Economics can be pretty boring. Drier than Death Valley, the discipline is obsessed with mathematics and compounds this by arrogantly assuming its techniques can be brought to bear on the other social sciences. It wasn't going to be long, therefore, before students started complaining. The vast majority have voted with their feet and signed up for business and management degrees, but in the past two years there has grown an important new movement that has decided to tackle those who think they run economics head-on. This is the Post-autistic Economics Network. The PAE Network started in France and has spread first to Cambridge and then other parts of the world. The name derives from the fact that mainstream economics has been accused of institutional autism ie. qualitative impairment of social interaction, failure to develop peer relationships and lack of emotional and social reciprocity. In short, economics has lost touch with reality and has become way too abstract.
This book charts the impact the PAE Network has had so far and constitutes a manifesto for a different kind of economics - it features key contributions from all the major voices in heterodox economics including Tony Lawson, Deirdre McCloskey, Geoff Hodgson, Sheila Dow and Warren Samuels.