Almost 100 people squeezed in to hear Professor Steve Keen – newly appointed head of the School of Economics, Politics and History – launch the new society with a speech on what’s wrong with mainstream economics and how students should change it.
Professor Keen - author of Debunking Economics and well-known critic of mainstream economics – described how theories taught in most economic classes were unable to predict, understand or even take on board the recent financial crisis.
Keen set out his vision for Kingston’s economics department as a beacon for students interested in a vibrant, pluralist atmosphere for learning. He also described his own history of challenging the narrow academic approach to economics while still a student.
Manav Chaudhary from LSE’s Post Crash Economics Society described the rapid growth of the Rethinking Economics movement and the enthusiasm of students across the country in campaigning for better economics teaching.
Professor Keen said:
“Across the world, students are calling for realism in economics, and demanding to be taught all schools of thought, not just the dominant one that was caught completely unawares by the economic crisis. Most University departments are resisting this call—amazing in itself for a discipline that claims to be about markets, and in which the consumer is supposed to be king. Kingston is responding to this call. We are going to provide our students with a complete, honest, warts-and-all, introduction to all the strands of thinking in economics. I’m delighted that Kingston students have formed their own Rethinking Economics group, and I’d encourage students at other universities to do the same. Change in economics will only come from the young, and with pressure from the public for economics to be realistic.”