appraisal of scientific contributions.

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 16 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 26 September 2008

Marco Novarese and Christian Zimmermann

This paper seeks to study how the democratization of the diffusion of research through the internet could have helped non‐traditional fields of research.

510

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to study how the democratization of the diffusion of research through the internet could have helped non‐traditional fields of research.

Design/methodology/approach

The specific case the authors approach is heterodox economics as its pre‐prints are disseminated through NEP, the e‐mail alert service of RePEc.

Findings

Comparing heterodox and mainstream papers, the authors find that the heterodox are quite systematically more downloaded, and particularly so when considering downloads per subscriber.

Research limitations/implications

The authors conclude that the internet definitely helps heterodox research, also because other researchers get exposed to it. But there is still room for more participation by heterodox researchers.

Originality/value

The paper shows how RePEc and NEP try to pursue democracy and help in the dissemination of research. It also shows how heterodox communities can benefit and have benefited from this system, because they need new ways for disseminating research.

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 16 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 26 September 2008

Alan Freeman

This paper aims to make a submission to the UK's Economic and Social Research Council as part of its international benchmarking review of economics.

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to make a submission to the UK's Economic and Social Research Council as part of its international benchmarking review of economics.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach takes the form of a discussion of the health of economics in the UK from the perspective of heterodox or pluralist economists who are members of the Association for Heterodox Economics.

Findings

Research assessment based on peer review is damaging economics in the UK because, as currently conducted, it does not promote pluralism. This will lead to a monolithic discipline that will reject new and controversial ideas and arguments.

Practical implications

The current research assessment and subject benchmarking approaches must be completely changed so as to promote pluralism.

Originality/value

This is the first document by a heterodox economics association to challenge the research assessment and subject benchmarking conventions in the UK and also in Europe.

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 16 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 26 September 2008

Andriana Vlachou

The purpose of this paper is to present the past experience of ranking of journals and Economics departments in Greece.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present the past experience of ranking of journals and Economics departments in Greece.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper provides a critical assessment of rankings on heterodox economists in Greece.

Findings

Modeled after the Anglo‐American patterns, albeit unofficial, ranking had a detrimental impact on heterodox economics in terms of hiring and promotion, and of the subject content of academic programmes.

Research limitations/implications

This tendency is expected to continue and to be reinforced in the future with the upcoming standardized rankings. However, quality research assessment in higher education has been and still is being heavily disputed across Greek universities on academic, politico‐economic and social grounds.

Originality/value

This is the first critical assessment of rankings on heterodox economists in Greece.

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 16 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 26 September 2008

J.E. King and Peter Kriesler

This brief paper seeks to identify three potential threats to the future of heterodox economics in Australia.

249

Abstract

Purpose

This brief paper seeks to identify three potential threats to the future of heterodox economics in Australia.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper provides a case study of three potential threats to the future of heterodox economics in Australia.

Findings

The first comes from funding uncertainties, given the fiscal conservatism of the new federal government. The second emanates from attempts by the élite “group of eight” institutions to secure all (or almost all) of the available research funding for themselves. The third relates to the research assessment exercises currently being undertaken both by the federal government and by the management of individual universities. It is concluded that the future is very far from clear.

Originality/value

The paper provides a case study of three potential threats to the future of heterodox economics in Australia.

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 16 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 26 September 2008

Jack Reardon

The purpose of this paper is to empirically ascertain whether an ideological barrier to entry exists, preventing heterodox economists from publishing in mainstream journals.

417

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to empirically ascertain whether an ideological barrier to entry exists, preventing heterodox economists from publishing in mainstream journals.

Design/methodology/approach

The empirical results were obtained from a questionnaire asked of heterodox economists. The ten questions include where respondents submitted their research; their treatment by editors and referees; and whether an ideological barrier to publication exists.

Findings

The evidence overwhelmingly supports the existence of an ideological entry barrier. This barrier goes beyond the normal competitive nature of journal publishing, that is limited journal pages constricting the number of “good papers” that can be published, suggesting that there is an insidious ideological entry barrier preventing heterodox ideas from being published.

Originality/value

Based on this evidence, the last section proffers several research suggestions, including more sophisticated models predicting the likelihood of a heterodox economist submitting to a mainstream journal and the likelihood of acceptance. And, finally, several reforms are suggested including the adoption of a universal code of conduct for referees.

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 16 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

Keywords

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