For humane and responsible finances

Renewing research and teaching in finance, economics and management to better serve the common good – Published on Current Concerns, an Appeal of teachers and researchers, January 22, 2012.

1):

  • The authors of this appeal are deeply concerned that more than three years after the outbreak of the financial and macroeconomic crisis that highlighted the pitfalls, limitations, dangers and responsibilities of main-stream thought in economics, finance and management, the quasi-monopolistic position of such thought within the academic world nevertheless remains largely unchallenged.   
  • This situation reflects the institutional power that the unconditional proponents of main-stream thought continue to exert on university teaching and research.
  • This domination, propagated by the so-called top universities, dates back at least a quarter of a century and is effectively global. However, the very fact that this paradigm persists despite the current crisis, highlights the extent of its power and the dangerousness of its dogmatic character. Teachers and researchers, the signatories of the appeal, assert that this situation restricts the fecundity of research and teaching in economics, finance and management, diverting them as it does from issues critical to society.

2):

  • This appeal is public and international and may be seen as part of a broader framework of convergent initiatives.  Under current conditions, the academic world cannot be expected to train the open, innovative, responsible minds that are required for facing current and future challenges. This situation is restricted neither to Switzerland nor to Europe. Research on economics, finance, and management ought to contribute to the common good and avoid complacent analysis about the supposed benefits that the economic system may derive from of financialization of economic and social activities driven by the alleged benefits of financial innovation and speculation.

3): … //

… 7):

  • Conditions have to be created to make intellectual pluralism a reality at all levels of the academic hierarchy through measures such as the following:
  • • Consideration should be given when recruiting new academic personnel to their interest in broader socio-economic problems as well as in issues bearing on the equity, stability and sustainability of the economic and financial system.
  • • The criteria for the evaluation of research should be expanded to include practical relevance and willingness, manifested in publications, to tackle interdisciplinary themes. Such an expansion would counterbalance existing criteria which attribute overwhelming importance to the number of publications in a limited number of highly rated, monolithic journals.

8):

  • Subjecting prevailing main-stream thought to reasoned criticism is a scientific duty. Such criticism makes possible progress towards the goal of intellectual pluralism in the disciplines of economics, finance and management, an intellectual pluralism which is essential to the capacity of these disciplines to enrich public debate and to clarify the nature of policy choices.

The authors of this appeal are the following: … //

…(full text).

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